Extension to Develop National Food Systems Curriculum Web Portal

Phase 2 of project will support training needs for US food systems practioners

October 16, 2020, 11:29 am | Courtney Long

AMES, Iowa – A new cooperative agreement between USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development supports development of a web portal to highlight existing curricula, resources and tools to support food systems practitioners across the country. 

food systems group.This agreement builds on work completed in 2019 through an initial AMS project led by FFED’s food systems team. The members worked with 30 partners nationwide to understand and identify core competencies for food systems practitioners. The project included multiple facilitated conversations as well as two national surveys to understand key areas and topics within local and regional food systems development nationwide.

“Vibrant local and regional food systems are more crucial now than ever, as the pandemic disrupts our globalized food supply chain,” said Courtney Long, program manager for farm, food and enterprise development with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Many people are engaged in supporting this work in communities of all sizes around the U.S. They frequently express a need for tools to identify professional development opportunities that can help them do their work more effectively.”

The project team identified nine core competencies and several sub-competencies across the food system. They range from equity and community capacity to leadership and evaluation. The summary is available online.

This led to research and identification of existing trainings and curricula.

Phase two of the project began in September 2020. Partners will develop an online web portal managed through Iowa State’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC), with a home page on Colorado State University’s Local Food Economics website. A core team of national partners will develop the web portal and an outreach plan to engage practitioners across the US.  

Learn more about this ongoing work on the Community Food Systems Program web page

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