Resources: Practical Farmers
Practical Farmers of Iowa's Produce Safety Cost-Share is now open! This program is for those seeking to make on-farm food safety improvements.
https://cultivatefoodconnections.org/resources includes the resources below and more!
Social Media Marketing Basics (video)
Social Media Marketing Basics (powerpoint)
Product Quality (Iowa Food Co-op Producers)
Join the 2023 Local Food Directory/Grow.Eat.Play
We want to help you advertise your business and help Cedar Valley customers find great local products! We invite you to be part of the annual Cedar Valley local food directory which includes an expanded online and simplified print version. The branding Grow.Eat.Play replaces the Buy Fresh Buy local branding.
How can you be listed in the 2023 online and print local food directory?
There is a $35 fee for local food producers and local food buyers to be included in the local food guide. The membership fee supports the cost of graphic design and paid advertising. It also includes:
An individualized post that specifically highlights your business on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - linking to your business profile.
Your business profile on our Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network website. In this searchable guide, people can search by business name or product.
Social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and promotions throughout the year that promote the local food and farm businesses that we work with - that always link back to the searchable product database.
We help promote your business. The online and printed guide are referred to often when consumers ask which businesses purchase local food.
Grow.Eat.Play graphics to use on your social media.
Grow.Eat.Play window cling for display at your business.
Grow.Eat.Play 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 signage to use at farmers markets, farm stands, etc.
Grow.Eat.Play local food posters and specialized graphic designs available upon request.
We want the Cedar Valley to know where to purchase their local food!
If you want to become a Grow Eat Play member, complete this membership form no later than February 15th.
2023 Local Food Producer/Buyer Networking Event
This annual event gives local food producers and local food buyers the opportunity to meet and start conversations about products, growing practices, etc. Anyone is welcome to attend.
February 1, 2023 8:30-10:30 a.m. Diamond Event Center (5307 Caraway Ln) in Cedar Falls.
There is no cost to attend. RSVP here by January 25, 2023.
Are you interested in purchasing local food for your business? Are you currently purchasing local food but need more suppliers? Are you interested in selling your local food to wholesale markets? Yes, then this event is for you!
2023 Local Food Dinner
After a two year break the annual local food dinner is back! This event brings together members of our community to share a table, a story, and a meal, while supporting our local food system.This incredible four-course meal will be prepared by local chefs utilizing local ingredients.
February 8th 6:30-8pm at the Diamond Events Center (5307 Caraway Ln, Cedar Falls). Social Hour 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Tickets are required for this event and limited in number so purchase yours today!
You can purchase tickets at https://uni.estore.flywire.com/products?storeCatalog=8501 through January 27th at midnight.
You can purchase an individual ticket ($20), choose a Vegan meal individual ticket ($20), or purchase a table of 8 ($120)! If you choose a table of eight, everyone will have the opportunity to choose a regular meal or Vegan meal.
Scholarships are available. While we do not require specific proof of financial need. Submitting this scholarship application indicates that purchasing a regular priced ticket for the Farm to Fork local food dinner is a significant financial hardship for you at this time. The scholarship application deadline is January 20th and you will be notified by January 24th.
2023 Farmers Market Workshop
February 25, 2023 9 a.m.-noon Location: Waterloo Center for the Arts
Are you a returning farmers market vendor? Are you considering vending at a farmers market? This workshop is for current and future farmers market vendors in the Cedar Valley region. Please join us as we cover topics that apply to all vendors and all markets.
More information is coming soon.
RSVP by February 15th here.
2023 Marketing Workshop
February 25, 2023 1-4 p.m. Location: Waterloo Center for the Arts
This workshop is for food and farm businesses considering using social media, using social media and/or wanting to learn more about how to effectively social media. Karen Everling, founder of World Grace Project and owner of Muse Photo Designs consulting, will provide you with hands-on experience posting to Facebook, using Canva for branding, and the benefits of using Google Place.
RSVP by February 1st here. You are going to get the most out of this class if you can bring a laptop, smartphone, logo files on your laptop, and 1-2 digital pictures of your products or farm. However, we encourage you to attend if you do not have these things but they are recommended.
Iowa Eats Local Food & Drink Festival
April 1, 2023 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FEATURING ALL IOWA FOODS, BEVERAGES, CHEFS, AUTHORS AND AG PRODUCTS!
Interested in being a vendor? There are only so many vendor spots available. Consider partnering with another organization or several producers. Each vendor will be required to have a tasting and/or experience for all attendees. They expect 3,000 people to attend the event.
2023 Farmers Market Season
Regional farmers markets will start to open May 6, 2023!
2023 Farm Crawl
August 13, 2023
More information coming in the Spring!
Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program (ILFPA)
The Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program (ILFPA) is increasing access to local food and improving supply chain resiliency through partnerships with local producers and underserved communities.
You can find more information HERE.
Resources and producer registration FORM. You must be registered to participate in the program.
Planning will be starting soon for Phase 2 that will start April 2023. Apply today!
Local Food for Schools (LFA)
The Iowa Local Food for Schools Program will increase access to local food in K-12 schools and improve supply chain resiliency through partnerships with local producers , food hubs and school districts.
You can find more information HERE.
Producer registration FORM is the same as the LFPA form. You only have to register once. You must be registered to participate in the program.
Buyer + Supplier Meet-ups 2023
Gardening with Kids Virtual Meet-ups
Beginning January 5, 3:30-4pm
Sign up for recordings even if you can't attend live.
Dates & topics:
January 5, 2023| Planning a School Garden, 3:30-4pm
February 2, 2023| Indoor Gardening in the Winter, 3:30-4pm
March 2, 2023| Incorporating the Garden into Your Curriculum, 3:30-4pm
April 6, 2023| All About Pollinators, 3:30-4pm
May 4, 2023| Caring for the School Garden in the Summer, 3:30-4pm
After you register, calendar invites and zoom link information will be emailed to you before the events.
January 19-21, 2023
Farminars are Practical Farmers’ version of a webinar – a farmer-led webinar! These 90-minute, online presentations are FREE for everyone, and recordings are archived on PFI’s YouTube channel. We encourage attendees to come with questions for the chat box!
Farminars are held on Tuesdays, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. Central standard time from January to March.
Iowa Food System Coalition
Vision: We envision an Iowa Food System that cultivates health, justice, and sustainability for all people, communities, and the environment.
Mission: We are a coalition committed to collective action to advance a thriving, equitable food system in Iowa.
Mark your calendar for IFSC Coalition’s 2023 Meeting Schedule!
Feb. 22, April 12, Sept. 27, Dec. 6
Virtual meetings, all are from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Register HERE for the February 22nd meeting.
Here is a snapshot of Iowa Food System Coalition Committees. This provides a quick update on all of the Coalition committees including: Steering, Communication, Partnership, and Investment.
If you would like more information on any of the committees, or are interested in joining, contact email@example.com
New Partner Coalition Commitment Form is available. The Iowa Food System Coalition is building power through partnership. We need you!
Organizational and individual partners are invited to visit our New Partner Commitment Form and formalize your relationship with the Iowa Food System Coalition.
February 22-23, 2023
Home-based Food Operators: Regulations and Food Safety Course
The state of Iowa has specific laws and regulations related to food that is prepared at home and sold direct to consumers. This online course will guide you through regulations and the best food safety practices to ensure safe handling of your product from the kitchen to the point of sale.
Intended audience: Home bakers (licensed and unlicensed), exempted home food operators, farmers market managers
Format: Self-paced, online course
Past Virtual Workshops
New grants will be added once available.