SCALE, Inc worked with the Leopold Center from April of 2010 through February 2011 as a speaker, trainer and consultant to the Center and three of its regional food groups. The consultation began with a keynote address at the Leopold Center’s annual meeting in April in Des Moines, a gathering that included nearly 200 farmers, University and Extension staff, small businesses and local foods advocates.
In November, SCALE worked intensively on-site with three regional food groups in different parts of Iowa, each linked to the Leopold Center. This consultation was customized for each group (using email and conference calls in advance) to better meet their stage of development, with a common focus on increasing the scale of both food production and markets. Farmers markets, value chain development and working with existing food businesses to enhance aggregation and distribution were among the topics explored during these training sessions. Two of the groups also engaged SCALE for follow-up consultation by phone.
The contract concluded with a webinar lead by Rich Pirog, Associate Director of the Center, and SCALE’s Anthony Flaccavento, along with three other consultants involved in food system work.