This project summarizes the impact of the local food industry on Iowa’s economy in connection with efforts of the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG). It is based on data collected from 2013 and 2014, in cooperation with coordinators of the 15 regional food groups that comprise the statewide RFSWG. This two-year project was the first coordinated, comprehensive statewide attempt to measure actual community impacts associated with regional food system development in Iowa.
2014 statewide report
- Impact Brief: 2013 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group
- Full Report: 2013 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group
- Newsletter article [Winter 2014]: Local food sales continue to expand in Iowa
- Collecting Data for Collective Impact: this document explains the process used to collect data by local food groups that participate in RFSWG.
- Iowa's local food champions for 2014. Read their stories below or download a printable copy of these profiles.
- Eat Greater Des Moines: Jim Zaffiro
- Healthy Harvest of North Iowa: Leroy Zimmerman
- Field to Family Food Coalition: Pam Oldham
- Dubuque Eats Well: Miles Breed
- Hometown Harvest of Southeast Iowa: Kim Keller
- Southern Iowa Local Foods Initiative: Dennis Wimmer
- Northern Iowa Food & Farm Partnership: Lindsay Kaiser
- Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition: Merrill Angell
- Flavors of Northwest Iowa: Clint Brown
2013 statewide report
- Impact Brief: 2012 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group
- Full report: 2012 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group
- Newsletter article [Winter 2013]: Local foods boost regional economies
- Local food champions for 2013. Read our local food champion stories at the links below or download a printable copy of all profiles.
- Dubuque Eats Well: Tom Arnold
- Eat Greater Des Moines: Lyn Jenkins
- Field to Family Food Coalition: Paul Rasch
- Flavors of Northwest Iowa: Chad and Keely Dutler
- Healthy Harvest of North Iowa: Pat Ennis
- Hometown Harvest of Southeast Iowa: Barb Grijalva
- Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition: Nick McCann
- Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership: University of Northern Iowa
- Quad Cities Food Hub: Ed Kraklio and Melissa Freidhoff-Rodgers
- South Central Iowa Area Partnership: Bob Newell
- Southern Iowa Regional Food Systems: Dale Raasch
Economic impact studies
The Leopold Center has worked with ISU economist Dave Swenson on a number of economic impact studies:
- Exploring Small-Scale Meat Processing Expansions in Iowa
- Measuring the Economic Impacts of Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production in Iowa Considering Metropolitan Demand
- Selected Measures of the Economic Values of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in the Upper Midwest
- The Economic Impact of Fruit and Vegetable Production in Southwest Iowa Considering Local and Nearby Metropolitan Markets
- Investigating the Potential Economic Impacts of Local Foods for Southeast Iowa
- Estimating the Production and Market Value-Based Impacts of Nutritional Goals in NE Iowa
- The Economic Impacts of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in Iowa: Phase II
- Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress A January 2015 report from the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) also noted recent growth in farmers markets, regional food hubs and farm-to-school programs
- Evaluating Economic Impacts of Local Food Purchasing in Several Market Channels in Black Hawk and Surrounding Counties RFSWG conducted this study that quantifies impacts of local food sales on local economies
- Consumers, Vendors and the Economic Importance of Iowa Farmers' Markets This is the first study that looked at the importance of farmers markets on the Iowa economy as a whole.
For more information about RFSWG and the local groups participating in this network, contact Lynn Heuss, assistant coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, (515) 201-9405.