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Upcoming events from ISU Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development

Upcoming events from ISU Extension FFED

For farmers, farm to school and food systems practitioners

Ongoing—March 10: Specialty Crop Risk Management Webinars
The FFED Small Farms Team will sponsor a series of FREE webinars for specialty crop producers Jan. 6—March 10. The webinars will take place on consecutive Wednesdays over the noon hour. Please join us for any or all of the webinars! The 10 sessions will cover various risk management topics, each featuring extension and agency experts. Upcoming topics include: Types of Insurance Policies and Options for Specialty Crops, Whole Farm Revenue Protection, Risk Management for Perennial Crops, Risk Management in Vegetable CropsFood Safety on the Farm, Ag Decision Maker Resources, Weather Patterns and Management ToolsFarm Finance, and Risk Management for Organic Production. Sign up here for any or all of the webinars.

Jan. 19–20: Iowa Specialty Producers Conference [Virtual]
Register now for the Iowa Specialty Producers Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 19-20, 2021. This second joint gathering of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and the Iowa Wine Growers Association will take place entirely online. Keynote speaker Hugh McPherson will share best practices for incorporating “agri-tainment” into a farming operation. Five breakout tracks each day will feature sessions on fruits, vegetables, viticulture (wine-grape growing), enology (wine-making) and other specialty crops. Speakers include producers, industry experts and specialists from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Jan. 31: Deadline for Local Food Makes Cents: For Iowa Kids and Farmers grants
A total of $43,000 will be granted to eligible Iowa early care and education centers and home providers participating in the CACFP to purchase local foods from Iowa farmers, food hubs, and farmers markets. Apply here by 8 p.m. January 31. Sponsored by the Iowa Farm to School and Early Care Coalition.

Feb. 5: Community Food Systems Pre-Event Trainings [Virtual]

Local Food Leader Train the Trainer workshop ($200 for new certification, $100 for recertification) and Iowa Retail Initiative Champions session ($85) also will be offered virtually on Friday, February 5. Register for your choice of these sessions here. Registration closes Jan. 29.

  • The LFL Train the Trainer session is for people who have taken the Local Food Leader certification. This next-level training equips them to host Local Food Leader workshops in their own community. Unsure if you qualify? Interested in a scholarship? Contact Kaley Hohenshell.
  • Iowa Retail Initiative Champions, from the ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development program, is coaching program designed to strengthen independent retail in Iowa communities. Attendees typically include planners and leaders in business development and anyone whose work supports small businesses.

Feb. 12: 7th Iowa State University Community Food Systems Annual Event [Virtual]
Due to COVID-19, this event will take place entirely online, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for the conference here. Cost is $20 and registration closes Feb. 5. This year’s event will focus on Retail and Leadership Within Community Food Systems, and feature a morning keynote from three food entrepreneurs: Todd Manly of Mutiny Island Vodka and Karla Fennessy of Quality Food (St. Croix, US Virgin Islands) and Taufeek Shah of Lola’s Fine Hot Sauces (Des Moines). Choose from three topics areas during two afternoon breakout sessions: business and organizational tools, community food access, and minority-owned business strategies. Lightning rounds, networking and more.

Feb. 13: MarketReady Online Course Begins [Virtual]

Farmers: Are you ready to explore selling profitably to institutions? Learn how to scale up and manage risk through our virtual MarketReady workshop series beginning Feb. 13. You will learn what it takes to diversify profitably into wholesale, retail and institutional markets. The course includes seven online modules and three live virtual discussions on Feb. 13 and 27 and March 13 starting at 9 a.m. Fee is $20 per person. Register hereSponsored by extension services of Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas and Webster counties.

Questions about any of these events? Contact Leigh Adcock, communications specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program.

The mission of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program is to support value-added agriculture enterprises, businesses, and regional food systems through research, education and community engagement.

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