AMES, Iowa – Food systems practitioners nationwide can ramp up their skills by enrolling in the Community Food Systems (CFS) training and certification, offered entirely online by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program.
The training includes both live virtual discussions and pre-recorded online learning modules. The next class cohort begins May 5 and runs through Dec. 8. Some scholarships are available. April 21 is the deadline to register and apply for a scholarship.
Food systems practitioners who successfully complete the course will increase their capacity to work within communities and develop food systems. The virtual workshops center around activities and networking with colleagues to learn a new framework for community food systems development.
“The Community Food Systems certification is offered in an all-virtual format, which allows participants to connect with other food systems practitioners across the nation," said Kaley Hohenshell, program coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. "This cohort-style certification course includes both independent and group learning with an emphasis on networking between participants."
The curriculum focuses on building facilitation skills and developing vision, mission and core values, conducting community food systems assessments, project prioritization methods, evaluation techniques and project management and development skills.
The online modules offer intensive curriculum around visioning and implementation, conducting community food systems assessments and mapping for decision-making, tools for project management and evaluation, feasibility studies, economic impact and design thinking. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems.
There are two different options for engagement in the Virtual Community Food Systems certification:
- CFS 101: workshop series only
- CFS 201: workshop series + online module access
Shareable photo: Community Food Systems graphic.