Local Food and Farm Initiative (LFFI) reports
Recognizing the increasing importance and potential benefits of developing local food systems statewide, the Iowa Legislature asked the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU to develop an “actionable” plan to create a more vibrant local food economy. The Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan was developed in 2010, with input from more than 1,000 Iowans.
The resulting document offered 29 recommendations, organized into these six sections:
- Business Development and Financial Assistance
- Food Safety
- Beginning, Minority, and Transitioning Farmers
- Assessing Progress
- Local Food Incentives
The Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan was presented to the Iowa legislature in January 2011. That July, legislators approved funds in the agriculture and natural resources budget to establish the Local Food and Farm Initiative (LFFI) (SF‐509).
Purpose and focus
The purpose of this Initiative is to “empower farmers and food entrepreneurs to provide for strong local food economies that promote self‐sufficiency and job growth in the agricultural sector and allied sectors of the economy.”
Many other partners are working successfully on Processing, Food Safety, and Assessing Progress. So the Local Food and Farm Initiative focused on Business Development and Financial Assistance; Beginning, Minority, and Transitioning Farmers; and Local Food Incentives.
The work continues with renewed annual support and funding from the state legislature.
The goals of this program are to:
- Promote the expansion of the production of local foods, including the production, processing, distribution and marketing of Iowa products.
- Increase consumer and institutional spending on Iowa-produced and marketed foods.
- Increase the profitability of farmers and businesses engaged in enterprises related to producing, processing, distributing and marketing local food.
- Increase the number of jobs in this state’s farm and business economies associated with producing, processing, distributing and marketing local food.
The Local Food and Farm Program is a collaboration among the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, ISU Extension and Outreach, ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
Each year, we report on Local Food and Farm Program activities to the legislature. You can read our LFFI reports to date at the links below. For more information, contact our program manager, Craig Chase, at firstname.lastname@example.org.