Leopold Center grants and funds have been used to develop these tools and resources:
- A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers a guide to curriculum for those offering a training program for beginning farmers. The manual has sections on production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning/basic finances.
- ISU Sustainable Vegetable Production Lab provides results of research of interest to commercial vegetable producers
- Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Market Planner shows rates of demand for 80 crops, with settings for regions in/around Iowa, consumers by age group, various time frames and product mixes. Download the User's Guide [PDF].
- Produce Profitability Calculator is an online tool showing crop-by-crop comparisons of profitabiltiy for various food crops. Also read the User's Manual and a related publication, Contracting with Foodservices.
- Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Production Budgets show example costs/returns for 14 different fruit and vegetable crops commonly grown in Iowa.
- iowavegetables.blogspot.com An Iowa State University blog on various aspects of vegetable production
- IowaProduce.org ISU Extension and Outreach website for commercial fruit and vegetable growers
- Alternative Enterprise Budgets: series of worksheets with sample costs/returns and information to consider when adding additional enterprises to a farm operation.
raspberries | dairy goats | Christmas trees | popcorn | bees | sheep | sorghum | sweet corn
- Iowa High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Manual in English
- Iowa High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Manual in Spanish
- Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use how to install a rainwater catchment system, based on work done with a Leopold Center competitve grant.
- Vegetable Production Budgets for a High Tunnel provides budget information for bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, lettuce and tomatoes.
- NRCS EQIP High Tunnels was developed by Drake University Ag Law Center to help producers negotiate the requirements of a federal program that offers them assistance to build high tunnels.
- Final report summaries from research grants associated with high tunnels: E2011-14, M2009-16, M2007-05
- Tunnels to Tables is a multi-year project funded by the Leopold Center at Iowa State University Value Added Agriculture Extension. The project looked at growing high-value crops in the tunnels for profitability, and at three market distribution models for feasibility.
- Peppers - second year | first year
- Brambles - second year | first year
- Pole Beans
- Greek oregano
- Pest Scouting
- Three business models
Food miles and food pathways
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, which showed that food items traveled an average of 1,494 miles from farm to point of sale.
- Is Local Food More Expensive? A Consumer Price Perspective on Local and Non-local Foods Purchased in Iowa
- Calculating Food Miles for a Multiple Ingredient Food Product
- Ecolabel Value Assessment Phase II: Consumer Perceptions of Local Foods
- Ecolabel Value Assessment: Consumer and Food Business Perceptions of Local Foods
- Checking the Food Odometer: Comparing Food Miles for Local versus Conventional Produce Sales to Iowa Institutions
- Grape Expectations: A Food System Perceptive on Redeveloping the Iowa Grape Industry
- How Far Do Your Fruit and Vegetables Travel?
- Food, Fuel and Freeways: An Iowa Perspective on How Far Food Travels, Fuel Usage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Comparing Apples to Apples: An Iowa Perspecitve on Local Food Systems
- Iowa CSA Farms This is a statewide list of farms that offer CSAs, updated annually.
- Starting an Online Local Food Co-op outlines the formation and early success of the Iowa Valley Food Co-op.
- Making Value Chains Work: Best Practices for Success provides case histories and lessons learned by four working groups in Iowa.
- Transaction Cost Case Studies for Six Iowa Food Producers was part of a larger project that looked at several very small supply chain networks for local food.
- Analysis and Comparison of the Technical and Business Planning Needs of Iowa Farmers Marketing Directly to Consumers and Iowa Farmers Marketing through Supply Chains
- LTL Trucking Terms and Process Guide
- Supply Chain Options for Biobased Businesses also looks at several structures for new businesses related to the biofuel industry.
- Understanding National Food Supply Chains: Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
- Understanding national Food Supply Chains: Sausage Products
- Understanding National Food Supply Chains: Fresh Cut Pork
- Frequently Asked Questions on Food Regulations for Small Market Food Producers
- What Producers Should Know About Selling to Local Foodservice Markets
- What Retail Foodservices Should Know When Purchasing Local Produce Directly From Farmers
- Buying Local Foods for Retail Foodservices
- On-farm Food Safety: Cleaning and Sanitizing Guide
- On-farm Food Safety: Guide to Good Agricultural Practices
Food, health and climate change
- Understanding Common Terms Used in Discussions about Climate Change and Agriculture
- Food, Fuel and the Future: Consumer Perceptions of Local Food, Food Safety and Climate Change in the Context of Rising Prices
- Assessing Fuel Efficiency and CO2 Emissions of Two Local Food Distribution Options in Iowa
Food Safety: From Farm to Table ISU Extension and Outreach website
Beginning Farmer Business Planning Toolkit Marketing and business materials for producers of crops, poultry, sheep, and goats; developed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Assistance Program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology
Farm Employment FAQ Practical Farmers of Iowa webpage answers common questions about labors laws, wages, trainees, volunteers and workers' compensationi on the farm
Regional Food Hub Resource Guide Download this PDF guide on food hub impacts on regional food systems, and resources available for growth and development; developed by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
On-Farm Food Safety Project This is a national website funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency to help growers develop their own food safety plan.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Contains stories, pictures and videos about USDA's support for local and regional food systems nationally using an interactive map.
Farm to ISU Iowa State University Dining local foods program.
Selling to Institutions: An Iowa Farmer's Guide is made available by the Drake Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines.