Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

Value Chain Write Shop 2 - Sponsored by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and Wallace Center at Winrock International in partnership with National Good Food Network

Tags: Agriculture, Facilitation, Natural Resource Based Economic Development

Client Name: Wallace Center at Winrock International, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Client Type: Non-profit, Federal Agency

Year: 2010

Location: Missouri

Shanna Ratner facilitated the second of two values-based value chain writeshops for the Wallace Center at Winrock International. The Value Chain Research Collaboration Project, a partnership between the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Wallace Center at Winrock International, brought together leading researchers and practitioners involved in agricultural value chains (supply chains characterized by strategic partnerships between buyers and sellers based on a shared set of values) to accomplish the following goals: (1) develop a common framework for how we define, study and understand value chains; (2) summarize analysis from current research on the major lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities for establishing value chains; and (3) create a compilation of practical tools/applications that can be utilized by practitioners to establish or strengthen value chain development. In phase one of this collaboration, the first two goals were accomplished through the implementation of a writeshop that proded a draft document highlighting the major lessons learned and best practices on how to establish and strengthen value chains. The second writeshop brought together 25 to 30 leading practitioners and educators to draft a number of practical tools/applications that could be utilized by a diverse range of stakeholders to establish or strengthen value chain development. The writeshop format was invented by Paul Mundy who works in international development. Thanks to Jim Barham at USDA, who experienced a writeshop overseas and saw its applicability to Wallace, we were able to bring this approach to life in a modified format in the U.S. For more information on writeshops, visit