Economic Development

Goal: Assisting individuals, businesses, and organizations to make informed decisions about developing sustainable food businesses, through technical assistance and educational programs

Projects and updates

  • Farmer profitability

Working with alternative agricultural producers directly and through farmer organizations (e.g. PFI) and service providers (e.g. MOSES) to provide financial literacy education. For more information, contact Craig Chase ( or check out our resource page on Farmer Profitability, or Business Planning.

Project updates
  • Food Hubs

One of our main research focus area is around food hubs. This includes food hub business development and supporting food hubs in providing better opportunities for small and mid-sized farmers through publications, presentations, workshops and technical assistance. For more information, contact Savanna Lyons ( or check out our Food Hub resource page.

Project updates
  • Food Entrepreneurs

We aim to support new food business models including: food processing, shared-use kitchens, food entrepreneur centers, food Trucks, public markets, etc. Part of the projects we are involved in emerge from the work with the Ag Urbanism Toolkit, and we assist other independent projects as well. For more information, contact Courtney Long ( or Alice Topaloff (

Project updates



Back to Our work

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Local Foods Program
Curtiss Hall, Ames, IA 50011; 515-294-3086