The Community & Agriculture Resilience Audit Tool (CARAT)

Urban Seeds is participating in the 2024 Community & Agriculture Resilience Audit Tool (CARAT) Pilot Program, a collaborative initiative led by the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN) and the Food and Agrarian Systems group at Indiana University.

CARAT is a free and open-access assessment tool designed to evaluate the strengths and vulnerabilities of a community’s local food system. CARAT measures the resources within a food system via 101 indicators to determine possible next steps to increase community resiliency and food sovereignty. These indicators revolve around seven core themes that address the complex nature of community resiliency.

  • Natural Resource Management, Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Ecosystems and Farmland
  • Community Health and Well-Being
  • Community Self-Reliance in Food
  • Distributed and Democratic Leadership
  • Focus on Local Farmers, Food Processors, and Food Distributors
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Place-Based Economics

Over the next 6 months, we will collaborate with community stakeholders including food producers, consumers, food sovereignty advocates, local government officials, and other nonprofits to carry out the assessment. Through the collection of information, input and feedback, the CARAT tool will allow us to identify assets and barriers in Southwest Indiana, and help guide programming, infrastructure and a long-term strategy for local food system development to improve and strengthen the resilience of our community.

Urban Seeds is hosting a public information session on CARAT on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 from 11am-12pm CT. Register here to attend! 

If you are interested in collaborating with us on CARAT or have any questions about the pilot program, please get in touch with us by emailing