UNI Local Food Program | Services to farmers

Practical Farmers of Iowa 


Weekly webinars and annual conference in January. 

Tri-State Local Producer Conference

March 19, 2019  1:00-5:00 PM   

Hotel Julien Dubuque- River Room

The University of Illinois Extension and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are partnering to present the first tri-state local producer conference.  Topics for this year's event will include generational buying trends and local foods, how to select food crops for your soil type, as well as social media and digital marketing.  A networking dinner will follow for those interested. Cost is $25. Registration deadline is March 12 at 4pm.

RSVP to Dubuque County Extension 563-583-6496 or online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc9EFqkSOinHym85a317r4F4brObTUF....

MarketReady Workshops Presented to Help Growers Scale Up

Provides information on scaling up to sell to wholesale markets; includes panel of area buyers

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three MarketReady workshops in January and February. The training is designed to provide producers with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound decisions about diversifying operations into wholesale, retail, and institutional market outlets.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:

·January 29 – Wapello County Extension Office, 13011 120th Avenue, Ottumwa. To register, call Jessica at Wapello County Extension and Outreach at 641-682-5491 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25.

·February 19 – Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center, 800 N. Maple St., Monticello. To register, call Nanci at Jones County Extension and Outreach at 319-465-3224 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

·February 26 – Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic. To register, call Kate at Cass County Extension and Outreach at 712-243-1132 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22.

For more information about the workshop, contact Emily Coll, program assistant with ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods and Value Added Agriculture Programs, at ecoll@iastate.edu or 515-296-0586. More details are available at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/localfoods/marketready-workshops

Hands-on GAP Food Safety Plan Workshops Scheduled

Is USDA GAP certification one of the goals for your farm for 2019? Maybe you just want to take the first step and get a food safety plan created for your farm? If so – keep reading.

I will be leading two hands-on workshops in eastern Iowa where farms will create a customized food safety plan for their farm. Templates and sample logs (complete with FSMA language) will be provided.

These are work sessions. Farmers should bring a laptop. Participants will leave with a draft of their farm safety plan. Cost is $25 per farm.

Feb 14, 1-4 pm, Delaware County Extension, Manchester

Feb 26, 1-4 pm, Linn County Extension, Cedar Rapids​

(Additional workshops may be scheduled in central or western Iowa depending on interest.)

Click here to register. https://goo.gl/forms/8enyFxlhgKBhGlk63

Feel free to call or email me for more information.

Teresa Wiemerslage | Local Foods & Value-Added Agriculture Program

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Field Specialist – North and Eastern Iowa

Specializing in on-farm food safety, food hubs and farm to institution


Phone: 563-794-0599


2019 Mentorship Application for Harvesting Our Potential Program is Open

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network is excited to launch our application process for the Harvesting Our Potential program in 2019. This program helps train aspiring women farmers by giving them the opportunity to work with women who are already farming successfully. http://www.wfan.org/our-programs/harvesting-our-potentialsm/

Call for Mentors

If you are interested in being a mentor, please fill out the application at the link below. More program details can be found on the application landing page. Due to funding restrictions, all mentors will need to farm in Iowa. The deadline is February 5th, 2019.

Please note that you will need to fill out the application at one time, there will not be a way to save your answers and return later. https://wfan.ourpowerbase.net/HOPmentorapp

You will receive an acknowledgment message when we’ve received your application, and we will contact you in February with potential mentee matches. We have the ability to support 10 pairs of farmers.

UPDATED: Our mentee application is open below.

Questions? Contact HOP coordinator Wren Almitra, 215-384-3094, wren@wfan.org.

Call for Mentees

If you are interested in being a mentee, please fill out the application at the link below. More program details can be found on the application landing page. Due to funding restrictions, all mentees will need to farm in Iowa. The deadline is February 19th, 2019

Please note that you will need to fill out the application at one time, there will not be a way to save your answers and return later. https://wfan.ourpowerbase.net/menteeapp

Mentees work directly with a farmer instructor to gain hands-on experience. Most mentorships will last around 10 weeks and take place any time within the growing season, whenever it works best for mentor and mentee.

