Forum Promotes Local Food System Opportunities in Southeast Iowa



DONNELLSON, Iowa — The Great River Region Local Food Networking Forum will bring local food entrepreneurs, regional experts and partners of Southeast Iowa’s local food system together to identify next steps for improving local food system opportunities. The networking forum will be held at 61 Chophouse in Mediapolis on Friday, Feb. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Great River Region Entrepreneurial Technical Assistance (GRRETA) Project is hosting along with area organizations.

The event will include two sessions of round table discussions on topics such as marketing at farmers markets, working with schools and institutional buyers, agri-tourism, production methods, and marketing to wholesalers and grocery stores. Attendees will be able to choose which topics they would like to participate in. Sessions offer time to discuss issues and opportunities with other entrepreneurs and experts in that area.

“The goal of the round table format is to connect growers and producers with experts and mentors,” said Alex Merk, GRRETA Program Coordinator. "The hope is that we will also be able to brainstorm new ideas to create opportunities for a more robust local food system in the Great River Region."

Registration for the event is available at www.grreta.org/events.html or by calling 319-835-5116. The cost for attending is $12 with pre-registration or $15 at the door. Registration includes lunch.

The Great River Region Entrepreneurial Technical Assistance (GRRETA) Project is supported by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to the Lee County Economic Development Group and collaborators that include economic development organizations and chambers, small business and entrepreneurial development professionals, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and local food system support networks from Lee, Henry, Louisa and Des Moines counties in southeast Iowa.

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