In 2013, Field to Family’s board of directors decided to end their Buy Fresh Buy Local program after serving as the region’s local chapter since 2005. It was decided for staff to explore a certified locally grown consumer education program that is unique to our region, similar to other programs in the United States, such as the Appalachian Grown and the Piedmont Grown. A working group was formed to create this new program.

In the meantime, Field to Family continued to maintain a listing of local farmers and the grocery stores and restaurants that purchase from local farmers on their website called Local Food Finder. That listing is still present and maintained and will ultimately be replaced by the new program.

In 2014, the Johnson County Food Policy Council (JCFPC- an advisory council to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors), requested support for the local label from the county. Support from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors enabled the program to move forward and in the Fall of 2015, the Council became an official client of the Marketing Institute at the UI Tippie School of Business. The student team immediately went to work on the “Grown Here/ Made Here” project. The UI Tippie School of Business allows students to get real world experience while providing marketing research to companies and organizations at a fraction of the cost.

The student team worked to determine the need for a Johnson County “buy local” branding campaign that easily identifies locally grown foods by conducting their own research as well as citing recent national studies.

Snapshot of the research results

Currently, Michelle Kenyon, Program Director for Field to Family and Chair of the Johnson County Food Policy Council, is providing leadership to the Grown Here/ Made Here working group while maintaining the local farmer listings and the list of restaurants and grocery stores that buy from local farmers in Field to Family’s Local Food Finder website. Partners include:

Working Group Members:
Michelle Kenyon, Field to Family
Shanti Sellz, Johnson County Local Foods & Planning Specialist
Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley RC&D
Jessica Burtt –Fogarty, Iowa Valley Food Co-op
Kate Moreland, Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group
Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
Nate Kaeding, Iowa City Downtown District
Les Beck, Linn County
Friends: Mark Nolte from ICAD, Tom Banta from ICAD. Josh Busard, Director, Planning, Development and Sustainability, Johnson County, Kevin Mellon, Creative Mellon

The Working Group is working to expand the region outside of Johnson County into the larger Iowa Valley, recruiting supporters and raising funding.


From the Archives: 2012 Buy Fresh Buy Local Directory BFBL 5-8-v2

Recent article that mentions Grown Here/ Made Here project from the Gazette on July 3, 2016

Executive Summary