Make Your Voice Heard At Local Food Summit

How should Iowa meet the goals outlined in the "Iowa Local Food & Farm Plan" which was developed in response to state legislation passed in 2011?

Published on: Apr 2, 2012

Iowans can make their voices heard about creating a more vibrant food system when they attend the Iowa Local Food Summit on Tuesday, April 3 in Ames. The summit will include conversations and workshops about how to meet the goals outlined in the Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan, which was developed by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in response to state legislation that was passed in 2011.

The plan outlines broad goals for the production, processing, distribution, marketing and consumption of local food. It aims to increase the profitability of local foods and the number of jobs along the food chain.

Make Your Voice Heard At Local Food Summit
Make Your Voice Heard At Local Food Summit

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will provide a welcome to the attendees. "We have made progress in making more local foods available in Iowa, but we still have work to do," Northey says. "This conference will help showcase some of the successes and bring all the stakeholders together to address the challenges. There are great opportunities on our farms and in our rural communities due to the growing interest by consumers in taking advantage of local foods, and this conference will help make sure Iowa doesn't miss out on those opportunities."

Some of the state recommendations have been met, more needs to be done

The team members of the Iowa Local Food and Farm Program have met some of these recommendations, and continue making progress toward others. They now hope to extend the conversation into a diverse cross-section of Iowans interested in providing input into addressing the challenges and barriers that still exist.

"As we overcome these barriers and face the challenges, we have the opportunity to build on the strong agricultural tradition of Iowa farmers and spread the net to prove that we can truly be part of the solution to feed Iowans with Iowa-grown and raised products," says Lynn Heuss, the Local Food and Farm Program assistant coordinator.

Iowans from across the state are invited to Ames to attend upcoming summit

The summit will take place at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday April 3. The keynote speaker, David Dahlquist, is a nationally recognized public artist and teacher who will speak about creating a local sense of place that embraces food, history and culture.

Register for the event online or download the mail-in registration form at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/localfood/home.html. Regular fee is $20 and student fee is $15 for those who register before March 30. There is an additional $25 charge to attend the local foods dinner, which starts at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU, along with ISU Extension, the ISU College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.