Food systems are complex and generally too large for study with controlled experiments. For this reason, the EFSNE project uses a combination of observational data and modeling to understand how food systems function and how they might better meet the needs of consumers in the Northeast. Each of the research teams incorporates modeling in some way, and hence the EFSNE project brings together modelers from a variety of disciplines: agronomy, architecture, economics, engineering, and food system science.

To enable the most effective collaboration, it became clear within the first year of the project that the modelers needed to work together. The Scenarios and Modeling Team (SCEMO) was created in September 2012 to provide a means for all the modelers to meet regularly. Motivated by a shared interest in food systems, the group functions as a learning community in which all members strive to understand each other's disciplinary language and modeling approaches. In addition, the SCEMO team has two essential tasks: (1) to develop food system scenarios and (2) to identify opportunities to integrate the multiple models used in the project.