UNI Local Food Program | Services to farmers

COVID-19 Resources for Local Producers

Guide for local producers to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak by Purdue University

University of Vermont Extension (includes sanitizing and cleaning guidelines) 

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Practical Farmers of Iowa Virtual Farmer Meet-Up COVID-19 Changes and Challenges

COVID-19 Resources for Farmers Markets

Farmers Market_COVID-19_031320

Farmers Market Coalition

 

 

 

COVID-19 Resources

In a time when racial prejudice and widespread social inequities are finally being acknowledged as unacceptable, I want to draw attention to a kind of systemic injustice we have gotten used to in Iowa. I call it food system brutality.

 

Food system brutality is when “essential...

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

March 26, 2020

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Black Hawk County

3420 University Ave

Number B

Waterloo, IA 50701

 

The training sessions are for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested...

http://safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu/farmers-market-food-safety-training

In response to high levels of both personal and financial farm stress, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering four “Farm Couple Getaways” aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal-setting, farm...

In a time when racial prejudice and widespread social inequities are finally being acknowledged as unacceptable, I want to draw attention to a kind of systemic injustice we have gotten used to in Iowa. I call it food system brutality.

 

Food system brutality is when “essential workers” at the meat plant near you are physically and emotionally abused while the meat industry continues to evade public health laws of our nation. It’s when Iowans accept corn fertilizer in their water as normal. It is when some rural Iowans can’t breathe because of air pollution from industrial hog or egg facilities.

 

When a few corporations decide what crops are subsidized and control the markets for nearly every commodity, not paying farmers fair prices and farm workers fair wages, asphyxiating farm communities — that’s food system brutality. It is the reproductive harms, birth defects, and developmental disorders endured by Iowa families, in part, due to the 50 million pounds of highly hazardous pesticides applied annually to corn and beans in the state.

 

Food system brutality is when every food venue near you features highly processed, fatty and sugary foods, fueling pandemics of obesity, type two diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are mostly food system diseases. Meanwhile, there are huge fruits and vegetable deficits in Iowa; many neighborhoods of my home county do not have adequate access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

Are we going to stand by idly as these forms of injustice continue in Iowa? I hope not. We already know how to build better food systems. If we want to see thriving agriculture-based communities and availability of healthy foods around us, we need to support our local and regional food economy at every meal. That means households, restaurants, institutions, schools and hospitals need to rethink how they purchase and prepare food in favor of health and local economic vitality. That means investment in local orchards, vegetable farms, grain processing for local consumption, and distribution facilities.

 

Take my county: some $90 million dollars arrives annually in Black Hawk and six surrounding counties from USDA in various forms of crop subsidies. Not a penny goes to help fruit and vegetable growers, not a penny helps start a vegetable freezing facility or a small facility for turning soybeans into tofu or wheat into flour or oats into rolled oats, not a penny helps us start a food hub to aggregate local supplies to serve local institutional food buyers like a school district. These food system enterprises create local economic value, support local food and farm businesses, and help us serve ourselves good food.

 

Creating a just food system requires that we value all workers in the food supply chains and every part of every sector in the food system as well as soil and water stewardship. When I pay $4 for a dozen eggs from farmers I know, I am paying the true cost and a fair price so that others in the food chain can make a living, too. The 99 cents a dozen eggs usually involves cutting corners such as abuse of labor or food contamination outbreak. The current, exploitive “cheap food” system generates poverty everywhere. If we want to end food system brutality we need to support, plan and invest in a just food system.

 

Farmers and community leaders across Iowa are creating more equitable ways for expanding local markets for local agricultural products, but require all our support to transform our food system. Healthy Harvest of North Iowa, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Feed Iowa First, Iowa Organic Association, Iowa Environmental Council, Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, Center for Rural Affairs and several food hubs are example of Iowa entities striving to establish a better pattern of food and agriculture in Iowa.

 

My friend Mary Berry who farms in Kentucky sums it all up: “Our country, through its ruinous desire for cheap food, has nearly destroyed the safest food system we could have: farmers feeding the people closest to them. Our customers trust us to provide delicious, healthy, safe food; we trust them to pay us a fair price.”

 

Kamyar Enshayan is an agricultural engineer and has taught environmental studies at University of Northern Iowa since 1993. He can be reached at kamyar.enshayan@uni.edu.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

March 26, 2020

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Black Hawk County

3420 University Ave

Number B

Waterloo, IA 50701

 

The training sessions are for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). Each class will be led by ISU Extension and Outreach specialists.

This course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement that “At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration,” outlined in §112.22(c)

 

Costs to Attend

The cost for the workshops is $20 for Iowa residents and $120 for out-of-state growers. Two growers from the same farm/company can attend for $20, if they are willing to share a binder.

Cost includes PSA manual, certificate of completion, and lunch.

 

Registration

To register and pay with a credit card, go to the Safe Produce website, https://www.safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu/events and click on the preferred training. To register and pay by check, email IowaFSMA@iastate.edu or call 515-294-6773, and a paper registration form will be sent to you.

 

 

What to Expect

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these eight modules: Introduction to Produce Safety, Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training, Soil Amendmentsm Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use, Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water), Postharvest Handling and Sanitation, How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

 

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.


 

Benefits of Attending the Course

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan.

 

Attending the course should help individuals gain a basic understanding of:

Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm

How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm

Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one

Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.



Attendees will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

 

In response to high levels of both personal and financial farm stress, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering four “Farm Couple Getaways” aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal-setting, farm transitioning, or who would just like a weekend away to discuss farm and family issues.

The first “getaway” will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, at EWALU Stone Center in Strawberry Point. More information here. Register ASAP. 

The dates and locations for the other “getaways” are as follows:

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020 at Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah.                                                    

Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-Feb. 22, 2020 at Lake Shore Center at Okoboji in Milford.

Thursday and Friday, March 19-20, 2020 at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Dubuque. 

Why should you become a member of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Directory? More information HERE. 

How do you complete your membership for the BFBL directory?

ᵒ Review the PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT.

° If a returning member review your member profile on the online directory HERE. 

   (You have the option of keeping your information the same from 2019.)​

The deadline has been extended to Monday, January 20, 2020 for online applications and payments. 

For Producers:

Complete the online application & payment HERE

For Buyers:

Complete the online application & payment HERE

Contact Jodie at jodie.huegerich@uni.edu if you have any questions. 

Increase the impact and reach of the Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership by helping us set new goals to address critical food systems needs of our region. This strategic planning session will be facilitated by Lynn Heuss, Program Coordinator with the ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods Team, and Courtney Long who assists in the development of sustainable community design with communities around Iowa.

Save the date!
Wednesday, Dec. 13  |  2:30-4:30 p.m.
Northeast Iowa Food Bank

Farmer to Farmer Podcast

Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Purple Pitchfork, and hosts the Farmer to Farmer Podcast. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm for fifteen years, Chris raised twenty acres of organic fresh produce in Northeast Iowa after spending ten years working in other farming and research operations. Tune in to learn more!

CEEE In Action
Engaging students in the community