Weekly Bits – Sept 5

View the post and photos online.


header heart tomato

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
I frequently hear that eating healthy is more expensive than eating processed or junk food.  Really? I don’t think so and neither do others. A USDA study found that about one third of fresh vegetables including carrots, cabbage and cauliflower are less than 50 cents per one cup serving and even cheaper when in season.  You can cut food cost by taking a few minutes to plan your meals around what is in season.  Learn more.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

SAVE THE DATE!! The public is invited to visit twelve local food and farm businesses during the 2nd Annual Taste of Northeast Iowa Farm Crawl from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 27. The event is free and for all ages. This year’s tour includes one route in the Waukon and Decorah area and a route between West Union and Nashua.  Host locations include six farms, a winery, two orchards and three retail stores featuring local foods.  Get your map!


Help me welcome these new staff members as they join ISU Extension in support of 4-H outreach including the FFI 4-H Youth teams and volunteers!

Kendra Crooks is the new State 4-H Youth Program Specialist in Region 4. Kendra will be housed in the Chickasaw office. Kendra has a long history with the Iowa 4-H program including several years as the Chickasaw County Youth Coordinator.  In her most recent position, Kendra has assisted with school gardens, FoodCorps and wellness outreach in Black Hawk County.


Trevor Rockwell is the new County Youth Coordinator for Winneshiek County.  Trevor has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education and Health from Luther College and the University of Northern Iowa.  Since graduating from Luther, Trevor has spent the last 7 years teaching K-8 Physical Education & Health at schools throughout Iowa, including for the past 5 years at various catholic schools around NE Iowa.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Safaris continue through Halloween!  Residents, families, groups, youth and visitors of all ages are invited to get outdoors and experience the natural, educational, cultural and historical treasures of Northeast Iowa through county-wide adventure hunts called ‘Safaris’ at absolutely no cost! All of the region’s Safaris run through Halloween, so there is still plenty of time to start your adventure! Simply stop by a local library to pick up your Safari packet.


Check out Decorah High School’s new Flavor Station in their cafeteria.  It is a way for students to be creative and add flavor to their food without adding sodium, sugar or fat.



Incorporating Nature into Learning
Iowa DNR’s Exploring Iowa’s Natural Resources blog has many ideas of fun ways incorporate nature into the classroom. Subscribe today to receive email notification of new blog postings.

New Educational Kitchen
The board and members of the Oneota Community Food Co-op are excited about the next phase of educational opportunities offered by the Co-op. The Co-op is slated to purchase the building directly to the east of the current store.  The new Co-op Kitchen Classroom is three times the size of the previous basement classroom. It will have enough tables and equipment to easily teach a hands-on cooking class to a group of 24 or enough space to hold a lecture for roughly 40.  More.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  What does a daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables look like? Here are 10 photos of fruits and vegetables, each one a complete daily serving. It may not be as much as you think!

Weekly Bits – Aug 29

header waukon corn

The Waukon FFA Chapter (above) had a strong hand in harvesting 4000 ears of delicious sweet corn for the Waukon Corn Days celebration August 15-17.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
Hand washing is a basic, everyday process — but it is also a skill and behavior that must be learned as a young child. Click here for some tips and resources to help you teach this skill to the little ones in your life.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
LimeSprings Beef General Manager Michael Spinks hosted a Q&A and processing facility tour last week for Luther College representatives and community members involved in the local food movement. Via the facility tour, the college sought to determine if LimeSprings Beef would be a good fit for its sustainable purchasing goals. More.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Spotlight on Northeast Iowa! St. Joseph Community School in New Hampton is featured in this month’s edition of the Iowa Outdoors magazine (link on St. Joe’s FB page) The article highlights the school’s super successful Bike to School Day event held in May. Way to go, St. Joe’s!


SCH10582975_682281998529703_1702265346183737519_oOOL WELLNESS
Iowa’s FoodCorps members are trained and heading to a community near you!  There will be three members in NE Iowa: Oelwein, Postville and Waukon.



