Selling Local Food – Direct to Consumer

Direct to consumer marketing outlets are venues or practices used by producers to sell products directly to their end consumers. For farmers, these include Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs), farmers markets, agritourism operations and online marketplaces.


Community Supported Agriculture

If you are a CSA farmer selling to consumers in Iowa, you can sign up to be listed in our statewide CSA directory.

USDA National Agricultural Library. Find a list of CSA Resources for Farmers compiled by the National Agricultural Library.

Farmers markets

National Farmers Market Coalition – Resource Library. Excellent library of resources geared mainly towards farmers market managers, but contains resources for farmers as well.


Agritourism describes the act of visiting a working farm to enjoy, be educated or be involved in activities.

Visit Iowa Farms (ISU Extension and Outreach)
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
AgMRC’s curriculum (see especially Unit 1: Agritourism) offeres a list of worksheets that will help you go through the process of planning your Agritourism enterprise: evaluate the market (are there other agritourism enterprises in your area?), list your comparative advantages, disadvantages, and plan your sales pitch.

Direct-to-consumer marketing regulations

Marketing Local Foods in Iowa (publications FS 15-25, ISU Extension Store)

The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing – Drake Agricultural Law Center. This online resource is probably the most comprehensive guide on Iowa legal issues in retail agriculture. Find information on a wide variety of topics, such as farmer’s markets regulations, land use and property law, labor and employment, insurance and liability, marketing processed products, important contacts etc.

Sign up to be listed on a directory for consumers and buyers to find you!

  • Iowa CSA Directory: List your farm in the statewide CSA directory maintained on this web page by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
  • Iowa Food Hub Directory: Food hubs can list their service areas and available services on this web page from ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Market Maker: List your farm in this searchable database, so that customers interested in agritourism, farmers markets, or to other direct-to-consumer venues can find you.

Useful Contacts

Leigh Adcock – Communications Specialist, FFED

Leigh maintains and updates the statewide Community Supported Agriculture directory and the Iowa Food Hub directory.

Emily Coll – Program Coordinator, FFED

Emily coordinates the MarketReady program to help producers manage risk and explore diversification opportunities.

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