Virtual food systems certifications offered online

July 22, 2020

These workshops are now fully enrolled. Please stay tuned for an announcement of our next virtual session.

Our Food Systems Team has worked hard this summer to transition the Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings and certifications to a virtual format.

Beginning in September, these four popular professional development opportunities for food systems practitioners will be available online. Learn more and sign up at the links below!

A limited number of scholarships are available for each course. Links to these are provided below with each course description, along with schedules and registration links.

Questions? Contact Kaley Hohenshell.


Local Food Leader

The Virtual Local Food Leader Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Local Food Leader online modules. This certification program takes four months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Local Food Leader. Cost is $375. This fall’s course begins September 1, 2020, and ends January 5, 2021.

The Local Food Leader Certification teaches foundational competencies critical for successful food systems development through integrated virtual workshops and four online modules. These include equity in food systems, working in food systems, facilitation and coordination, evaluation and professional development. The online modules offer intensive curriculum including community food systems overview, methods of engagement and leadership, creating teams and tools for success, and evaluation.


Community Food Systems

The Virtual Community Food Systems Full Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Community Food System online modules. This certification program takes eight months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems. Cost is $600. This year’s course begins September 15, 2020, and ends March 23, 2021.

The Community Food Systems Full Certification is a process-based certification that increases capacity for food systems practitioners to work within community and develop food systems. The virtual workshops center around activities and networking with colleagues to learn a new framework for community food systems development.

They focus on building new skills for facilitation and developing vision, mission and core values, tools for conducting community food systems assessments, prioritization methods, evaluation techniques and project management and development.

The online modules offer intensive curriculum around visioning and implementation, conducting community food systems assessments and mapping for decision-making, tools for project management and evaluation, feasibility studies, economic impact and design thinking.


CFS Facilitator

The Virtual Community Food Systems Facilitator Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Community Food System Facilitator online modules. This certification program takes six months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems Facilitator Certification. Cost is $425.

The Community Food Systems Facilitator Certification is a process-based certification that increases capacity for food systems practitioners to work within community and develop food systems. The virtual workshops center around activities and networking with colleagues to learn the facilitation components of the Community Food Systems process within Phase 1 and Phase 2. This includes determining mission, vision and core values, assisting in public input sessions and interviews, creating teams for projects, and working with technical assistance providers.


CFS Assessor

The Virtual Community Food Systems Assessor Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Community Food System Assessor online modules. This certification program takes four months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems Assessor Certification. Cost is $325.

The Community Food Systems Assessor Certification is a process-based certification that increases capacity for food systems practitioners to work within community and develop food systems. The virtual workshops center around activities and networking with colleagues to learn the assessor components of the Community Food Systems process within Phase 1.

They also include technical assistance related to research and mapping, including community food systems assessments, snapshots, and research manuals, as well as developing maps for decision-making.


Learn more about the history and focus of the ISU Community Food Systems program.