- Agronomic: corn
- Fruits: apples, berries (other), grapes, melons, berries (strawberries)
- Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, brussel sprouts
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Animals: bovine, poultry
- Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, agricultural finance, whole farm planning
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, community services, employment opportunities, social capital, social networks
We have developed an internship program where interns work as assistants to food service managers of participating institutions. The interns identified nearby farmers and processors and assisted the institutions in buying a greater portion of their food from local/regional sources. During 2001 and 2002, nine interns and the project coordinator worked with 12 institutions in northeast Iowa. We documented what each institutions purchased locally and the amount of money they spent on local food dollars. During the two years of this project, the participating restaurants and institutions purchased more than $367,000 in locally grown fruit, vegetables and meats from farmers and processors near them. We intensified the publicity about the accomplishments of these institutions in our region and the entire practice of strengthening the local food economy by choosing to support nearby farmers and processors.
- 1. Work with several northeast Iowa hospitals, nursing homes, and other large food buyers so that they buy a greater portion of their food purchases from local farmers and processors.
2. Develop an internship program where trained interns will be placed in participating institutions to be of assistance to the food service staff in establishing a local food buying process.
3. Continue to develop a clearer understanding of the barriers to and opportunities for a variety of institutions to buy a greater portion of their food locally, and disseminate the lessons learned widely among farmers, processors and institutional food buyers.