ISU Extension and Outreach Offers Next Online Local Food Leader Certification Beginning June 5

Registration open now through May 29; scholarships available through May 24

April 30, 2024, 1:45 pm | Kaley Hohenshell

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University is hosting the next virtual Local Food Leader certification this summer. This certification is intended for beginning local food practitioners, although it is open for anyone who is interested in food systems development and collaboration. The certification teaches several foundational competencies critical to successful involvement in community food systems development through virtual learning circles and online modules.

Local Food Leader Save the Date.The Summer 2024 cohort begins on June 5 and runs through Aug. 14.            

The workshop includes topic areas of equity in food systems, food systems frameworks and common language, working in food systems, facilitation and coordination, evaluation and professional development. The online modules offer intensive curriculum including leadership in food systems, intentional methods for inclusive and diverse engagement, tools for project research, implementation and funding, and program and project evaluation.

In addition to the Local Food Leader workshop curriculum, participation is offered in the Intercultural Development Inventory. IDI assesses individuals' and groups’ mindset toward cultural differences and similarities. The IDI training provides a snapshot of individuals’ or groups’ approach to cultural differences and commonalities, and includes an individual assessment, profile report and one-on-one debrief to develop an individual development plan. Engagement in this guided conversation can provide powerful insights to one’s strengths and developmental opportunities for more effective engagement across differences. IDI is offered as an optional add-on to Local Food Leader.

Options for engagement in the Local Food Leader 101 certification include: 

  1. LFL 101: Five facilitated learning circles with online lessons in-between, over the course of 10 weeks. Cost is $125.
  2. LFL 101 + 201 Bundle: Five facilitated virtual sessions with online lessons in-between, over the course of 10 weeks (same as LFL 101) + access to four online modules. Cost is $400.
  3. Intercultural Development Inventory: Individual assessment, group debrief session as an addition to the food systems equity lesson in LFL 101/LFL Bundle, and individual debrief with IDI facilitators. Cost is $50 in addition to regular fees (LFL 101 $175/LFL Bundle $450).

Registration is open online through May 29.

A limited number of scholarships are available through May 24. The scholarship form is available online.

Those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate of completion and will have an opportunity to become a trainer and deliver the curriculum in their own communities. See more information about the course, syllabus and schedule.

A past participant noted, "Having the opportunity to participate in the Local Food Leader 101 class not only allowed me to meet with others across the country who share the same passion for local food in our community but it also gave me multiple insights on how to navigate our food systems, increase awareness, approach projects, and implement strategies with our work. It was a wonderful experience!"

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