“Words on Wellness” is a monthly newsletter from ISU Extension that promotes a healthy lifestyle for Iowans. In each issue, you’ll gain reliable, research-based information about nutrition, exercise, and food safety, and explore the power of incorporating healthy practices into daily living.  This is a great resource for worksites to share with employees.  View past issues and subscribe here.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  What are your favorite meals to freeze? A recent post on the Spend Smart Eat Smart blog, has a video with tips on freezing leftovers and healthy recipes that freeze well to make family mealtime a breeze.




Weekly Bits – Aug 22

View Bits online


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
NE Iowa needs your votes!  Several community partners have entered projects in a Wellmark Foundation online voting contest. Vote daily from August 20 – September 7 to help your favorite projects.  We’ve linked to the NE Iowa projects to help your search. You can vote every day!
Kaleidescope Kids Child Care Center Playground, West Union
Help us Build the Freeport Trail, Winneshiek Conservation, Decorah
Kessel Kids Child Care Natural Playground, Cresco
Arlington Community Center Project with wellness room
Elgin Bike Trail Renovation


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
I am excited to announce that NE Iowa Farm to Preschool Program work is feature in the National August Farm to Preschool e-newsletter. This e-newsletter is slated to go out to over 1,300 subscribers nationally. The newsletter features an article ‘Iowa Preschoolers Learn Where Yogurt Comes From’. The newsletter also features the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s new ‘Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package’ that connects young eaters with fruits and veggies.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Value Added Producer Grants Awarded
On August 19, USDA-Rural Development announced recipients of the most recent round of Value Added Producer Grant program funds.  In Northeast Iowa, two applicants were successful; Iowa had six successful recipients. Congratulations!

Produce Auction Expansion
The Cedar Valley Produce Auction at Elma has expanded this summer with a 120 x 254 addition to their facility. Producers sell fresh produce, flowers, vegetables, and some bulk foods at wholesale prices. The new space allows producers to drop off their product (they no longer have to wait in line), keep their product out of the sun, and has shortened the sales from 3-4 hours down to 2-3 hours.


The 5th annual “Cook This! Culinary Challenge” event took place on opening day of the Iowa State Fair. Teams of 4-H members from across the state competed in a tri-event competition where they used their culinary skills to prepare the designated dish, showcased their public speaking ability through a team delivered speech and then quizzed on their knowledge of food and nutrition. The students really embraced this experience and had a fun day competing. Check out the details of the challenges here.  If interested in entering a team of 3 into next year’s competition, contact Laura at lliechty@iastate.edu.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Jake Gies, AmeriCorps
Like a misfit toy from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, I came in this year as a Food and Fitness volunteer who didn’t garden. I was often brought into conversations that I didn’t understand, especially in early spring.  In January, I met with the North Fayette kindergarteners to learn how to raise seeds. I chose my group well, because about 40 out of the 50 of them hadn’t planted seeds either.  See what we all learned together.


Master Gardener Classes Offered
Master Gardeners are members of the local community with an active interest in growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, trees and lawns. Master Gardener trainees attend 40 hours of classes taught by Iowa State University Extension specialists in a variety of topics.  In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service to their local community (includes school gardens!). Classes will be offered in Fayette and Winneshiek counties this fall, Tuesday evenings, Sept 16 – Nov 4.  Contact your county ISU Extension office for more info.

PFI’s Savings Incentive Program Now Accepting Applications
Practical Farmers of Iowa is accepting applications now through October 3 for its Savings Incentive Program (SIP). Up to 25 beginning farmers will be admitted for this round of the program, which matches up to $100 per month of savings by the beginning farmer for up to two years. In other words, if the farmer saves the full $2,400, PFI will match this amount, allowing the farmer to use $4,800 to purchase a farm asset. Applicants must be farming in Iowa, for five years or fewer, and be members of PFI. Click here to learn more and to apply.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to pick, prepare, and can something and open the canner to find broken jars and wasted food.  Here are the top 12 reasons your canning jar might break.



