The Iowa Farmers Union applauds Governor Reynolds’ proclamation recognizing Wednesday,October 13th, 2021, as Iowa Local Food Day. This annual celebration highlights the connections between Iowa’s farmers and local food markets – especially local food sales to Iowa’s schools and early care professionals.
The goal of Iowa Local Food Day is to bring awareness to the availability of locally grown foods and encourage Iowans to support local growers.
The strength of the state’s local food system is critical to our economy and overall population health. Currently, about five percent of Iowa’s farmers participate in local food sales, which accounts for $194 million in the state’s economy.
Iowans spend approximately $10 billion on food annually, but only about 15% of food bought in Iowa is grown in Iowa. We encourage more Iowans to buy local foods to support local economies.
This year’s celebration comes on the heels of many successes in the 2021 Iowa legislative session.
Iowa lawmakers passed bi-partisan legislation to improve the local protein market by creating a fund that supports the butchery workforce and small to medium sized meat processors.
The Iowa Value-Added Agriculture Grant Program received funding to expand the markets of traditional commodity crops, fruits, vegetables, and other alternative crops.
Iowa lawmakers also established the Local Fresh Produce Program, that with future funding will allow Iowa’s k-12 schools to apply for grants that support the purchase of locally sourced food.
These policy wins fueled the largest wave of local food policy the state of Iowa has seen in the past decade.
The Iowa Farmers Union asks Iowans to participate in Iowa Local Food Day by purchasing one or more locally sourced products. Join in the conversation by using #IowaLocalFoodDay21 on social media to share photos and stories of your local food purchases.
Today we appreciate the hard work of Iowa’s farmers and celebrate their contributions to Iowa’s economy.
Get more info at https://www.iowalocalfoodday.org/