UNI Local Food Program
Creating a regional food and agriculture system that benefits local land and local people
Strengthening Insitutional Local Food Procurement
The UNI Local Food Program creates quality relationships between producers and institutions to increase local food procurement in the region. We offer personal assistance and opportunities for institutions to meet buyers throughout the year. The UNI Local Food Program developed a system for procuring local foods - complete with a buyer and seller worksheet, weekly local food availability sheets, and Buy Fresh Buy Local promotional materials - that we provide to institutions buying local foods. Plans are underway to host a meet and greet at the CEEE for institutional buyers and producers.
Cedar Valley Community Gardens
The UNI Local Food Program partners with ISU Extension to assist in creating an organizational structure for community gardens in Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Community gardens increase access to healthy food for under-priviledged people, equip community members with tools to be more self-reliant, and strengthen our region's ability to provide for itself and its citizens. Community leaders, churches, master gardeners, city officials, and others began attending planning meeting in March 2013.
Growing Farmers in Northeast Iowa
Partnering with ISU Extension and the Women's Self-Sufficiency Program, this UNI Local Food Program project provides access to land, horticultural and agricultural technical support, business planning, skills development, and direct-marketing support to women, immigrants, and new growers. In Summer 2012, the project's first year, 15 local women participated in the Waterloo garden. Participants hope for a fruitful harvest each season!
Producer Food Safety Education
Annual food safety workshops and GAP certifications are necessary to maintain producer education and eligibility for selling to some institutions. The UNI Local Food Program collaborates with ISU Extension to offer necessary food certification course - especially before the harvest season and on an as-needed basis.
Annual Farm Crawl
Participating farms offer tours, samples, and demonstrations each fall during the 3-4 hour long annual Farm Crawl. The UNI Local Food Program creates a map for the public who drive themselves to the farms they choose to visit. At the end of the Farm Crawl, participants gather at local restaurants and breweries that feature local food products, offering a fun way for people to end the day together while enjoying local food and drink.
Local Food Summit: Feeding the Black Hawk Region (Fall 2013)
In conjunction with UNI Higher Ground, the CEEE invites UNI faculty and student, county and city officials, regional producers, and residents to highlight the region's local food system, purchasing data, and community projects. Guest speakers will present about the positive impact buying local food can and does have in our region and about potential ideas for the future of local food in the Cedar Valley.
UNI Local Food Program Newsletter
A new quarterly newsletter featuring local food projects, important events, research and data, and other local food developments go out to all area food contacts and be posted on the UNI Local Food Program website. The newsletter will also be sent by post to reach a broader audience. Watch for details about how to sign up!