In addition to the on-farm mentorship, mentors and mentees will attend a spring training. There may also be a mid-season in-person meeting, at a date and time to be determined. Both mentors and mentees will also be asked to provide mid-season and post-season reviews.

This program is intended for aspiring farmers who do not yet operate their own farms. A stipend of $500 will be paid to the mentee by WFAN to participate in all aspects of the training, including a pre-season gathering and completing evaluations.

If you have questions, please call 515.460.2477 or email wren@wfan.org.

Driftless Region Beef Conference to Feature Burke Teichert

Early registration is $85 until midnight, Jan. 11. Late or on-site registration is $115. Online registration as well as additional details on topics, speakers and lodging is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/beef.

​Iowa Fruits & Vegetable Growers Association Conference


Agritourism Destination Safety and Health Best Practices Workshop

January 8, 2019  

Black Hawk County Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

Workshop will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4:15 p.m.

Workshop is FREE and includes lunch, refreshments, and materials.

Register by emailing your name, farm name and telephone number to visitiowafarms@iastate.edu or  by phone at 515-294-9483.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

​​January 24, 2019 Waterloo

Cost $20. 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.

Iowa State Extension and Outreach faculty and specialists will lead the class

Farm Financing Course Offered Free Online

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) partnered with the farm business management staff of Western Technical College to create a series of free online webinars designed to help farmers develop the systems and knowledge they need to understand and manage their farms' finances. The Fearless Farm Finances webinars cover subjects ranging from goal-setting and recordkeeping systems to developing statements of income and cash flow for bankers and tax purposes. Watch the videos and complete the companion worksheets at your own pace.


Jan. 17-18: Pre-Conference Short Courses: Silvopasture & Orcharding 
Jan 18-19: Annual Conference: Cultivating Connections
Feb 2: Workshop: Chestnut Growers Workshop

Tools to help you start a local business!


Attention Iowa direct market farmers! 

You are invited to participate in a study to help us understand biodiversity in local food production in Iowa.  This study will develop a current crop inventory of fruits and vegetables being sold by direct market farmers in Iowa and identify the factors that farmers consider when making decisions about what to plant on their farms.  We often say that local food production improves biodiversity on farms, but no one has formally measured it.  This research will help us understand the real impact that local food has on Iowa’s farm diversity.

This study has three components:

1.  A short demographic survey and submission of your last three years of crop records to the research team.  Crop records should include the name of the plant and variety (e.g. Dragon Tongue Beans), the source (e.g. Johnny’s Seeds), and the quantity purchased and planted.  You will receive $25 for taking this survey and submitting crop records.

2.  A second, longer survey that asks you to identify and rank the reasons you plant the fruits and vegetables you submitted with your crop records.  Compensation:  $50

3.  We will interview a smaller group of farmers to determine the decision making criteria before developing the second survey.  You can indicate your willingness to be interviewed when you fill out the first survey.  Compensation:  $25

If you have questions about this project, please contact Brandi Janssen at brandi-janssen@uiowa.edu or (319)335-4190.

For more information and to take the first survey, follow this link:

Biodiversity in Local Food, Survey 1

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Training


Here is the tentative county schedule for trainings for 2018-2019.

Kossuth           TBA

Sac                  Oct. 23

Guthrie            TBA

Montgomery   16-Oct

Decatur           Feb. 28

Story                 Feb. 5

Poweshiek       8-Nov

Black Hawk   Jan. 24

Dubuque         27-Nov

Scott                30-Jan

Des Moines     7-Mar

2020 Buy Fresh Buy Local Directory

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?


° 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.)

ᵒ Complete the BFBL membership FORM and send with payment no later than January 16, 2020.

ᵒ Send membership form and payment to:


109 Jennings Drive

Attn: Jodie Huegerich

Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0293

Coming soon! There will be an option to complete the membership form and pay online. (No extra charge for paying online.) 


Farm Couples Get-A-Way

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. 

Free Farmers Market Food Safety Training


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