Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

LC Logo It's Your Business: Expanding Opportunities in Iowa's Food System

Date: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Start: 8:30 am End: 4:00 pm

Location: Quality Inn, Ames, Iowa

Contact: Lynn Heuss, leheuss@iastate.edu, (515) 201-9405

Check the schedule below for links to presentation materials

The 2014 Iowa Local Food Conference focuses on small business expansion, with three subject tracks covering business incentives, specifically:

  • Food hubs and how to sustain them
  • Processing centers and integrating value-added products
  • Current marketing strategies for increasing the bottom line

The one-day conference is sponsored by the Leopold Center, Local Food and Farm Initiative and the Iowa Food System Working Group. Keynote speakers include farmer Lucie Amundsen, USDA state director of rural development Bill Menner, and Kamyar Enshayan of the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education.

8:00 Registration
8:30 Welcome: John Lawrence (ISU Extension) and Mark Rasmussen (LCSA director)

Plenary: Lucie Amundsen (Locally Laid)
UPDATE: Here's a link to a TV commercial airing nationally ad that Locally Laid won as a second prize in the 2014 Super Bowl contest. This goes to a YouTube video.

10:15 Break

Workshop Track 1: Food hubs (Creation)

  • What kinds?
  • Issues?

Speakers: Joanna Hamilton, Savanna Lyons (LCSA)

Track 2: Processing centers (knowledge, awareness, skills, attitudes)

  • Shared kitchens
  • Kitchen incubators

Speakers: Gary Huber (Iowa Food Cooperative) and Jennifer Smith (Proof, Butcher Crick Farm)

Track 3: Marketing (knowledge, awareness, skills, attitudes)

  • Online
  • Institutional

Speaker: Jason Grimm (Iowa Valley RC&D) and Nick Mabe (NE Iowa Food Hub)

12:00 Lunch speaker: Bill Menner (USDA Rural Development State Director)

Workshop Track 1: Food hub sustainability

  • Resources
  • How to increase profitability

Speakers: Nick McCann (ISU Extension) and Aubrey Martinez (Eat Greater Des Moines)

Track 2: Value added products

  • WW Homestead Dairy - Tom Wieghner 
  • Iowa Harvest: frozen processing - Penny Brown Huber (Prairie Rivers RC&D)
  • Fresh processing - James Nisely 
  • Restaurant - Diane Weiland (Wallace Centers of Iowa)

Track 3: Marketing

  • CSAs
  • Cookery classes
  • Food hub start-up

Speaker: Brittany Bethel (ISU Extension) and Alexi Groumoutis (Local Food Coordinator)

3:00 Capstone: Kamyar Enshayan (UNI CEEE)
4:00 Adjournment

Related information

Leopold Letter article about the conference [Summer 2014]

News release featuring conference details

News release featuring keynote speaker Lucie Amundsen

Conference program [PDF]