Food policy covers a broad range of people, programs, rules and guidelines that effect how food is produced, processed, distributed, consumed and disposed of. International, federal, state and local governments and organizations all play a role in assuring we have a safe, affordable, accessible, nutritious and sustainable quantity and quality of food for all. At the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Dr. Jill Clark, Dr. Jennifer Garner and Dr. Neal Hooker work with collaborators across campus, the state, nationally and internationally to consider the social and economic aspects of food policy.

Dr. Jill Clark


Pathways to Prosperity: Collaborative Local Governing for Rural Wealth Creation

The purpose of this USDA NIFA funded project is to inform asset-based approaches to rural wealth creation in the context of local and regional food systems. Working with two rural communities – San Luis Valley, Colorado and Wayne County, Ohio – and national practitioners and partners, we ask: How can rural communities use collaborative governance methods to advance wealth creation?


Selected Research

  • Cho, CY & Clark, JK. (Forthcoming). Disparities in access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program retailers over time and space. Population Research and Policy Review
  • Clark, JK & Jablonski, BBR. (2018). Federal Policy, Administration, and Local Food Coming of Age. Choices: A Publication of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, 33(3), 1-8.
  • Clark, JK, Freedgood, J, Irish, A, Hodgson, K, & Raja, S. (2017). Fail to Include, Plan to Exclude: Reflections on local governments’ readiness to address equity in food systems policy. Built Environment, 43, 315-327.
  • Clark, JK & Record, M. (2017). Local Capitalism and Civic Engagement: The Potential of Locally-Facing Firms. Public Administration Review, 77, 875-887.
  • Clark, JK, Dugan, KL & Sharp, JS. (2015). Agrifood System Policy Agenda and Research Domain. Journal of Rural Studies, 42, 112-122.

Selected Grants

  • Clark, JK, Jablonski, B, Inwood, S, Freedgood, J (2019). Pathways to prosperity: Collaborative local governing for rural wealth creation. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, 2019-2022, $ $499,520.
  • Freedman, D, Lounsbury, D, Trapl, E, Bush, W, Clark, JK. (2018). Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (Grant #560290). Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood. PI: D. Freedman. February 15, 2018 – July 31, 2021. Total: $936,419 (FFAR); $968,005 (match); $1,904,424 (combined)
  • Freedman, D, Sehgal, A, Trapl, ES, Borawski, E, Clark, JK, & Bell, B. (2015). Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study. National Institutes of Health, 2015-2017, $2,300,000.
  • Raja, S, Clark, JK, Freedgood, J & Hodgson, K. (2012). Building Local Government Capacity to Alleviate Food Deserts: Creating, Implementing and Sustaining Policies and Plans for Healthy Food Systems. Global Food Security Competitive Research Grant, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, USDA, 2012-2017, $3,900,000.

Dr. Jennifer Garner


  • Food security and food assistance
  • Food and agricultural policy
  • Diet and health disparities
  • Mixed method program evaluation

Dr. Neal Hooker


Contemporary Organic Policy
This project seeks to determine some of the implications that have arisen given the continual growth of the organic market over the past decade. Questions of sustainability arise particularly when considering; 1) the volume, value and diversity of organic international trade, 2) the role of certifying agents, 3) the supply of organic ingredients, and 4) consumer substitution between organic and natural/GM-free food.

Taylor, Christopher A., Colleen K., Spees, Alayna M. Markwordt, Rosanna P. Watowicz, Jill K. Clark, and Neal H. Hooker. Differences in Dietary Patterns by Food Security Status in US Adults. Forthcoming Journal of Consumer Affairs. 22pp

Taylor, Christopher A., Colleen K. Spees, Rosanna P. Watowicz, Stephen Martinez and Neal H. Hooker. Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts: The Potential Impact of Yogurt Innovation on Dietary Intakes. Forthcoming Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 25pp

Spees, Colleen K., Jill K. Clark, Neal H. Hooker, Rosanna P. Watowicz, Christopher A. Taylor. 2017. Dietary Intake Contributions of Food and Beverages by Source and Food Security Status in US Adults. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 49(8): 667-673

Hopkins, Laura C., Neal H. Hooker and Carolyn Gunther. 2017. Securing a Stop to the Summer Setback: Policy Considerations in the Future Expansion of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 49(8): 692-699

Marconi, Nicholas, Neal H. Hooker and Nicholas DiMarcello. 2017. What’s in a Name? The Impact of Fair Trade Claims on Product Price. Agribusiness: An International Journal. 33(2): 160-174

Liu, Rebecca, Neal H. Hooker, Efthimios Parasidis, and Christopher T. Simons. 2017. Using Immersive Technologies to Study the Impact of “All Natural” Labeling on Perceived Food Quality, Nutritional Content and Liking. Journal of Food Science. 82(3): 825-833

Souza-Monteiro, Diogo M. and Neal H. Hooker. 2017. Comparing UK Food Retailers’ Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies. British Food Journal. 119(3): 658-675

Souza-Monteiro, Diogo M. and Neal H. Hooker. 2017. What Initiatives are British Retailers Taking to Improve Children’s Health and Nutrition? Journal of Food Products Marketing. 23(2): 209-220

Alannah Glickman


Alannah studies initiatives that connect the goals of sustainable agriculture with those of public health, through a framework of local policy analysis, civic participation, inter-organizational collaboration, and social justice.

