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The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

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Dr. Chad Hellwinckel
Research Assistant Professor

Agricultural Policy Analysis Center

The University of Tennessee
310 Morgan Hall
2621 Morgan Circle
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4519
Phone: (865) 974-5006
Fax: (865) 974-7298

I am working to define agricultural policies appropriate to the new realities of declining fossil energy availability and increased climate variability.  As conventional food costs rise, local food systems producing close to population centers could hold a competitive advantage if they are designed appropriately.  I rely upon permaculture principles to give valuable design insights into making local food systems sustainable and competitive -- both energetically and economically. My strategy is to take action at the local level in order to evolve strategies that can be communicated and propagated in other communities nationally.

Also, through the use of the POLYSYS economic-biogeophysical model, I can analyze the impacts of agricultural policies upon regional land use, crop prices, government payments, and environmental well-being. 

I received a doctorate in geography at the University of Tennessee in 2008, an MS in agricultural economics also at University of Tennessee in 1996, and a BS in Economics and Urban Studies from St. Olaf College in 1991. I have worked at The Land Institute, in Salina Kansas, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, and served with the US Forest Service in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. I am the founder of the Knoxville Permaculture Guild and currently serve as vice-president of the Knoxville Food Policy Council.

Chad's CV

August 14, 2012
Listen to Chad explain why local food may become cheaper and more available than industrial food in the coming years in his presentation at the Healthy Farms Healthy People webinar (minutes 14:50-20:50)

February 9, 2013
Listen to Chad in the follow-up webinar entitled   Ask the Experts: Is the Price Right?  also from Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition (minute 9:00-).

The following is a presentation by Dr. Hellwinckel at a TEDx event in Knoxville Tennessee on the 'Importance of Local Food Systems.'