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Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa

Value Chain Partnerships in Iowa



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]