Aiden Irish


Aiden’s research focuses on the inter-organizational networks of food system planning and governance, including food policy councils (FPCs) and broader local and regional multi-stakeholder networks. In particular, he is interested in the role of informal social networks and factors such as inter-personal and inter-organizational trust in policy development and governance.

(In publication) Clark, Jill K., Julia Freedgood, Aiden Irish, Kim Hodgson, and Samina Raja, “Fail to Include, Plan to Exclude: Reflections on local governments’ readiness to address equity in food systems policy,” Built Environment.

Irish, Aiden, “Diversifying the Agricultural Basket: Risks in Conventional Poultry on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Opportunities from Diversified Agriculture,” Fair Farms Maryland, 2016.

Irish, Aiden, Jill K. Clark, Karen Banks, Anne Palmer, and Raychel Santo, “Food Policy Growth and Evolution: Evaluating the Development of Roles and Objectives of U.S. Food Councils Over Time,” American Society for Public Administration National Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 17-21, 2017.

PA 5900, Food System Planning and the Economy – 3 Credits

Grad/undergrad; no pre-requisite

  • Anticipated offering, SP ‘20
  • Food as a public concern: local governance, planning, and economic development
  • The intent of the course is to familiarize students with key players and issues related to the practice of food system planning (the process and practice of creating and implementing food policies) and how this practice interfaces with the economy - and to place these issues in a global context.
  • Topics include local food policies, plans, assessments, food system trends, global food system dynamics, food access, community food security, food justice and food policy councils.

PA 5890, US Food Policy – 3 Credits

Grad/undergrad; no pre-requisite

  • Current offering, May '18
  • Identify the range of institutions which target modern-day food policy problems.
  • Evaluate the use of policy tools to address social, economic and environmental aspects of food.
  • Track the development of key federal food policy topics, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Farm Bill and Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Conduct independent in-depth work to enhance research and communication skills.
  • Syllabus
Minor in Food Policy
Want to minor in food policy? Combine the following three courses to get a comprehensive background to public policy along with two food policy classes providing an excellent basis for a career in food affairs, policy and management.

Classes: 6000 (Public Policy Formulation and Implementation), 5890, 5900


Ohio Food Policy Summit
Developing and Financing Food Systems
The 2018 summit focused on the financing, investment, and economic development potential of local food systems, with discussions centering around a recent report released by the Federal Reserve entitled “Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of the Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities.”


Glenn Colloquium Series
Dr. Darcy Freeman, Associate Professor, Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences and Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
The Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (or "foodNEST") looks at how changes in the food retail environment have an impact on the health of a community.
2017 Workshop
Dr. Becca Jablonski, Asst Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University will provide a workshop entitled: Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Local Food System Initiatives.


Glenn Colloquium Series
Dr. Craig Gundersen, Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on evaluations of food assistance programs with a particular emphasis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Dr. Neal Hooker named editor of Journal of Food Products Marketing
Dr. Neal Hooker, professor of Food Policy at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University will become the editor of the Journal of Food Products Marketing in January 2017.

The Journal of Food Products Marketing provides timely, practical articles and refereed research studies that contribute to the better practice and understanding of food marketing. The journal provides a single forum for both food marketing academicians and food marketing practitioners.

Dr. Hooker has reviewed for and published in the journal and is excited to take on this new role. “My friend and co-author Dr. John Stanton, the current editor of the journal, has developed an amazing portfolio of papers and an impactful and respected global journal over the last 25 years,” said Hooker. “My challenge is to build on that and expand the reach of the current and future articles, to encourage a diverse array of scholars to consider publishing in Journal of Food Products Marketing and to find novel approaches to partnering with other journals, academic associations, and authors in the future.”

Working Paper: A SNAP in Time: ABAWD Work Requirements

Justin Shaw and Dr. Neal H. Hooker
Time limits on SNAP eligibility are being reintroduced. Using county administrative data from Franklin County, Ohio for FFY 2015 the able-bodied adult without dependent (ABAWD) population is described. Most at risk for food insecurity this group faces the strictest work requirements. 32% of the total 43,000 clients served by SNAP were not covered by a work exemption (60% male). The largest exempt group was 30-39 females, with a dependent child 6- 18 years old. Implications are presented for those in the 20+ states reintroducing time limits in 2016. Broader concerns over the non-profit emergency feeding networks in these states are discussed.
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Dietary Guidelines Summit at the National Geographic headquarters

On May 28, 2015, food and nutrition experts gathered in Washington recently for the Dietary Guidelines Summit hosted by Ohio State's Food Innovation Center and sponsored by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The summit featured several panels discussing topics ranging from the upcoming release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to how the American public can better digest nutrition policy. Click here to watch a video of the summit.

Growing Food Connections Food Policy Database to Help Communities Strengthen their Food Systems

The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more.
Learn more.

Growing Food Connections Policy Database

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