Program Evaluation Tool to Help Iowa Local Foods Practitioners

Question Keeper survey database available free for one year

November 22, 2016, 2:16 pm | Alice Topaloff

Dubuque Food-Co-Op ScaleAMES, Iowa  –  A growing number of individuals and organizations across Iowa are working hard to meet the increased consumer demand for healthy, locally produced foods. But how do they know whether their projects and programs are accomplishing their goals? A new tool developed by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program can help.

“Over the years, the Leopold Center and Local Foods Program evaluators at Iowa State have received countless requests for help building evaluation surveys and questionnaires from a variety of groups and partners,” said Alice Topaloff, program assistant with ISU Extension and Outreach.

In response, Topaloff and her fellow evaluator, ISU extension program coordinator Arlene Enderton, have developed Question Keeper: an online tool that allows users to quickly sort through a large database of field-tested survey questions to build their own questionnaires and other evaluation tools. This tool is available for free during its first year of implementation.

“The overall purpose is to enable everyone working in the area of food systems do their own evaluation,” Enderton said. “Users are free to modify the tools they generate in Question Keeper to match their own situation.” The surveys and questions were developed by Local Foods Program staff and partners.

To learn more or create an account, visit:, and to watch a video tutorial, go to

[PHOTO] Scale at the Dubuque Food Cooperative. Hannah M. Fisher photo.

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