Community Food Systems Certification to Begin April 24

Registration open now through April 17; scholarships available through April 10

March 8, 2023, 12:35 pm | Kaley Hohenshell

AMES, Iowa – The food systems team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering Food Systems Certification workshops beginning April 24.

The Food Systems Certification is intended for experienced local food system practitioners looking for new skills to work with various communities in the development of their place-based community food system, with resources to both engage and complete projects relating to systemic community food system change. The course is taught through virtual workshops and online modules.

Community food systems graphic.The workshops center around activities and networking with colleagues to learn a framework for community food systems development with a focus on building facilitation skills for establishing coalitions, public input session best practices, conducting community food systems assessments, project prioritization methods, evaluation techniques and project management and development skills.

“This course helped me build facilitation skills that have greatly impacted my efforts to lead the process of developing a regional food access action plan,” said Kaylie Lake, a 2022 scholarship recipient. “I learned how to work across sectors as well as about prioritization methods for projects, which will help greatly as we begin our coalition development this year. Learning not just about facilitation methods, but also about economic impact models and design thinking methods has prepared me to be a better project manager.”

The online modules offer intensive curriculum around related topics including visioning, mapping for decision-making, community food system assessment design and best practices, tools for project management and implementation, program and systems evaluation methods, feasibility studies, economic impact and design thinking. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems.

There are two different options for engagement in the Virtual Community Food Systems certification:

The next class cohort begins April 24 and runs through Nov. 20. A limited number of scholarships are available. Those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate of completion.

Fill out a scholarship form online. More information about the course syllabus and course schedule is also available online.

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