For producers and food-related businesses

Looking for information about producing food in the local food system?
Click on any of the following topics to learn more.


Production practices and farmer profitability. This page will cover a wide variety of topics from sustainable farming practices to business planning.

Business planning is an important part of owning and managing a farm. This process is necessary to evaluate production alternatives, identify new market opportunities, and communicate their ideas to lenders or business partners.

Beginning farmers and training programs. Resources for beginning or aspiring farmers in Iowa. Find fact sheets, contact information, or networks to connect with and support your new business.

Urban farming practicesFind more information about farming practices in urban areas (rooftop gardening, vertical gardens, maximizing small spaces, etc.).


Exploring Opportunities to Diversify Your Farm (webinar presented by Emily Coll of ISU FFED and Ed Kordick of Iowa Farm Bureau. Recorded live 11/19/18).
Section 1 (29″). Section 2 (30″).

Agritourism for farmers  Considering diversifying your operation to include agritourism? Find information about business planning, legal and liability considerations, marketing and more.


Selling local food directly to consumers Information about regulations and marketing local food direct to consumers (farmers markets, CSAs, farm stands),

Selling local food through intermediaries Information about regulations and marketing local food through intermediary markets such as food hubs, grocery stores, institutions (schools, hospitals, wholesale), etc.

Food hubs Food hubs provide important services for small and mid-sized farmers by marketing local products, brokering volume sales, coordinating distribution logistics, and helping producers meet industry requirements in areas such as food safety and packaging. Find information about food hubs and the current research we are doing here.

Processing food This page gathers information for producers who want to process food on farm, through a food enterprise center, shared-use kitchen, etc.

Policies, regulations, and funding

Food safety This page will help you navigate through the network of policy and regulations that affect local food producers, in particular concerning food safety issues. You will also find contact information for specialists in your area.

Policies for local food farmers Find information about policies supporting local food production and sale.

Grants and other funding sources Accessing capital is one of the major challenges for local food farmers. Find information about grant and other resources geared towards local food producers.

10 things to know about local food systems

509 122
ISU’s Sustainable Agriculture 509 class

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