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Leopold Center offers plan to boost local food economy in Iowa

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on January 17, 2011 - 12:37pm

Leopold LogoLast week, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa announced its plan to boost the local food economy in Iowa. The plan was submitted to the Iowa Legislature last week.

According to the press release from the Leopold Center...

More than 1,000 people from 95 of Iowa’s 99 counties contributed to the Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan. Information was gathered at workshops, 15 listening sessions throughout the state and two surveys. The draft recommendations were discussed with leaders of 21 state agencies, institutions and organizations.

There are a total of 34 recommendations that leaders in sustainable agriculture and local food have identified would stimulate and support a local food economy iwth regard to food production and access in Iowa.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • Creation of a Local Food and Farm Program Fund to support local food programs from the sale of collectible local food posters, bumper stickers, stamps and license plates,
  • Business development and financial assistance for farmers and local food businesses,
  • Food and meat processing education and training programs,
  • Food safety education, and a pilot cost-share program for food safety audits,
  • Business training programs that target beginning, minority or transitioning farmers,
  • Data collection to assess progress and track state agency and educational institution purchases of local foods, and
  • Pilot incentive programs for five K-12 school districts and five health care facilities that serve Iowa produce.

To access the press release go to: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/newsreleases/2011/011111_plan.html

To view the report in it entirety visit: www.leopold.iastate.edu/foodandfarmplan.html

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