Virtual Food Systems certification now open until February

Kaley Hohenshell, Program Coordinator

AMES, Iowa — The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of resilient local food systems. In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has transitioned its nationally recognized Local Food Leader professional development certification course to a virtual format. 

This certification includes cohort workshops hosted through Zoom and online curricula through Moodle. The fall 2021 online workshop begins Oct. 1 and ends Feb. 1, 2022; registration closes Sept. 28. 

The Local Food Leader Certification teaches foundational competencies critical for successful food systems development through integrated virtual workshops and four online modules. 

Local Food Leader

These include equity in food systems, working in food systems, facilitation and coordination, evaluation and professional development. The online modules offer intensive curriculum including community food systems overview, methods of engagement and leadership, creating teams and tools for success and evaluation.

There are two options for completing this course:

Virtual workshop series only. Register at

Virtual workshop series plus online modules. Register at

Those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate of completion. Limited scholarships are available. Fill out a scholarship form at

See more information about this and other online food systems certification courses online. 

Note: Those who have completed this certification are qualified to register for a one-day Local Food Leader Train-the-Trainer workshop on Feb. 24. 2022 in West Des Moines. Watch for registration information in October for the workshop and the 2022 Iowa State University Community Food Systems Annual Event on Feb. 25, also in West Des Moines.