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Local Foods Project

Participants in a project linking local food producers with area commercial and institutional food service managers gathered to discuss their perceptions of the project and discuss ways to enhance future partnerships in December, 2001. Project director Cathy Strohbehn, HRIM adjunct assistant professor, says area food service operators are clearly interested in supporting local producers. “They view both the fresher aspects of the food as well as the ability to support the local economy as important, but it has to be convenient,” she explained. “A bit of organizing on the part of local producers will boost their marketability.”

Local food connection picture








Rich Pirog (left), education coordinator for the Leopold Center, and Michael Nash (center), producer with Grown Locally Cooperative in Postville, IA. listen as Rick Hartmann (right) of Practical Farmers of Iowa talks about use of foods in schools and restaurants.   

Picture of local foods participants

Pat Black (left), owner and operator of Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge, talks with Tearoom food buyer Jan Berninghaus (right) about the apples she supplied to the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom this year.


  • Many operators are interested in purchasing locally
  • Foodservice managers should search out local sources of food items
  • Local growers/producers should emphasize fresher and higher quality foods and explore ways to minimize obstacles of multiple vendors and sufficient quantity 

Publications and Reports:

For additional information on the project, contact:

Cathy Strohbehn, Ph.D.
Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management
1055 LeBaron Hall
Ames, IA 50011-1120
(515) 294-7306

The project was funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture - Iowa State University