Farm to Institution

The goal of the Farm to Institution Project Team is to understand the potential for institutional local purchases and quantify the benefits of institutional purchases if made at the local level. Additionally, this team helps connect and develop a network between producers, aggregators, and institutional buyers.

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Farm to Institution Resources


General Local Foods Information
10 Things to Know About Local Foods
Economic Impacts of Local Foods – Statewide Reports & Economic Impact Studies

Buying Directly from Local Farmers – Resources for Direct Purchasing

Iowa MarketMaker – Connecting markets & quality sources of food in Iowa

Dubuque Farmers’ Market – Vendor List | Searchable Product Listing

Local Sourcing 101: A Checklist for Food Service Directors
A checklist developed by the Institutional Food Market Coalition & UW Extension-Dane County, meant to help you answer some simple but important questions about local sourcing so you can identify realistic goals and next steps. Understanding the right questions to ask will also enable you to communicate more effectively with co-workers, supervisors and staff about why you want to source local food. *Note some of the resources listed here are Wisconsin-specific. Contact Dubuque County ISU Extension for specific to the Dubuque area.

Instituting Change: An Overview of Institutional Food Procurement and Recommendations for Improvement (2016)

Local & Regional Aggregation, Distribution See Food Hubs Page

Food Safety
Iowa State University Checklist for Retail Purchase of Local Foods | PDF
National GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Program

Iowa Farm to School Program
Iowa Department of Land Stewardship
Iowa Department of Education
Iowa Farm to School Toolkit

National Farm to School Network –  launched in 2007 NFSN works with schools at all levels of  involvement in FTS programs. The network has six priorities and they are: 1. Policy development, 2. Training and technical assistance, 3. Information development and dissemination, 4. Networking, 5. Media and marketing and 6. Research and evaluation. The NFSN recently launched a FTS evaluation framework and schools have access to resources on their website including recipes, food service training and fundraising.

School Food Focus Learning Lab works directly with school districts to help them identify changes they want to make and help them work towards those changes. The learning lab has also worked with big actors in the food industry such as Tyson and Jennie-O to reformulate products towards desired specifications.

Presentations – a collection of presentations given at a 2015 event at Luther College for local buyers including ‘How to Plan A Successful Local Food Day’ and ‘Setting Goals and Tracking Local Food Purchases’