Our mission at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Farm, Food and Enterprise Development is to support value-added agriculture enterprises, small farms, and regional food systems through research, education, and community engagement.


The Enterprise Development Team supports small businesses and start-ups around Iowa, turning initial ideas into successful businesses.

The Food Systems Team supports the development of thriving local food systems across Iowa, in partnership with county extension and many other community collaborators.

The Small Farms Team provides outreach to rural Iowans to connect them with relevant agricultural resources and programs.

Annual Events

Learn more about our annual events and conferences.

The Community Food Systems + Farm to School and Early Care Conference is an annual event hosted by the Food Systems Team. This conference supports our partners, promotes collaboration, education, networking, and creativity for collaborative food systems and farm to school and early care projects in communities. 

Iowa Local Food Day coincides with the National Farm to School Month in October and celebrates local foods in schools and early care sites. This event is hosted by the Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Coalition, who have designated the fourth Wednesday of September as Iowa Local Food Day to kick-off the celebration!

The ISU Local Food Festival is an annual celebration of local food and healthy living. This event centers around incorporating local foods into your daily meals, empowering healthy lifestyles, and sustainability-focused activities to engage students, faculty and staff to make connections with Ames and nearby communities. 

An educational event for Midwest specialty crop producers to gather, network, and grow in knowledge and experience. This conference is hosted by Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association, ISU Extension and Outreach, and Iowa Wine Growers Association

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) 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. Visit the AgMRC website to learn more.



A man and child stand in an agriculture field at sunset

Enterprise Development

"The services provided to us through the Enterprise Development Team have been invaluable as we contemplate an expansion plan. We would not be moving ahead had it not been for their expert help." 

- Shaughn and Jerry Roorda, Owners, In't Veld's Meat Market, Pella, Iowa

Dairy cows in a field

 Small Farms Team

"The Farm Emergency Preparedness training we received from the Small Farms Team encouraged us to finally get a SafeShed that is a place for us, our employees, and our farm visitors to safely go in case of a tornado."

- Lynn Bolin, Co-owner, New Day Dairy, Clarksville, Iowa

A young child waters a garden

   Food Systems Team 

"Design assistance from the Food Systems Team helped us strengthen our relationships with local schools. They helped our partner schools visualize all the possibilities of implementing farm to school, and make a decision that was right for their needs." 

- Kate Olson, Program Coordinator, Cass County Extension