Weekly Bits – Aug 15

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
FFI recently hosted a Bike Rodeo during the Elma Family Fun Night (above) and reached over 100 kids, parents and grandparents with fun, interactive bike safety education! Regional Boy Scout troops were encouraged to attend to earn requirements for their bike safety badge. Schedule a Bike Rodeo for your organization, school or community by contacting Ashley at achristensen@uerpc.org.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
It’s recommended that we drink at least 60 fluid ounces of water a day. However, studies have shown that some U.S. children will go over a day without consuming a glass of water. Click here for a few great websites and organizations created to educate parents, teachers, day care providers and children on water and to encourage them to drink more water on a daily basis.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
I find myself very busy these days with school food orders. This is the first year, we’ve helped schools source local food from the first day of the school year.  It may not seem like a big deal, but if four weeks means another 8000 lbs of local food – let’s do this!  Here are some other products students can expect to see on lunch trays in August: apples, cantaloupe, baby potatoes, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, ground pork, yogurt and frozen strawberries!  More.


Food & Fitness 4-H Youth Teams reflected upon what they learned as they completed their team projects focused on health and wellness from this past year. Common responses consisted of their improved ability to work with peers and how to interact with young children, new skills in communication and public speaking, and the satisfaction of community outreach with a desire to volunteer more.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, FoodCorps, AmeriCorps
On July 1, the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards went into effect for schools across America. The new standards apply to all foods and beverages sold during the school day in schools’ vending machines, stores, snack carts, and a la carte lines, as well as through fundraising.   As kids head back to school, make sure you check out the Swap Your Snack inspiration page from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to learn more about schools leading the way to healthier snacks on the sports field, in the cafeteria, and through healthy fundraisers. Learn more about smart snacking by reviewing their 7 Smart Snack Tips and 10 Smart Ways to Raise Money.


Cooking classes for Tweens are back at the Oneota Co-op this fall. Summer break has been fun, but we’re ready to head back to the kitchen to make dinner with our friends. Class includes cooking and eating dinner!


TIP OF THE WEEK:  What if my jar doesn’t seal? Can I leave out the salt?  Do I have to sterilize my jars?  Test your knowledge. The ISU Answerline recently posted it’s list of Top 10 Canning Questions (and answers).


Weekly Bits – Aug 8

The Postville Food & Fitness 4-H Youth Team is partnering with the YMCA to put on the Postville Park It community event (above) on August 13 in Lull’s Park from 5-7 pm. Come enjoy the fun with a number of activities all revolving around being active! There will be swim fun, a volleyball scrimmage, tug of war, frisbee golf, basketball, bean bag toss and ladder games. The YMCA is providing popcorn as a tasty snack. See you there!


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
August is National Kids Eat Right Month! Eating fresh, healthy, well-balanced meals helps to keep young children strong, focused and happy while their bodies grow and develop. Talk food with your children and help them eat smarter.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage








ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
The new school year has arrived! With schools starting in the next couple of weeks, pedestrian and bike traffic is picking up all over the region (making us jump for joy!!).  Please be mindful of all the little ones out and about before and after school…and don’t be afraid to let them inspire you to get more active, too!


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, Food Corps, AmeriCorps
Pick a Better Snack program administered in 2 week day camp at Postville Elementary. They learned a lot about fruits and vegetables, taste-testing several throughout the past two weeks ending the program last week on a trip to the Clayton County Fair. Check out their adventures.


A new way to provide local food to everyone!
Are you an Amazon shopper? Now, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organizations selected by you!  Allamakee New Beginnings, the fiscal host of the Iowa Food Hub, is registered on AmazonSmile. Just select ANB as your charity — how easy it that!


Seed Savers Pancake Breakfast & Community Field Day
Saturday, August 16, 9am – 1:30pm
Heritage Farm, 3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA 52101
You’re invited to Heritage Farm for a behind-the-scenes look at our work preserving America’s food and garden heritage. See our seed vault where we store over 25,000 varieties of rare garden seed, view our isolation gardens where we annually regenerate many hundreds of heirloom fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, and stroll through our Seed House where we package and ship millions of seed packets. Arrive at 9 for our pancake breakfast to kick things off!  This event is FREE but registration is required because space is limited. Sign up online or by calling 563-382-5990.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  The vegetable gardens are starting to take off!!  Some of the mid-season garden activities include harvesting and replanting for fall.  Also, here are some tips on freezing all that zucchini!


Weekly Bits – August 1

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week”. Help us celebrate our nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.  This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week recognizing the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy.


