Our publications

Iowa CSA Farms: 2017 Statewide List of Iowa CSA Farms and Organizers Serving Iowa (LF 0012). May 2017. Leigh Adcock. This directory lists 105 Iowa farms and organizations that operate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprises, with contact information, website links, available produce and distribution range shown for each farm. 11 pp.

Make Food Safety a Priority in Your School Garden (LF 0021). March 2017. Teresa Wiemerslage. This publication contains sample protocols for schools to use as they design best practices for their school gardens. These protocols are adapted from federal and state guidelines for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP). 5 pp.

A Manager’s Guide to Food Hub Finances (LF 0015 and 0015B). February 2017. Savanna Lyons. The purpose of this PDF guide (LF-0015A) is to explore how food hubs can use their own financial data to identify and address the strengths and challenges in their operation. Relying on data that most food hubs already have available in their financial records, we show how financial metrics can be used by managers to identify problems and risks and make decisions. The accompanying Excel spreadsheet (LF-0015B) provides an additional tool to calculate and interpret key metrics from a food hub’s operation. 58 pp.

Iowa Food Hub Meat-to-School Series (LF 0016 A – C), February 2017. Teresa Wiemerslage, Savanna Lyons. Farm-to-school programs around the country have wrestled with the challenge of sourcing local meat. To explore this question, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in partnership with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative and Iowa Food Hub, sought to build a meat-to-school program in northeast Iowa. This series of three publications provides highlights of the project’s successes and challenges, on the topics of sourcing products, working with pork producers, and working with beef producers.
LF 0016A: Sourcing Meat for Schools in Northeast Iowa (5 pp.)
LF 0016B Pork-to-School in Northeast Iowa (4 pp.)
LF 0016C: Beef-to-School in Northeast Iowa (4 pp.)

Local Foods Coordinator Survey and Learning Circle Report (LF 0017), January 2017. Savanna Lyons, Alice Topaloff, Caitlin Szymanski, Lynn Heuss, Courtney Long. In Iowa, more than 20 regional entities employ individuals as local food coordinators.. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has begun a project to better understand the needs and challenges of local food coordinators, and to develop a program to better support both the coordinators and their supervisors. This report summarizes the project findings and outlines future plans for supporting local food coordinators across Iowa. 4 pp.

Determining Factors for Local Food Systems Success (LF 0014), August 2016. Ahna Kruzic, Carmen Bain. Analyzes the characteristics of factors that enable and hinder local food systems development within communities. Based on in-depth case studies of six of the most successful local food systems in the US, researchers present proven tactics for success in each of seven factors, or “community capitals.” By using this guidebook, local food systems developers can identify resources and mitigate challenges in their own communities. 20 pp.

CSAIowa CSA Farms: 2016 Statewide List of Iowa CSA Farms and Organizers (LF 0012), March 2016. Savanna Lyons, Alice Topaloff. This directory lists 85 Iowa farms that operate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprises, with contact information, website links, available produce and distribution range shown for each farm. The CSAs are searchable by county and the 20 ISU Extension and Outreach regions. The directory is updated annually. (Previously known as PM 1693.)

cafeteria coachesCafeteria Coaching Toolkit (LF 0011) January 2016, Teresa Wiemerslage, Lynn Heuss, Laura Liechty. Cafeteria coaching is a cafeteria-based program that uses middle school and high school students along with school nutrition staff and cafeteria staff to encourage kids to try new foods and eat nutritious school meals. This toolkit will guide users to set up cafeteria coaching programs at local schools. 16 pp.

014500_PTools to Evaluate Your Coalition (LF 0010), December 2015, Alice Topaloff, Arlene Enderton, Corry Bregendahl. Building strong coalitions and partnerships are essential to the success of an organization. A series of four publications by the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Local Foods team introduces the importance of coalitions and how evaluating those partnerships can be helpful. The series looks at how to develop coalitions, what to do when coalitions have been established and how to evaluate a mature coalition. Each publication includes questions to ask to evaluate the health of the partnership at each stage of the relationship. 4-part series, 8 pp. total.

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Using Accounting Software for Food Hubs: Processing Traceable Orders (LF 0009) October 2015, Savanna Lyons. Quickbooks™ is the software most commonly used by food aggregators and distributors, yet many struggle to maximize its features to benefit their operations. Based on an actual Iowa food hub, this tutorial takes a step by step approach, guiding users to expand their use of QuickBooks™ to improve product traceability, accounting, basic inventory management and record-keeping. Using QuickBooks™ in combination with Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and a few other low-cost tools can provide an effective, low cost solution for data management. 32 pp.

Local Food Organizational Toolkitlocal food org (LF 0008A-C) October 2015, Savanna Lyons et al. This toolkit offers the business and financial elements of starting and coordinating a local foods organization in Iowa. It is applicable to farmers markets, advocacy groups, coalitions and multi-stakeholder groups, food hubs, educational and civic groups, food policy councils, farmer cooperatives and others. It is divided into three parts:

Local Food Organizational Toolkit Part 1 (LF 0008A): Defining your organization’s focus and leadership (24 pp.)
Local Food Organizational Toolkit – Part 2 (LF 0008B): Organizational structure (22 pp.)
Local Food Organizational Toolkit – Part 3 (LF 0008C): Funding your local food organization (32 pp.)

Agricultural Urbanism ToolkitAg urbanism TK (LF 0007) July 2015, Courtney Long. A resource for communities to learn about Agricultural Urbanism and the tactics used to develop local food systems. It can be used as a full book or portions can be downloaded for specific tactics. In the booklet you will find an overview of Agricultural Urbanism as a design strategy as well as a brief synopsis of the Community Design Lab’s Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit design process and its role in local food system development. 102 pp.

beginning farmersResource Guide for Beginning Farmers (LF 0006) July 2015, Alice Topaloff, et al.This is a resource for people interested in hosting a farmer training program (incubator or other) and it includes a curriculum that is divided into three parts: production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning/basic finances. 48 pp.

LF 0005Local Food System Toolkit #2: Managing Cash Flow for a Low-Capital Food Hub Startup (LF 0005) June 2015, Savanna Lyons, Nick McCann, Georgeanne Artz. This toolkit explains the idea of cash flow and how food hub managers can use it to their advantage. 8 pp.


Iowa CSAIowa CSA Farms – 2015 Directory, April 2015, Savanna Lyons. This directory lists 88 community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprises serving Iowa. 11 pp.

2015-02-food-hub-development-iowaFood Hub Development in Iowa, Arlene Enderton and Corry Bregendahl, February 2014. This is the first coordinated study of food hub development in Iowa. 25 pp.

014224_LSupporting Local Food System Development In Your Community (LF 0002) January 2015, Ahna Kruzic and Corry Bregendahl, This toolkit offers guidance in helping organize and promote the development of a local food system in your community.4 pp.

LF 0001Local Food Coordinators (LF 0001) August 2014, Alice Topaloff, Craig Chase. Local Food Coordinators support the development of local food systems by bringing participants together and increasing community awareness through educational and promotional marketing. This publication provides resources to groups and organizations who are developing a local foods coordinator position, complete with a position description. 6 pp.

Publications released in 2014 and before

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