The IowaGrassfed.org website and Northeast Iowa Producer Directory is a collaborative project between grass fed meat producers in Northeast Iowa and is coordinated by Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, located in Postville, Iowa.
The project is a result of a Conservation Innovation Grant awarded to Northeast Iowa RC&D by Iowa’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The project aims to promote grass-based livestock systems while simultaneously assisting with the conservation of Northeast Iowa’s natural resources.
Throughout the process, Northeast Iowa producers have participated in the project by offering their time and wisdom through the formation of a grass fed livestock producer Marketing Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC was comprised of different types of livestock producers from across the area that directed the way in which they would be marketed as well as the style of the promotional materials. Producers in the MAC contributed to the marketing plan and promotional materials produced from the project and were instrumental in creating the captivating images used for the project by allowing the on-farm documentation of their operations. The images seen on this website and used in the promotion of grass fed and pastured products are the result of those sessions.
NORTHEAST IOWA RC&D’S LOCAL FOODS WORK
Northeast Iowa RC&D, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves a seven county area of Northeast Iowa. We work with community members and leaders to develop great ideas, build partnerships, find funding and turn our dreams into reality. This bottom up approach gives you the power to improve your life and your community. Northeast Iowa RC&D has been working with producers in the local food system for decades.
Northeast Iowa grows and consumes more local food than any other region of Iowa. The local food system is complex and important to the local regional and state economies. It supports thousands of jobs and businesses, stimulates and diversifies the economy and offers a way to enhance and protect the natural resources. Northeast Iowa’s dedication to the local food system is expressed in its work with individuals, communities, and regional advisory groups – providing assistance that no other organization provides to the local producers, communities and collaborative groups.
Specifically, the RC&D assists with research, planning, branding, market analysis, and marketing. It helps producers secure grant funding for business start-up, expansion, and/or marketing. The RC&D has helped producer entrepreneurs collectively secure more federal Value-Added Producer grants than most states have received. A Revolving Loan Fund is available through the organization for equipment and facilities purchases. It has helped start/expand processing facilities, including creameries, wineries, and meat processing facilities. It has formed and continues to work with and for regional consortiums, advisory council and collaboratives that inform local food project planning and implementation, one of which is the grass fed livestock producer market advisory council.
Northeast Iowa RC&Ds mission is to recognize opportunities and provide leadership to make our region a vibrant, place-based model for the nation!