Publications and Trainings Help Local Foods Producers Navigate Regulations

Flowcharts in publication series and reviewed at trainings provide information on how to market local foods in Iowa

January 19, 2018, 10:12 am | Linda Naeve, Shannon M. Coleman

AMES, Iowa – Marketing crops can be a challenge for local food producers. There are state licenses that must be obtained for some foods, and regulations to follow.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has created a series of flowcharts to help producers market their food crops, while also guiding them to the appropriate agencies or departments for regulations, certifications or licenses needed to comply with state rules.

RaspberriesThis series of publications, titled “Marketing Local Foods in Iowa” (FS 15-25) includes information on red meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, eggs, low acid and fermented foods, fruit and vegetable juice, fruits and vegetables (cut and whole), honey and maple syrup, and jams, jellies and preserves.

“These publications do not tell producers how to market their crops, but guide them through rules and regulations they may be required to meet,” said Linda Naeve, program specialist with Value Added Agriculture at ISU Extension and Outreach. “Direct-to-consumer regulations may be completely different from wholesale market requirements. These publications give them a guide to the information they will need.”

The publications will be especially helpful to growers who will be participating in ISU Extension and Outreach’s Food Safety and Iowa Regulation Training. These workshops will address Iowa regulations and licensing, as well as food safety from preparation to the point-of-sale.

Five training sessions are scheduled.

  • Feb. 3 – ISU Extension and Outreach Buena Vista County office; Storm Lake, Iowa
  • Feb. 10 – ISU Extension and Outreach Cass County office; Atlantic, Iowa
  • March 3 – ISU Extension and Outreach Washington County office; Washington, Iowa
  • March 10 – St. Paul’s Methodist Church; Waterloo, Iowa
  • March 31 – Iowa State University Food Science Building; Ames, Iowa

“We cover Iowa’s laws and regulations in the training sessions, which are also covered in the flowcharts,” said Shannon Coleman, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach specialist at Iowa State. “At the training sessions we will break down the laws into laymen’s terms so those rules and regulations can be understood by producers and bakers.

“Iowa has unique laws that do allow for some foods to be sold out of the home or at a farmers market that might not be the case somewhere else. These training sessions have been tailored specifically to Iowa’s laws and regulations and also include food safety information that can be used in production and at the point of sale.”

Each session will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A maximum of 30 participants can register for each session. The training is free. Contact Coleman at or 515-294-9011 to register or for more information.

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