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Leopold Center grants and funds have been used to develop these tools and resources for farmers looking at markets and profitability:
IowaVegetables - An Iowa State University blog with updates on various aspects of vegetable production
IowaProduce.org - ISU Extension website with information for commercial fruit and vegetable growers
The Leopold Center has conducted a number of in-house research projects going back to 1999 on the concept of "food miles" and the way that our food systems work. The most commonly quoted paper was written in 2003, Checking the Food Odometer (link below), which showed that food items traveled an average of 1,494 miles from farm to point of sale.
IASourceLink - This web page has resources for Iowa entrepreneurs from a network of 320+ nonprofit organizations that provide business-building services such as marketing, financial planning, sales, loans, technical assistance, product development, education and government contracts.
Beginning Farmer Business Planning Toolkit - This web page has links to marketing and business materials for producers of crops, poultry sheep and goats, developed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).
Farm Employment FAQ - Developed by Practical Farmers of Iowa and Farm Commons, this website answers common questions about labors laws, wages, trainees, volunteers and workers' compensationi on the farm. Go to website
Food Systems Profile Project - The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development has created printable county profiles and maps for a 12-state region including Iowa fo food systems activities and resources. Go to the web portal
Regional Food Hub Resource Guide -- This is a 93-page guide to food hubs, businesses or organizations that connect producers with buyers by offering a suite of production, distribution and marketing services. It was developed by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and a national food hub collaboration. Read about the food hub guide on this USDA blog.
On-Farm Food Safety Project - This is a national website funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency USDA to help growers develop their own food safety plan. Go to the website
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass - This online resource includes stories, pictures and videos about USDA's support for local and regional food systems in all 50 states using an interactive map. Or read the 80-page Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Guide [PDF].
Local Foods: From Farm to Food Service is a website links to presentations and resources for farmers, processors and distributors on food safety and other topics, maintained by ISU Extension and Outreach and the ISU hospitality management program. Go to the website
Farm to ISU is the local foods program at Iowa State University Dining. Find out how to sell to ISU here.
Midwest Season Extension has resources for farmers in the upper Midwest including training videos. Go to the website
Iowa Food Coop facilitates the sale of Iowa-grown products, developed with a Leopold Center marketing grant. Go to the website
Selling to Institutions: An Iowa Farmer's Guide is made available by the Drake Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines. Read the report [PDF] Here's an online version of the Center's Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing.