Directory Highlights Local Food Resources, Sustainable Agriculture

Directory Highlights Local Food Resources, Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa State University offers a host of helpful organizations, programs and classes that relate to local food systems.

If you think local food stops at the Saturday morning farmers market, think again. Iowa State University offers a host of organizations, programs and classes related to local food systems.

New Directory Highlights Local Food Resources

From a year-round class where students earn college credit while operating a direct-market vegetable enterprise, to a 12-week Homegrown Lifestyle course for Iowans who want to produce food in a way that sustains the environment, Iowa State University offers a variety of resources for people interested in local foods. Other examples include an online database to help businesses locate food products and the farmers who grow them, as well as a consortium of Iowa winemakers whose products have passed extensive quality tests. 

All are outlined in a new directory published by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, "Learning About Local at ISU". The directory lists 28 programs and 35 graduate and undergraduate classes that have a local foods component or could be applied to local food production and marketing.

Interest in local food production and marketing continues to increase

"There's a growing interest in local food, reflected in activities throughout the university community," says Craig Chase, interim coordinator of the Leopold Center's Marketing and Food Systems Initiative. "I hope this guide informs and brings together the many players so we can work toward a collective impact."

The directory provides current contact information as well as descriptions of each program's objective, type of assistance offered and examples.

The directory follows the same format as the Leopold Center's popular "Learning About Local" guide developed in 2009 and updated in 2011.The guide lists 85 Iowa organizations, programs, funders and consultants that offer various forms of assistance for people interested in local food systems.

You can download this free guide and other information from Leopold website

Information for the ISU guide was collected as part of an Iowa State University Honors Program project by Ashlee Hespen, who graduated from ISU in May with degrees in public service and administration in agriculture and journalism and mass communications. She used a snowball interview process and designed the resource guide, which will be used as a starting point to add other resources as they become available.

You can download the guide from the Leopold Center website at  To request a print copy, contact the Leopold Center at 515-294-3711.
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