Research

IFH is an educational, research-driven food hub.  IFH and its partners have been successful in securing private and public grant funds to develop this business model as an example for other organizations and to offer this specialized type of technical assistance to farmers and food producers.

 

Youth Greenhouse Project (Feb 2016)

ANB is proud to sponsor the Growing Greener 4-H Greenhouse project in West Union. Area youth have the opportunity to learn about greenhouse food and plant production. Operated by a manager and youth interns, youth grow plants for spring plant sales and produce food for schools.

 

Feasibility of Food Hub Node in Dubuque Area (Feb 2016)

With funding from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, this project proposes using the Iowa Food Hub staff, infrastructure and sales platform to test the concept of a food hub node in the Dubuque region to increase markets for locally produced food. Download the project summary.

 

 

Food Hub Development in Iowa (Feb 2015)

This 25-page report is from the first coordinated study of food hub development in Iowa. Two surveys of food hub managers and local food coordinators identified 31 food hubs or centers of food hub-related activity that serve Iowa markets. Work was funded by a grant from Ag Ventures Alliance and the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program with support from the Leopold Center.

 

National Food Hub Benchmarking Studay (September 2014)

Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable. But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations? What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses?

The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration collected and analyzed financial and operational data from dozens of hubs across the country in an annual food hub benchmarking study. Iowa Food Hub has contributed data in both years. This NGFN webinar describes the lessons learned from the study of food hub financial and operational characteristics. The presentation highlights how successful food hubs across the nation have achieved their mission and goals through financial and business metrics.

 

Local Food Coordinators (August 2014)

Local Food Coordinators support the development of local food systems by bringing participants together and increasing community awareness through educational and promotional marketing. This publication provides resources to groups and organizations who are developing a local foods coordinator position, complete with a position description.

 

Developing a Worksite Food Box Program (July 2014)

This is a guide for creating a program for pre-packed food boxes delivered weekly and picked up by employees at their workplaces. It is marketed to employers, such as businesses, universities and hospitals who want locally grown food more accessible for their employees. This was a collaboration with the Iowa Food Hub and ISU Extension and Outreach.