Spring is upon us and farmers markets will open in a month all across North Iowa. The work that goes into building successful farmers markets, community gardens, and other opportunities that support local food agriculture takes vision and partnerships. The Spring meeting of the North Iowa Local Food Coalition will feature a conversation with leaders of Sprout, a local food organization based in Little Falls, MN. Arlene Jones, Executive Director of Sprout (sproutmn.com) and Cheryal Jones, Executive Director Region Five Development Commission will share through a video conference how Sprout is helping support the resilience of central Minnesota. the Sprout story represents a powerful model for North Iowa of the role local food can play as an economic development engine. The scope of their vision and work ranges from producer support and capacity building to integration of the arts to interfacing local food with critical health issue of the day such as the opiod addiction and mental health crisis.
The North Iowa Local Food Coalition is North Iowa’s regional network of diverse partners who meet quarterly to share updates and explore emerging opportunities. The Spring meeting of the Coalition will be held Tues., April 24, 2:30-4:00pm at the North Iowa Landfill Education Center. The meeting is free and open to the public.
In addition to the conversation with Jones and Hills, this meeting’s agenda will include updates from priority projects, including food hub development, farmers markets, food waste, farm to school, and community gardens. These teams welcome newcomers into their conversation.
Those who want to learn more about the work underway across North Iowa to support North Iowa local food, are invited to join the conversation at this Spring North Iowa Local Food Coalition meeting.