The Missouri School has been known for its study of the structure of agriculture and food, and what affects structural arrangements have on farmers, communities, and environments. A lesser known aspect of the Missouri School is its use of structural analyses to analyze and promote alternatives. As a participant observer of the Kansas City food system for more than 15 years, I highlight the continual evolution of alternatives in the region, documenting the long involvement of the Missouri School with the development of these alternatives, from providing structural analyses to extension programming. This case study shows the struggle that farmers, consumers, and communities undergo as they seek to create sustainable food and agriculture alternatives within existing political, social, and economic structures, concluding that everyday praxis can create and enlarge spaces for transformative food systems. However, the struggle for full realization of social change happens fitfully with no guarantee of success.

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