Lydia Oberholtzer

  • Senior Research Assistant
103 Armsby
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 301-891-0470


  1. M.S. Land Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996

Research Interests

My research focuses on small farm and direct marketing, urban farming, institutional and intermediated marketing channels (including farm to school), food access (including healthy retail, incentive programs at farmers markets and corner stores), and local food systems. 

Outreach/Extension Interests

No extension appointment.  I do collaborate with Extension staff on specific projects, and work with other universities and non-governmental organizations on my research areas.

I am also Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 

Recent Selected Publications

Carolyn Dimitri, Lydia Oberholtzer, and Andy Pressman. 2016. Urban agriculture: Connecting producers with consumers. British Food Journal. Vol. 118 Iss: 3, pp.603 - 617

Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer. 2015. Potential national economic benefits of Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentives of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

Carolyn Dimitri, Lydia Oberholtzer, and Andy Pressman (eds). 2015. Special issue: Innovations and trends in sustainable urban agriculture. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, (30):1. 

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Carolyn Dimitri, and Andy Pressman. 2015. Urban agriculture in the United States: Characteristics, challenges, and technical assistance needs. Journal of Extension, 52(6).

Dimitri, Carolyn, Lydia Oberholtzer, Michelle Zive, and Cristina Sandolo. 2014. Enhancing food security of low-income consumers: An investigation of financial incentives for use at farmers markets. Food Policy. 52: 64-70.

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Carolyn Dimitri, and Edward C. Jaenicke. 2014. Examining U.S. food retailers’ decisions to procure local and organic produce from farmer direct-to-retail supply chains. Journal of Food Products Marketing. 20(4): 345-361.

Dimitri, Carolyn, Lydia Oberholtzer, and Michel Nischan. 2013. Reducing the geographic and financial barriers to food access: perceived benefits of farmers markets and monetary incentives. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 8(4):429-444.

John Berry, Brian Moyer, and Lydia Oberholtzer (primary author). 2013. Assessing Training and information needs for Pennsylvania farmers markets: Results from a 2011 survey of market managers. Journal of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. 6(1).

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Carolyn Dimitri and Edward C. Jaenicke. 2013. International trade of organic food: Evidence of U.S. imports. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 28(3):255-262. Open Access:

Dimitri, Carolyn, James Hanson, and Lydia Oberholtzer. 2012. Local food in Maryland schools: a real possibility or wishful thinking? Journal of Food Distribution Research. 43(2): 112-128.

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Carolyn Dimitri, and Gus Schumacher. 2012. Linking farmers, healthy foods, and underserved consumers: exploring the impact of nutrition incentive programs on farmers and farmers markets. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.  2(4): 1-15.

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Jim Hanson, Gerald Brust, Carolyn Dimitri, and Nessa Richman. 2012. “Local foods in Maryland schools and implications for Extension: Findings from schools and farmers.” Journal of Extension, Vol 50(2).

Jaenicke, Edward, Carolyn Dimitri, and Lydia Oberholtzer. 2011. “Strategic behavior of food retailers: private label organic products.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. December.

Oberholtzer, Lydia, Kate Clancy, and J. Dixon Esseks. 2010. The future of farming on the urban edge: Insights from 15 U.S. counties about farmland protection and farm viability, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Issue 2.

Dimitri, Carolyn, Lydia Oberholtzer, and Michelle Wittenberger. 2010. Contracting in the Organic Supply Chain: 2004 and 2007. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Available online at:

Duram, Leslie and Lydia Oberholtzer. 2010. A geographic approach to examining place and natural resource use in local food systems,” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Vol 25 (2).