Resources

 

Agriculture & Value-Added Processing
  • Beginning Farmer Tutorials (videos, publications), NCAT ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture. Learn management skills necessary to operate a successful, sustainable farm business.
  • Farmers Markets Wireless EBT Project (publication), Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. This project provides wireless point-of-sale machines to qualified direct marketing farmers across the state. Find more information and how to become a qualified vendor.
  • Grower's Manual: A Template for Grower Cooperatives (publication), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. This publication serves as a model for cooperatives and regional food systems working groups.
  • Horticulture Crop Enterprise Budgets (webinar), Iowa Farm Bureau. This webinar discusses enterprise budgets, including examples, and shares how budgets are different than whole farm financial records.
  • Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Production Budgets (downloadable spreadsheets), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Use these decision tools to estimate the costs and returns for fruit and vegetable production. Budgets for multiple products are available.
  • Iowa High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Production Manual (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This publication provides growers with information to use high tunnels effectively, enhance productivity and increase income.
  • Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing farm machinery for fruit and vegetable production.
  • Post-Harvest Handling Decision Tool (publication), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. This publication outlines post-harvest equipment, packing facility and handling procedures for eight classes of vegetables.
  • A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. People interested in hosting a farmer training program will find resources useful to teach a Beginning Farmer Training program. Includes curriculum on production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning/basic finances.
  • Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets (publication), NCAT ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture. This publication helps farmers decide if they are ready to expand their operations to serve wholesale markets or product more for direct markets.
  • Shared use Kitchen Planning Toolkit (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. A guide to starting shared-use kitchens as an affordable venue for new and existing value-added food production entrepreneurs, farmers and caterers. 
  • Vegetable Production Budgets for a High Tunnel (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Figure high tunnel profitability for vegetable production with the systems and budgets described in this publication.

Organizations

  • Ag Decision Maker, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. An agricultural economics and business website for farm business decisions.
  • AgPlan, Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota. An easy business plan app to develop your own business plan, learn what you need to include in your plan with tips and resources, view sample plans for ideas, and share your plan. 
  • Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMrc). A national information resource for value-added agriculture. Includes resources for commodities and products, business development, food industry and renewable energy.
  • Beginning Farmer Center, Iowa State University. Provides educational resources and programming for new farmers and their professional advisors.
  • Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals & Licensing (DIAL). A multifaceted regulatory agency charged with protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Iowans. 
  • Iowa Kitchen Connect, Iowa Valley RC&D. This site links entrepreneurs with commercial kitchens in Iowa.
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University. Identifies and develops new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts. 
  • Global Greens, Lutheran Services in Iowa. This program reconnects former refugee farmers with the land as they build their new life in the U.S. Farmers access space to grow food, learn more about U.S. agriculture, and start their own business by selling produce through the LSI farmers market and CSA. 
  • Organic Farming Resources, Marbleseed. Formerly known as the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), Marbleseed works in community with the Midwest's regenerative and organic farmers. Find organic farming resources designed and informed by specialists. 
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa. An inclusive organization representing a diversity of farmers whose mission is equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities. 
  • Safe Produce, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University. Provides science-based research knowledge in food safety and good agricultural practices to educate and assist people with standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fruits and vegetables safe for human consumption.
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Offers farmer-driven, grassroots grants and education programs. SARE operates in every state and island protectorate. 
  • Sustainable Vegetable Production, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Lab that focuses on developing strategies that enhance crop production, soil health, and cropping system profitability in vegetable cropping systems in Iowa.
  • Veterans in Agriculture. Assists military veterans to develop, grow and succeed as Iowa's next generation of farmers and agribusiness leaders. Connects military veterans with resources and networks of information. 
Aggregation, Distribution & Marketing

Organizations

  • Food Safety, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Find trainings, resources, and programs on food safety. 
  • Iowa MarketMaker. An interactive e-commerce platform that provides food marketing information to food entrepreneurs and their customers. Find products and services across the food system. 
Equity
  • Action for Equity and Inclusion, FoodCorps. This site shares FoodCorps' commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion and includes additional resources. 
  • An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System (publication), Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. This provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food systems for the food system practitioner, researcher, educator, and advocate.
  • National Equity Atlas, PolicyLink and USC Equity Research Institute. America's most detailed report card on racial and economic equity. They equip movement leaders and policymakers with actionable data and strategies to advance racial equity and shared prosperity.
  • 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, Food Solutions New England. This annual challenge deepens your understanding, and willingness to confront, racism for twenty-one consecutive days.

Organizations

  • We All Count is a project to increase equity in data science. This site includes resources, tools, a forum, and information on their data equity framework.
Evaluation
  • Beginning Farmer Program Evaluation Resource Library, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. Compilation of materials to assist beginning farmer and rancher training programs to conduct evaluation.
  • Collective Impact (publication), Stanford Social Innovation Review. This publication discusses collective impact and how large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination. 
  • The Step by Step Guide to Evaluation (publication), W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Discusses how to approach evaluation, what methodologies to use and when, why community engagement and racial equity are key to the process, and how to share your findings.
  • Tools to Evaluate Your Coalition (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. A series of publications that introduce the importance of coalitions, how to develop coalitions, what to do when coalitions have been established and how to evaluate mature coalitions.
  • Value Chain Coordination Evaluation Framework (publication), Food Systems Leadership Network. This framework helps focus and clarify how to evaluate value chain coordination and effectively document the impact. Includes an evaluation guide and evaluation template.
Farm to School and Early Care

Organizations

FoodCorps partners with schools and communities to nourish kids' health, education, and sense of belonging. Use this site to search for partner sites and opportunities in your area. 

