2015 GFASG Sponsored Sessions

The Geography of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG) sponsored nearly fifty sessions at this year’s AAG meeting. Topics in these sessions include: political economy of agri-food systems; food and identity; urban agriculture; land and food sovereignty; ecological impacts of food systems; and more. Please check out 2015 GFASG Sponsored Sessions to find your interested sessions at the meeting.

2015 GFASG Newsletter

Dear GFASG members,

I hope you are all gearing up for an exciting week in Chicago! In preparation, please take some time to peruse the 2015 GFASG Newsletter to find out about GFASG co-sponsored sessions, meetings, and events – we hope you’ll add them to your calendar. Additionally you’ll find more general news from the group, such as highlighted member achievements and publications, an announcement of the 2015 GFASG Graduate Research Grant Winner, and an annual message from our chairs. Enjoy!

Thanks and see you soon in Chicago.

A Message from our Chairs…

Greetings current and future GFASG members! The Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group is pleased to welcome you all to this year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Building on the momentum of last year’s conference, our Specialty Group has been working behind the scenes to support agri-food interests within the AAG. No surprise, but agri-food issues are becoming increasingly popular among geographers. Our membership rosters climbed by about 50% to 359 members since last year, and we received a much larger number of requests for session sponsorship this year. In the end, we sponsored nearly fifty sessions at this year’s Annual Meeting, and quick keyword search of abstracts came up with about 150 papers with a keyword of “agriculture” and well over 200 papers focusing on “food”!

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Elsie Lewison Receives 2015 GFASG Graduate Research Grant

The Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG) is pleased to announce the result of the 2015 GFASG Graduate Research Grant Competition. This year we had 24 applicants and it was truly difficult to make a decision. Elsie Lewison, PhD Candidate in Human Geography at the University of Toronto, receives this award for her compelling and clearly articulated project.

Lewison - Photo (960x1024)Elsie completed a BA in development studies and comparative religion at McGill University. There, she became particularly interested in the complex articulations of development ideologies and capital, not only in places of program implementation, but within the institutions and assemblages of development governance. Continue reading

Sign up for Agriculture Field Trips

The Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group is sponsoring two field trips this year. Sign up is at AAG website: http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/fieldtrips

Field Trip #1: Planting the City: Urban Agriculture, Aquaponics, and Community Gardens on Chicago’s South Side

Time: Tuesday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Organizer: Daniel Block (Chicago State University)

Trip Capacity: 14

Cost/person: $46 (includes transportation, lunch, and admission)

The tour includes the following visits

  • Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm
  • The Plant (an indoor food incubator in an old Stockyards area warehouse)
  • Lunch at Growing Power
  • Bronzeville neighborhood community farm
  • Chicago State University’s Aquaponics Center


Chicago has seen a flowering of urban agriculture and community gardens in the past fifteen years, ranging from small community gardens associated with particular community groups to indoor aquaponics sites, to larger organizational urban agriculture sites. This tour will visit The Plant, an indoor sustainable food incubator in an old Stockyards area warehouse, world renowned food justice organization Growing Power’s Chicago Iron Street farm, a community garden at Centers for New Horizons, a Bronzeville social service organization, and the the Chicago State University aquaponics center. Lunch will be served at Growing Power and is included in the price.

Field Trip #2: Agricultural Landscapes of Illinois

Time: Saturday, April 25, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Organizers: Courtney Gallaher and James Wilson (Northern Illinois University)

Trip Capacity: 12

Cost/person: $46 (includes transportation. Note to attendees: Please bring $15-20 cash for lunch)

Angelic Organics Farm

Agriculture is at the center of Illinois’ economy and is innately tied to the physical, cultural and political geography of this region. In this day long field trip, we explore a range of agricultural production operations in northern part of the state to learn more about the diversity and complexity of Illinois’ agricultural landscapes. The tour will include a visit to a state of the art robotic dairy operation, a large-scale commercial cattle and grain operation and a tour of Angelic Organics, one of the largest organic community supported agriculture (CSA) operations in the country.