The main objective of this project is to launch an on-line ordering system in Region 9 (Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Grundy, and Tama counties) to increase commerce around locally grown foods primarily for institutional buyers and producers that wish to supply them on a more regular basis. The virtual market allows buyers to place orders, make payments, and arrange for delivery/pickup by both parties. Unlike other similar arrangements in Iowa, this is not a cooperative. All producers and buyers in Region 9 can participate. It is simply an on-line ordering system that makes procurement process much more convenient for buyers and for producers. The online system will include produce but could also include dairy products, eggs, meat and other year-round products. This process also has the possibility of becoming a tool for households who periodically order locally raised meats.
Jodie Huegerich directs the UNI Local Food Program at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education. She has been in this position almost two years. She works with local farmers, institutional buyers, community leaders, and consumers to create a sustainable, regional food and agriculture system. Jodie offers technical services and networking opportunities for local farmers and buyers in Black Hawk, Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Grundy, and Tama counties. She coordinates the Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership, the UNI Buy Fresh Buy Local program chapter, and is a member of the Regional Food System Working Group.
Her previous background is a Registered Dietitian working in health promotion in various settings and working for the community health project, Cedar Valley Blue Zones Project. She has experience coordinating several projects.