Youth have been busy this summer with fun summer activities involving healthy foods. Youth camps featuring garden exploration and taste testing fruits and veggies and county fairs offering ample activities focused on using your creativity with food and being physically active. Check out my blog post for more on my experience with these activities.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
It took a village to complete new outdoor learning lab at the NICC Childhood Development Center in Calmar. Construction began on July 12 with volunteers including members of the Army Reserve. Some of the features included a wooden row boat and boat dock, walking bridge, trike path and shed, in-ground slide, bird nests, stepping stones, dramatic play stage, raised garden beds, buried tires, and wooden benches and chairs. One more fundraiser is planned for the project — a Reicks Chicken Dinner, September 14, 10:00-1:00. All are welcome to attend.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Northeast Iowa SRTS Program is being featured in a blog series to create buzz and excitement for the upcoming Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place this September in Pittsburgh where Ashley Christensen, Regional Safe Routes to School Liaison, will be presenting on Northeast Iowa’s successful SRTS program.


Luther College and Sodexo Food Service hosted an Institutional Buyer Meeting on Wednesday to network and share best practices of utilizing local foods.  The VIP list included 4 hospitals, 2 care centers, 9 colleges and universities, and 2 public schools. They connected with seven food suppliers — farms, processors and distributors — willing to help them meet their procurement goals.  And, there was ice cream!


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, Food Corps, AmeriCorps
We wish a fond farewell to Felicia Pinto and Jake Geis and thank them for their year of service with FFI!  Both have accepted positions with Food Corps — Felicia will be returning to Boston and Jake will be moving to Waterloo, IA.  Good luck!


The other four service members will be returning for another year of service after a long – and well-deserved – break.  See you in September, Ashley D., Ashley T, Paige and Megan!  Stay tuned for the announcement of the four NEW members…


TIP OF THE WEEK:  We’ve been seeing lots of pictures of onion and garlic harvests on Facebook.  What is the best way to preserve them?  ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips for harvesting, drying and storing these popular garden items.


Weekly FFI Bits – July 25

header chickens






Summer in Iowa means youth are having livestock, cooking and gardening projects judged at county fairs.  Chickasaw youth (above) line-up their production chickens to be evaluated.  In Allamakee County, the judge goes to the youth’s home to see their vegetable gardens.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
Kate Lower wraps up her internship with FFI this week and reflects on how the experience has solidified aspirations for her future.  “My love for Food and Fitness has continued to grow, and I am certain that I will be forever connected and attached to it.”


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
RAGBRAI, the annual week-long bike ride across Iowa, is wheeling through NE Iowa RIGHT THIS MINUTE! The route travels through Fayette County today and Clayton County tomorrow. What better time than now, as the 10,000+ RAGBRAI riders pedal through our breathtaking landscape, for a quick bike safety refresher.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
Allamakee New Beginnings (ANB) has established three new funds to increase access of locally-grown and processed foods in northeast Iowa. ANB is the non-profit sponsor of the Iowa Food Hub (IFH).  IFH unites the mission and vision of its partners, including NE Iowa FFI, by buying food from local farmers, and selling it and delivering it to the places where most people get their food, like school food service and grocery stores.  The funds were created to facilitate community investment in the regional food system.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, Food Corps, AmeriCorps
Edible Earth campers enjoyed a week-long fiesta of learning about local healthy food and cooking! Campers ages 2nd – 5th grade explored the local food system and enjoyed it’s bounty with the FoodCorps and AmeriCorps members from FFI.


Iowa Farm to School has joined Facebook. Keep up with the latest Farm to School initiatives and opportunities, and see the amazing things happening around the state. Look for regular features such like Garden Tips, Fun Fact Friday, photos showcasing IOWA, latest information on Farm to School initiatives, opportunities and contests.


The Leopold Center has been working on four new videos about the importance of local food – for Iowa communities, farmers, young people and our landscape. The series is called “Why Local? Why Now?”  It’s a look at some of the reasons behind the many investments that are being made to strengthen regional and local food systems in our state.


Country View Dairy was featured on Iowa Public Radio this week.  CVD is the state’s only on farm yogurt shop.  Dave and Carolee Rapson have been milking about 150 Holsteins since 2002 when they moved to Hawkeye from Michigan.  In 2009, when the prices they were paid for milk hit all time lows and feed prices tripled, they knew they needed to diversify to stay in business.  After much research, the opted for yogurt. they started making it in 2011 and have expanded from 15 stores in Iowa to 200 retail locations in seven states.


