Community Food Systems Annual Event to Focus on Impacts of COVID-19

Community food systems annual conference planned for Feb. 24 and 25 in West Des Moines

February 16, 2022, 1:47 pm | Breanna Miller

AMES, Iowa – The 2022 edition of the Community Food Systems Annual Event will focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies for moving food systems forward.

The annual gathering of food systems practitioners will be held Feb. 24-25 at the West Des Moines Marriott in West Des Moines. The goal of the conference is to lift up best practices in community food systems around Iowa and the nation.

“The conference is an excellent learning and networking opportunity for anyone who works in or is interested in food systems,” said Bre Miller, education specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “We are excited to hold the event in person this year, with a special focus on lessons learned from COVID and how we can improve our food systems and be more resilient into the future.” 

The main day of the conference, Feb. 25, will feature a keynote address by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on the topic of Iowa food and farm systems. Other sessions will cover producer response to COVID-19, food access, food system resiliency and the findings of the Iowa Farm to Table Taskforce.

A special networking event will take place the evening of Thursday, Feb. 24, from 5:30-7 p.m. (also at West Des Moines Marriott). Participants can network with other food systems practitioners, meet conference presenters and learn about the sponsoring organizations.

Event organizers are also partnering with the Iowa Food System Coalition and will be hosting a public input session. Stop by to share your thoughts on Iowa’s food system and learn about existing food system resources in Iowa. Appetizers, drinks and a cash bar will be available.

For in-person attendance, register at All in-person attendees will have the opportunity to attend the open social gathering Thursday evening (Feb. 24) to network with other food systems practitioners and professionals, presenters, and pre-workshop participants. Registration cost is $80.

For those unable to attend in person, post-conference recordings will be available at the rate of $25. Registrants will receive access to recordings of all conference sessions, which will be distributed after the conference. For more information and to register, email Bre Miller, conference coordinator, at

The West Des Moines Marriott is located at 1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines.

Photo credit: Woman selecting produce, by Uriel Mont/

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