Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

LC Logo Iowa Local Food Conference: Road Map for Resilience

Date: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 to Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Location: Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, Ames, Iowa

Contact: Lynn Heuss, leheuss@iastate.edu

This conference brought together about 100 farmers, educators and others who are working on local food issues with the Regional Food Systems Working Group, Iowa Food System Working Group, Local Food and Farm Initiative Program and the Leopold Center Marketing and Food Systems Initiative.

Check out a summary of what was learned in the breakout sessions, as well as videos of all the presentations below! Also read about the conference in a news article from the Summer 2013 Leopold Letter.


See our Facebook page for photos from the conference.

Keynote speaker

John O'Sullivan - North Carolina

Opening remarks: O'Sullivan leads the 10% Campaign and directs the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in North Carolina. In his opening remarks, he talks about the unexpected partnerships that have been built around local food. View his powerpoint slides [PDF is 2.6 MB in size]. (45:23)

Closing comments: O'Sullivan praises Iowa efforts and offers encouragement. (34:22)

Welcome from Secretary Vilsack

Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary of Agriculture, welcomes participants to the second day of the workshop, He talks about the importance of building the demand for locally-produced foods because it strengthens rural economies. He also talks about the potential for regional "food hubs." (2:46)

Business Incentives Workshop Session

Sue Futrell explains the workings of Red Tomato, a food hub that works with about 40 growers in 9 Northeastern states. View her powerpoint slides [PDF]. View the video [Red Tomato website] that she also shared. (56.16)

Storytellers share their experiences in iowa

Beginning/Minority Farmers Workshop Session

Diane Endicott talks about the alliance, Good Natured Family Farms, of more than 150 farmers that she founded in Kansas

Storytellers share their experiences in Iowa

  • Mentor Programs/Incubator Farms (Leigh Adcock) - Results from a mentor-mentee program
  • Alternative Enterprises (Linda Naeve) - Alternative enterprises that use high tunnels
  • Small Farms Program (Andy Larson) - What support is available from the USDA's SARE program? [PDF]
  • Urban Agriculture (Jason Grimm) - Land design for urban planning

Food Incentives Workshop Session

Anupama Joshi founded the National Farm to School Network to work with schools and children. View her powerpoint slides [PDF]. (42:51)

Storytellers share their experiences in Iowa

  • School Gardens/Farm to School/Farm to Institution (Hannah Lewis) - Des Moines Public Schools
  • Food Corps and AmeriCorps (Flannery Cerbin) - How are these service programs working to build the local food system in Iowa?
  • People's Garden (Karen Pattison and Cayla Taylor) - More about these and other garden projects [PDF]
  • Farm to Procurement/Food Safety (Teresa Wiemerslage) - Farm to School in Northeast Iowa

Related information

Event brochure [PDF]

News release - 2-5-13

News release - 2-25-13

Leopold Center logoIowa Food System Working Group logo