UI planning students to connect local farmers and colleges

Graduate students from the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning are partnering with the City of Dubuque and Iowa State Extension and Outreach to connect local farmers with Dubuque colleges and universities. The students are developing an action plan that will serve as a guide for institutions looking to integrate local foods into their dining services.

The students will research best practices from other schools and interview local farmers to gauge their interest, capabilities, and needs. Once the information is collected, a system to integrate local foods into Dubuque colleges and universities will be developed. The group hopes to develop a platform that helps consumers order seasonal items directly from local producers.

UI graduate students will work with the city of Dubuque on nine sustainability projects during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. The students’ efforts are part of the School of Urban and Regional Planning’s community-based outreach program, the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC), which was launched in 2009.

Farmers interested in integrating local foods into the Dubuque economy are encouraged to contact the Local Foods Project Group at 319-535-0434 or eatlocalfooddubuque@gmail.com.