Businesses across the state are trying new and innovative strategies to remain open and continue to serve Iowans. Farms and food businesses are also stepping up to meet the demand for local food products. Many farmers markets are moving to online sales and virtual options to continue to support customers and vendors in this trying time (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development (FFED); 2020).
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community Food Systems program staff worked hard this summer to transition the Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings and certifications to a virtual format.
Early September marked the launch of virtual Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems Certifications. Both certifications were sold out with cohorts of 16 for Local Food Leader and 21 for Community Food Systems. Each course incorporates a dual-format curriculum with virtual workshops through Zoom and an online course within Moodle.
ISU Local Food Leader training program is for anyone interested in food systems development and collaboration.