Farm, Food and Enterprise Development

The mission of the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development team is to support value-added agriculture enterprises, businesses, and regional food systems through research, education, and community engagement. 

Small Farm Sustainability

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program in Small Farm Sustainability exists to open the door to relationships and resources relevant to the pursuit of sustainability for Iowa’s smaller-scale, entrepreneurial farm enterprises. By sharing science-based information, providing program leadership, and facilitating collaboration, we will promote planning and profit potential in specialty ag ventures that tend to increase stewardship, diversity, and resilience on the Iowa farmscape.

Visit Iowa Farms

Agritourism is booming in Iowa. Visit Iowa Farms keeps a directory of Iowa farms to visit such as Christmas tree farms, orchards, vineyards, dairies, pumpkin patches and many others.

Community Food Systems

The Community Food Systems (CFS) program is a multi-phased, multi-year program. This program partners with communities to develop and design their local and regional food systems. Devoted to long-term community empowerment and lasting impacts, the program requires deep community engagement over two phases.

Phase One: Research and Coalition Development

  • Develops trust within communities and generates a place-based coalition name, vision, mission and core values
  • Assesses existing conditions and goals of the food systems
  • Determines priority projects through a facilitated evaluation meeting

Phase Two: Design and Implementation

  • Designs priority projects as a project team
  • Creates momentum, capacity for program development and implementation of projects

Enterprise Development

The Enterprise Development team supports small businesses and start-ups around Iowa with a complete range of services, turning initial ideas into successful businesses.



Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and business start-ups.


Feasibility studies, entrepreneurship training, certified business appraisals, business plan assistance, feasibility snapshots, and business and financial consultations.