- Crop Production: food product quality/safety
- Education and Training: decision support system, extension, networking
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, farm-to-institution, value added
- Sustainable Communities: leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, public policy, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, community services
Three local food systems development activities were facilitated with the intent to build relationships between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO) staff and local food advocates and organizations. In fall 2012, 70 professionals, including ISUEO staff and partners, participated in a partnership development conference. Two regional network meetings and a local foods conference were held in Spring 2013 to strengthen and sustain those partnerships. These events resulted in the formation of the ISUEO Iowa Food Systems Working Group and survey results indicated increased collaborations between various organizations, individuals and ISUEO staff thereby strengthening Iowa’s local food systems.
- Provide a professional development educational forum on Iowa’s extensive local food value chain by bringing together staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO), school educators, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s)
- Provide a conduit in which sectors involved in the Iowa local foods movement will be able to learn what others are doing in the state.
- Build community capacity among educators, farmers, institutions, and others within regional food systems enabling groups, consumers, and youth to work together to strengthen and sustain the local foods value chain in Iowa.