Free Food Systems Certifications Offered Aug. 14-16 in Ames

ISU Extension and Outreach Community Food Systems Program and AgMRC to sponsor

June 26, 2019, 9:21 am | Courtney Long, Emily Paull

food systems practitioners.AMES, Iowa – Registration is now open for two food systems trainings offered free in August. Food systems practitioners such as local food coordinators, food policy council members and others can take these certifications at no charge, thanks to a grant from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Resource Center located at Iowa State University.

  • Local Food Leader training and certification will be held Wednesday, Aug. 14. Registration will be capped at 40.
  • Community Food Systems training and certification is Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15-16. Registration will be capped at 20.

Both trainings will take place at the ISU Research Park in Ames. Registration is first-come, first-served and can be completed online. The Community Food Systems Program team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will lead both trainings. Since 2015, the team has conducted trainings for groups in many U.S. states, including Iowa, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Local Food Leader is a foundational practice certification that builds capacity for individual engagement within the food system. The certification develops individual skills, including building trust, facilitation, knowledge of the food system, evaluation techniques, leadership, plan of work development and professional development plans.

Community Food Systems is a process-based certification that increases capacity for food system practitioners to work in and develop food systems. This certification equips participants in various skill sets and facilitation methods, as well as team-building. Participants will develop different strategies for decision-making. They will gain the ability to bring projects from thinking to project implementation for reaching systems-based goals.

Registering for either of these courses entitles participants to a half-price discount on the accompanying online certification course modules, available on the ISU Extension Store at a regular price of $300.

This program is a collaboration of the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development and Community and Economic Development Programs of ISU Extension and Outreach.


Photo: The ISU Extension and Outreach Community Food Systems Program piloted its national Local Food Leader training and certification with food systems practitioners in North Carolina in 2018. Kaley Hohenshell photo.


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