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Comparing apples to apples:
An Iowa perspective on apples and local food systems (Acknowledgements and Appendix)
Rich Pirog, education coordinator and John Tyndall, summer intern
The authors wish to thank the following for their helpful suggestions, comments, and edits made in reviewing this paper:
- Mike Bevins, state horticulturist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
- Stephen Gasteyer, research assistant, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
- Gary Huber, co-director, Field to Family Project of the Practical Farmers of Iowa
- Dr. Patrick OMalley, horticultural field specialist, Iowa State University Extension
- Maury Wills, apple grower
- Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture staff
Special thanks to Steve Pedersen, assistant horticulturist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the U.S. Apple Association for the background information on apples. Thanks to the Iowa apple growers, and the Washington apple Commission, who provided assistance in tracing the paths of the Iowa and Washington-grown Red Delicious apples. And last but not least, special thanks to Mary Adams, editor for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, for her edits, suggestions, and support throughout the process.
Recommendations of the
THE LOCAL FOOD TASK FORCE
Appointed by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge
Purpose: To expand local markets for Iowa farmers.
Iowans spend nearly $8 billion annually on food. Local counties like Black Hawk spend $390 million annually while Des Moines spends $839 million each year.1 Most of these food dollars leave our communities and state. Expanding local markets offers an opportunity to reverse this "value-subtracted" economy and to invest a significant portion of the food dollars in Iowa. Successful local food pilot projects in Adams, Audubon, Blackhawk, Johnson, Polk and Story counties suggest that local markets can be expanded to enhance the consumption of Iowa food products and the diversification of our agriculture.
A strong local foods system will:
- create opportunities for small and medium-sized farms;
- establish local marketing practices that promote understanding between farmers, consumers, distributors, and processors;
- improve working and living conditions for farmers, their employees, and related businesses; and
- encourage public policies that promote environmentally sound and economically viable farming practices.
- Appoint a full time statewide local food systems coordinator who works with the Local Food Task Force to implement the following recommendations.
- Formalize the Local Food Task Force and expand it into an ongoing working group.
- Research and collect information on how Iowa foods are produced, processed, distributed, and consumed, and the impact on Iowa s communities.
- Identify, collect, develop and update a list of buyers, processors,
distributors, and producers.
- Compile baseline data on production, processing capacity, and
- Identify existing local food projects and assess the actual and potential
- Conduct listening sessions throughout the state to ensure grassroots
- Build public awareness and understanding of local food systems and its implications on
Iowas economy, communities, and environment.
a.) Coordinate with existing statewide programs to celebrate Iowa foods.
b.) Develop additional Iowa food education programs such as speakers bureau
and promotions at the state fair.
c.) Begin statewide campaigns to encourage consumers to spend $10 per week on
- Provide "hands on" training and technical assistance that strengthens local food
- Identify resources in the state and create forums that promote the sharing of
information about local food production.
- Partner with other groups in developing and delivering short courses on food
production, business skills, and marketing.
- Develop programs (internships, mentoring, and etc.) for producers.
6.) Allocate resources to improve the infrastructure for local food systems.
- Target a percentage of state and Federal agricultural assistance programs for
local food producers and distributors.
- Develop licensed kitchens and facilities where producers add value to their
7.) Create incentives and opportunities for linkages among Iowa producers, processors,
distributors, and consumers.
- Link government and private programs that support producers growing food
for local markets.
- Provide programs (mentoring, internships, etc.) to assist institutions and
businesses to increase their purchase of local food.
- Require state institutions to develop plans to increase their purchase of local
- Establish an Iowa Food Policy Council that includes representation from the Local Food
Footnotes1 The Harwood Group, July, 1995. Yearning for Balance: Views of Americans on Consumption, Materialism, and the Environment. Bethesda, Maryland: The Harwood Group. (The report covers several market studies.)
2 Economic Research Service, USDA, Specialty Crops Branch, 1999.
3 Iowa fruit and vegetable marketing study, Charles T. Hall, Iowa State University, 1985.
4 Iowa fruit and vegetable marketing study, Charles T. Hall, Iowa State University, 1985.
5 Iowa fruit and vegetable marketing study, Charles T. Hall, Iowa State University, 1985, and Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service.
6 Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service (Note: Early estimates of total apple production reflected home and commercial orchards. Iowa commercial apple production records began in 1934, and total crop production records were discontinued after 1938.)
7 Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service.
8 Iowa fruit and vegetable marketing study, Charles T. Hall, Iowa State University, 1985.
9 Washington Apple Commission web site visited September, 1999 (www.bestapples.com).
10 USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts Summary.
11 Iowa fruit and vegetable marketing study, Charles T. Hall, Iowa State University, 1985.
12 1997 U.S. Census of Agriculture, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
13 USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts Summary.
14 The directory states that producers listed are believed to be selling fruits and vegetables directly to consumers from a permanent site, excluding farmers markets.
15 Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition web site, FDA, visited October, 1999 (http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/juicguid.html).
16 Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Association.
17 Steve Pedersen, assistant horticulturist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, October 8, 1999 (personal communication).
18 Pellett, Kent. (1941). ³Pioneers in Iowa Horticulture², written for the Iowa State Horticultural Society in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of its founding.
19 Agricultural cooperatives, distribution firms, and/or shipping associations may play a role in transporting Washington Red Delicious apples to Iowa.
20 Washington Apple Commission web site visited September, 1999 (http://www.bestapples.com).
21 ³The Great Orchards², Fruit Grower, September, 1998, p. 6-7.
22 ³The Great Orchards², Fruit Grower, September, 1998, p. 7.
23 U.S. Apple Association news release, September 13, 1999.
24 USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts Summary.
25 Economic Research Service, USDA, Specialty Crops Branch, 1999.
26 Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Association.
27 Several apple growers, horticulturists, and researchers interviewed stated they believed apple consumption to be higher in the fall than other seasons. The authors checked with USDA¹s Economic Research Service and were told they do not have seasonal consumption data on apples.
28 ISU Food Service purchase analysis data, 1998.
29 ³Farmers try direct approach to marketing,² Farmer Direct Marketing Newsletter, USDA web site visited October, 1999 (http://www.ams.usda.gov/directmarketing/news_08_99.htm).
30 Adelaja, A.O., R.M. Nayga, Jr., and B. Schilling. (1994). ³Returns to the Jersey Fresh promotional program--An econometric analysis of the effects of promotion expenditures on agricultural cash receipts in New Jersey,² Report submitted to the Division of Markets, New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
31 ISU Extension Horticulture web site, commercial horticulture, visited September, 1999 (http://www.hort.iastate.edu).
32 ³1998 Survey of Buying Power,² Sales and Marketing Management, 1998.
For more information, contact:
Rich Pirog, education coordinator
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