Producers bring their products for distribution day at the Iowa Valley Food Co-op in 2013. The "Come to the Table" summit, set for Feb. 7, brings together producers and local food buyers. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Producers bring their products for distribution day at the Iowa Valley Food Co-op in 2013. The “Come to the Table” summit, set for Feb. 7, 2014, brings together producers and local food buyers. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Fourth Annual Come to the Table summit will bring together local food buyers and local food producers to help foster  relationships and expand the local foods market.

The event is set for Friday, Feb. 7, at the ISU Extension Office in Iowa City. A $15 fee covers registration with lunch.

Here is more about the event:

IOWA CITY – Come to the Table is a special program of the Field to Family Regional Food Coalition with the goal of bringing together farmers with bakers, butchers, grocers, chefs, schools, hospitals, distributors, and many more buyers of local food. The goal is to foster the relationships between farmers and buyers in the Iowa Corridor Region.

Despite its strong agricultural market, Iowa imports most of its food from other states and countries. Event organizers hope to increase the amount of local food bought and sold in Iowa by bringing together state & national food buyers with local food producers. “Come to the Table” aims to expand the local foods market starting with a handshake.

WHAT: Come to the Table: Local Food Summit for Producers & Purchasers

WHEN: 9 AM – 3:30 PM, Friday, February 7th, 2014

WHERE: Johnson County ISU Extension Office 3109 Old Highway 218 S Iowa City, IA 52246


Come and hear from local partners Jesse Singerman and Jason Grimm of the Iowa Valley Food Co-op. Singerman recently completed a study of the retail food market in the Corridor. The study provides information on the supply and demand side of local food in the Corridor. Learn about the challenges and opportunities in capturing this retail market with local food production.

In addition, Jessica Burtt-Fogarty of the Regional Food Systems Working Group of Iowa will share the findings of a recent report from the Leopold Center highlighting the work of the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG). RFSWG supports local food systems in 90 of Iowa’s 99 counties. It is the first coordinated, comprehensive attempt to measure actual economic and community impacts associated with regional food system development in Iowa.

The report shares local food purchases by grocery stores, restaurants and institutions, and sales from Iowa farm-based enterprises that marketed their products locally in 2012. Nearly 180 businesses and individuals participated in the data collection effort, including 74 buyers and 103 producers of local foods. The evaluation also measured job creation as a result of local food production, processing or utilization, and counted funds leveraged by the regional food groups that comprise the statewide RFSWG network.

Following the opening presentations two Corridor farm businesses will tell their story. Owners of Buffalo Ridge Orchard and Rapid Creek Ranch will talk about their initial start-up to current stages, from the early phases to determining how and when to scale up and more.

Afternoon Panel

Following the lunch, hear from a panel of restaurants on the demand side of the local food system. The panel will consist of restaurant owners – David Wieseneck, Motley Cow, Ofer Sivan, Oasis, Barbara Farnsworth, Her Soup Kitchen, Steve Harding, The Wedge, James Adrian, Atlas, and Kyle Sieck, Local Burrito and Food Entrepreneur.  

Hear about their business goals and dreams of procuring local products as well as their plans for 2014.

Meet and Greet Expo

The purpose of the Summit is to foster the relationships between farmers and buyers. During the meet and greet expo farmers and other entrepreneurs will be free to visit tables staffed by local buyers from restaurants, groceries, catering companies, hospitals, schools, colleges, and more. 

Free beverages and snacks will be made available during the meet and greet expo.

To Register for the Event

Register online at

This event is brought to you by the:

Field to Family Regional Food Coalition

The Coalition is a diverse group of organizations, agencies, and community members from the Iowa Corridor Region that includes Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Linn, Tama, Poweshiek, Washington, Cedar and Jones counties. The Coalition works to develop linkages between food system sectors and support the development of entrepreneurial projects by sustaining regional networks and collaborative community relationships.


The following Coalition members have all partnered in the organizing of the Summit.

Iowa Valley RC&D

New Pioneer Food Coop

Iowa Valley Food Coop

Prairie Ventures LLC