UNI Local Food Program

Strengthening Iowa's local food economy

UNI Local Food Program

The UNI Local Food Program works to develop a local and regional food system that positively impacts local farmers, consumers and businesses through education, collaboration, and economic development.


  • CEDAR VALLEY REGIONAL FOOD & FARM NETWORK (CVRFFN)We lead the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network. A coalition of individuals, food and farm businesses, UNI Local Food Program, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, and other community organizations & leaders working together to positively impact the local food system.  Follow us on social media! Facebook and Instagram


  • SERVICES TO FARMERS - We help local farms find local markets, build connections among farmers, and offer educational programs to assist direct-marketing farms in our region. Farmers and local producers can attend our Networking Event on January 24, 2024. 


  • SERVICES TO INSTITUTIONAL FOOD BUYERS - We connect schools, grocers, restaurants, and distributors with local farms. Buyers can attend our Networking Event on January 24, 2024. 


  • LOCAL AND REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS EDUCATION - Our staff and partners develop tools and experiences that make it easier for everyone to see and appreciate the local food treasures of our region. We publish a local food guide each year that you can find at www.cvfoodfarmnetwork.org. Join us for the Farm to Fork Dinner on February 7, 2024. 


  • NOURISH IOWA VISTA PROGRAM - Building community capacity to increase food access for all Iowans, especially those who experience food insecurity, in order to create a more just and equitable food future, in which all Iowans have bountiful access to culturally-relevant, locally grown and produced food. Projects include increasing community garden capacity, free produce distribution programs, various efforts to increase land access, and nutrition assistance programming. If you are interested in serving with our program, you can find more information on our website at www.nourishiowa.org


  • A GARDEN IN EVERY LOT - A Garden In Every Lot aims to renew our community’s culture of backyard gardening. We help both individual community members and community organizations overcome barriers to starting a garden. We accomplish this by offering garden site assessment & preparation, tilling, seeds, and plant starts, and by helping community members work with local landlords and governmental bodies. In concert with our community partners, we help coordinate gardening-focused educational programs and community-building events. Find more information on our website at www.agardenineverylot.org



  • Jodie Huegerich
    Jodie Huegerich
    UNI Local Food Program Manager

    Jodie Huegerich, RDN, LD has been the UNI Local Food Program Director for almost 9 years. She has completed the Local Food Leader and Community Food System training from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She works to connect local food producers with local food buyers. She is on the statewide RFSWG (Regional Food System Working Group) Steering Committee as well as the Iowa Food System Coalition Steering Committee. She co-leads the local coalition, Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network and works on a variety of grant funded projects. 

    AT THE CEEE: UNI Local Food Program
    ON FACEBOOK: Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network

    ON INSTAGRAM: Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network

    ON TWITTER: Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network


    jodie.huegerich@uni.edu / (319) 273-7883
  • Sarah Steinmeyer
    Sarah Steinmeyer (she/her)
    VISTA Program Coordinator

    Sarah Steinmeyer (VISTA Program Coordinator) manages the Nourish Iowa VISTA Project to build capacity in non-profit organizations across the state that seek innovative ways to improve our Food System.  She is on state and local working groups and coalitions with the goals of building relationships, resilience and community collaboration with local food partners. Sarah works closely with a variety of AmeriCorps service members in the Cedar Valley including FoodCorps and Green Iowa members. She co-leads the Local Food Access Collective Action Groups with the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network and works on a variety of grant funded projects. 

    At the CEEE: UNI Local Food / Community Food Security VISTA Project
    On Facebook: Community Food Security VISTA Project in Iowa / Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network
    On Instagram: Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network

    sarah.steinmeyer@uni.edu / (319) 273-2626
  • Kathryn Gilbery photo
    Kathryn Gilbery
    Local Food Access Coordinator

    Kathryn Gilbery is the Local Food Access Coordinator and serves the community by building and sustaining programs including- Veggie Vouchers, urban garden initiatives, incubator farm, and co-leading the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network. Kathryn has been involved with UNI’s food access programs since 2015 when she served as the program’s first AmeriCorps VISTA and has continued to partner and build capacity with a variety of organizations in Iowa. Kathryn also enjoys gardening, supporting local farmers at farmers markets and the grocery store, and being active outdoors.


CEEE In Action
Engaging students in the community