Enhancing Local Food Systems Focus of Two February Meetings

ISU Extension and Outreach to provide training on growing local foods

AMES, Iowa – Local foods leaders from across the state of Iowa will have a pair of opportunities to meet together next month, with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach hosting two events in Ames.

The Local Food Leaders training will be held Feb. 3 and the Regional Food System Working Group will meet Feb. 4. Both events will take place at Design on Main in Ames, Iowa.

“These events offer exciting opportunities to connect with other local food leaders from across the state of Iowa,” ISU Extension and Outreach Program Assistant with Local Foods Lynn Heuss said. “We are very excited about our new Local Food Leaders program, as well as for the planning that is to be done during the RFSWG meeting.”

Local Food Leaders is a program that is being launched this year and is targeted toward individuals interested in enhancing their food systems in a leadership role within their community. Experts will speak on a variety of topics, including local food systems, collective impact, leadership development, building trust and having a healthy work-life balance, and will include opportunities to discuss ways to incorporate these practices into daily activities and coalitions.

This workshop is highly encouraged for communities who anticipate applying for the Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit in 2016, or for communities that are already involved in the process.

“It is highly suggested for any group partnering with the Local Foods program or anyone applying for the Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit to complete this training,” said Courtney Long, design fellow for ISU Extension and Outreach local foods team and community design lab. “The first year of this three-year program is about developing coalition and trust within communities, and this leadership training program will help attendees take steps to build those partnerships.”

The ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods team in partnership with Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is offering the workshop at no cost.

The Regional Food System Working Group brings together diverse individuals from across the state who are working to improve and connect key stakeholders in local food systems. The meeting will focus on the direction of the RFSWG and its future plans of work.

RFSWG is operated through the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a research and education center housed on the Iowa State University campus and created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitable while conserving natural resources.

Online registration is required
for both events. Both events are free. Lunch will be provided for attendees of the Local Food Leaders training while the cost of lunch is $20 for the RFSWG meeting.