Food Access
  • Community Donation Gardening Toolkit (publication), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Farm, Food and Enterprise Development. This toolkit is for community gardeners who are sharing or plan to share produce with neighborhood and community partners to address food insecurity in their local communities.
  • Cultivate Iowa Resources, Iowa Food Bank Association, Feeding Iowa. Shares benefits of food gardening and produce donation, including a marketing guide and downloadable marketing materials. 
  • Food Insecurity in Graduate School: Resources and Support, Online Master's Degree. This guide shares resources and support for students in need of help in relation to food insecurity.
  • Gleaning Toolkit (publication), USDA. This publication includes an introduction to gleaning, how to start a gleaning program, gleaning and United We Serve, and sources for further information.
  • Iowa Double Up Food Bucks, Healthiest State Initiative. Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) increases access to healthy food, supports Iowa farmers and keeps dollars in the local economy. Find information on how to participate and find participating locations in Iowa.
  • List of Participating Farmers Markets In Iowa's Wireless EBT Project (publication), Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Find farmers markets in Iowa that accept SNAP EBT as payment. 
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Find information on eligibility and how to apply.
  • SNAP Guide for Farmers Markets, Farmers Market Coalition. A step-by-step guide to assessing your market's needs, implementing SNAP and attracting customers.

Organizations

  • Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC). An interfaith organization with a mission of working together to meet basic human needs for the greater Des Moines community, including managing a Food Pantry Network.
  • Food Bank of Iowa. Food Bank of Iowa aggregates and distributes food to those in need and cover 55 counties across Iowa.
  • Growing Together Iowa, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Master Gardener Program. Growing Together Iowa is a donation garden project that increases access to fruits and vegetables, promotes healthy food access, and provides nutrition and gardening education to individuals who are food insecure.
  • Wholesome Wave is fighting nutrition insecurity across the US by developing and deploying programs, platforms, and seed funding to help a network of community-based organizations address the lack of affordability and access to healthy food. 
Food Systems

Organizations

  • Iowa Farmers Market Association. Educates the public about the many benefits of locally-grown, fresh food; promoting farmers markets and continuing education for market managers and vendors.
  • Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD). A peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal focused solely on food- and farming-related community development.
  • Local Food Economics, eXtension. A Community of Practice to help you and your community understand the ag and food enterprise viability, market dynamics and other key socio-economics metrics of local and regional food systems.
Funding & Grants
  • Brownfields Program, Environmental Protection Agency. Provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse contaminated properties.
  • Choose Iowa Value-Added Grants, Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship. exist to identify, evaluate and financially support programs and services that add value to agricultural products, enable new technologies and support alternative marketing strategies.
  • Farm Bill Programs & Grants, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. A quick guide to federal farm and food-related programs and grants.
  • Iowa Finance Authority Beginning Farmer Programs, Iowa Agricultural Development Division. Assists new farmers in acquiring farmland, buildings, machinery, equipment or breeding livestock at reduced interest rates.
  • USDA Rural Development Loan & Grant Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations.
  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Grants, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lists all Agricultural Marketing Service grants programs that support a variety of agricultural activities.
  • SARE Grants, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. SARE offers competitive grants to fund research and education projects that advance sustainable agricultural practices in the United States.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Grants. Provides limited small business grants and grants to state and eligible community organizations to promote entrepreneurship. 

Organizations

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Manages Iowa's land stewardship and agriculture programs for the good of both city and rural Iowa residents. Shares news releases on various grant programs and funding opportunities.

Local Food Directories
  • Directory, Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association. Interactive map to search for local foods available in Iowa by location or category.
  • Find Local Food, Healthy Harvest of North Iowa. Search for farmers markets and local foods by category, product, or practice. 
  • Find Local Food, University of Iowa Local Food Program. Search by food type, county, or provider type. Includes a printable local food directory.
  • Flavors of Northwest Iowa, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Regional network for local food producers and consumers that provides producer education and consumer information. Search by location, county, or type for local foods. 
  • Food Systems Practitioner and Education Resource Database AgMrc. National database for practitioners and educational resources in food systems, including an interactive map.
  • Iowa MarketMaker. Find products and services across Iowa, search by map or type. 
  • Iowa Organic Resource Directory, Iowa Organic Association. Provides organic and transitioning farmers resources and includes a downloadable directory.
  • Iowa Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Directory, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Statewide directory for CSA farms serving Iowa.
  • Iowa Food Hub Directory, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Statewide directory for businesses and organizations that aggregate, distribute, and market local food products for buyers and producers.
  • Practical Farmers' Local Food Directory, Practical Farmers of Iowa. Find PFI farmers offering local foods by name, cities served, or product.
  • Visit Iowa Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Directory of agritourism operations. Search by location, county, or adventure type.

Organizations

Field to Family works to create a more local, healthy and sustainable food system. Includes an online farmers market, wholesale procurement, and local food explorer. 

Policy & Regulations

Organizations

Statewide Local Food Directories

Questions?

For questions or to request adding a resource to this page, please contact our office at contactffed@iastate.edu