Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Resources

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.

Food Safety Training

The Safe Produce team helps growers and industry professionals prepare for and comply with FDA’s FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Produce Safety Rule through the following services: produce safety alliance trainings; on-farm readiness reviews; assistance in farm food safety plans; education, outreach and technical assistance; and legislative and policy research. 


The MarketReady program educates producers on how to effectively enter wholesale, retail, and institutional markets. This program addresses the market development risks and relationships farmers and ranchers need to manage as they plan to scale up successfully.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program provides travel scholarships, mini-grants and professional development opportunities for ISU Extension and Outreach personnel. Larger SARE grants are available, and are promoted through workshops, information booths, and sponsorships at relevant conferences.

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center exists to provide value-added agriculture information to producers and service providers nationally. The site offers profiles of value-added opportunities and directories of consultants.

Community Food Systems Program 

The Community Food Systems program is a multi-phased, three-year consultation and partnership with communities to develop and design their local and regional food system. The program is designed to develop trust and coalitions, research and assess existing conditions and goals of the health and food system context, and design and implement priority projects related to the coalition’s mission and vision.

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.