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Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa
 

Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa

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Presentation at the Midwest Value Added Conference, January 2010. Leopold Center Value Chain Partnerships.

Presentation at the Midwest Value Added Conference, January 2010. Leopold Center Value Chain Partnerships.

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Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa Presentation Transcript

  • Building networks for food systems change: the Regional Food Systems Working Group 2010 Value-Added Conference Eau Claire, Wisconsin Rich Pirog, Associate Director Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
    • Created thru Iowa Groundwater Protection Act - 1987
    • State funded - $1.1 million in grants/year
    • Aldo Leopold is namesake
    • Three Initiatives
    • Ecology
    • Marketing & Food Systems
    • Policy
  • Marketing and Food Systems Initiative Building resilient regional food systems
    • Convening and building networks
    • Profitability and business planning
    • Energy use and environmental/economic impacts
    • Distribution and processing
    • Access to capital
    • Local food assessment & capacity building
    • Food and health
    • Immigrant, beginning and transitioning farmers
    • Marketing and market research
    More than 100 projects funded since 2001
  • Building capacity across regional food systems
    • Difficult for farmers/communities to negotiate
    NGOs Community action groups Sustainable ag centers Cooperatives consultants Private sector Health Organizations Centers K-12 Comm. Colleges Colleges ?? Dining Univ Departments Extension State Dept of Agric. & Health Bureaus Programs Directives USDA Rural Development Ag Marketing SARE Farm Organizations Marketing Policy Production
  • From Vandeventer, P., and M Mandell, 2007. Networks that Work Which best describes your network? Type of network Level of Risk (to members ) Systemic Change Potential How they operate Cooperating Low Little chance Model best practices; test ideas and learn different approaches; convene problem-solving sessions Coordinating Low to Moderate Good chance Push established organizational boundaries; engage in activities requiring greater mutual reliance Collaborating Moderate to High Best chance Methods in place to resolve conflicts; pursuing long-term system creation; radical shifts from past operation; fundamental resource re-allocation
  • Toward Collaborating Networks A Communities of Practice framework
    • “ Groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis”
      • Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002:4)
    • Funded in part by the Wallace Center at Winrock International and the Leopold Center
    • In partnership with ISU, ISU Extension, PFI, and the Leopold Center
    Value Chain Partnerships An Iowa-Based Network of Food and Agriculture Working Groups Fruit and Vegetable Grass-Based Livestock Pork Niche Market Regional Food Systems Small Meat Processors
  • Value Chain Partnerships 4 core functions
    • Information hubs – integrated info across organizations
    • Catalysts for cooperation – build trust and capacity
    • Magnets – leverage and obtain funding
    • Scouts – cutting edge of new ideas
  • Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG)
    • The Regional Food System Working Group is an umbrella network for all Iowan’s working to build a more vibrant and sustainable regional food system
      • We offer a collaborative environment for a diverse group of non-profit, government, and private organizations and farmer networks to share resources and support.
      • We work to maximize the potential for investment in community-based, economically sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible regional food enterprises.
    • More than 20 organizations and farmer networks
    • regularly participate
  •  
  • How RFSWG functions
    • Group meets quarterly to share information, network, and identify new opportunities
    • Seed grants awarded to local groups to strengthen key elements needed to build a more resilient food system
    • Funds used for planning, assessment, coordination, leadership development, and other activities proposed by each group
    • Research needs emerge from the group and addressed by state and regional organizations represented
    • Experienced groups provide feedback as new groups develop
  • SWIFFI Nested networks and brands ISU Extension, PFI, RC&Ds, INCA, Farmers Union, WFAN, State agencies, consultants Drake Univ, Comm. Colleges
  • Building community across research, education, advocacy and outreach networks the food system
      • Website
      • www.valuechains.org
      • Social network sites
      • http://regionalfoodsystems.ning.com/
      • Rich Pirog [email_address]