TIP OF THE WEEK:  Fast food is expensive and most options are not as healthy as homemade meals. A recent ISU dietetics graduate is learning there is a “life” aspect that can’t be ignored. She, like most, values her time, health and money.  So she asked – is take-out lunch really more expensive, less nutritious and quicker than a homemade version? The Spend Smart Eat Smart Team sent her on a mission and here is what she learned about making tasty burritos at home.





Weekly FFI Bits – July 11

Families and kids are welcome to this school garden in New Hampton (above) — but Peter Cottontail is NOT!  St. Joseph school received a grant from Theisen’s to install fencing around the raised beds at their school to limit the four-legged visitors, and it looks great!  More pics on Facebook.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
Speaking of garden pests–a deer has been visiting the Sunflower Daycare Garden in Decorah and leaving evidence behind.  Read how intern Kate Lower has been dealing with this challenge.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
UERPC recently published the Northeast Iowa Safe Routes to School 2013-2014 Annual Report. This report highlights student travel mode to and from school, as determined by the SRTS Travel Tally- a one-time, three-day snapshot of student travel collected by schools on a voluntary basis each spring.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
We had very special guests in northeast Iowa this week.  John Fisk, director and Devona Sherwood, program officer at the Wallace Center spent two days with FFI partners to learn more about our food system and food hub work.  The Wallace Center is a technical assistance provider for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  A major part of the work of the Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network, the Food Hub Collaboration is working to ensure the success of existing and emerging food hubs in the United States. We are thankful for their time!


FFA students from Crestwood High School in Howard County are investing a portion of their chapter funds in a local meat processing plant where a return on profits will be used for scholarships after graduating. The students are taking great steps to invest in their future; they even had the opportunity to take part in getting new legislation passed in order for their plan to be approved.  Listen to the IPR recording here.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, Food Corps, AmeriCorps
Last week, Postville’s summer school had more of an international flavor to it.  They made a typical Vietnamese dish, spring rolls, and American fruit kabobs. The kids had a great time chopping up carrots, cucumbers, basil and their garden’s own cilantro and rolling it up in rice paper. One young man was in charge of making our dipping sauce with soy sauce, brown rice vinegar and scallions.


The Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College is hosting an Institutional Food Buyers Workshop on Wednesday, July 30. The event will take place from 1-4 pm in Peace Dining Room, Dahl Centennial Union. The afternoon will be geared specifically towards colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes and K-12 schools within the region.  Please RSVP to Maren Stumme-Diers, Sustainable Foods Educator via the online RSVP Form at your earliest convenience, but no later than Friday, July 18.


Labor remains one of the key challenges for fruit and vegetable growers who want to scale up their operations to serve increasing consumer demand for local produce. A new manual from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture offers one possible solution: sharing machinery.


ISU Extension and Outreach in Clayton County is hosting a “Food Preservation 101” class on July 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Peace United Church, 301 N. Main St. in Elkader.  Participants will learn the basics of canning, freezing, and dehydrating food during the two-hour workshop.

TIP OF THE WEEK:  Thinking about a garden at your school, preschool or daycare?  Gardens provide a way for children to grow, harvest, prepare, and ultimately taste new fruits and vegetables. When appropriate precautions are taken, fruits and vegetables from school gardens can be served safely to students.  There are a number of things to consider when choosing a location for the garden.  This publication can help.

Weekly FFI Bits – July 3

Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad has been touring the state this June, networking with Iowa entrepreneurs and their role in economic development.  Last week, the governor visited Country View Dairy in Hawkeye and WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon.  Northeast Iowa folks’ support of the ‘grown local’ movement was a major incentive for both businesses to pursue their state-certified creamery and processing facilities.


The Iowa Food Hub based in Decorah was founded as “research hub” to find solutions to common challenges facing food hubs. (What’s a Food Hub, anyway? from Inspire(d)).  The first of a series of toolkits to share what’s been learned is now available from the Leopold Center: Developing a Worksite Food Box Program. A worksite food box program is similar to a CSA, except that food shares come to a workplace, such as a university or hospital. Toolkits on other topics, such as farm-to-school programs and cash flow management, are planned so stay tuned. Find the first toolkit here.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
Intern Kate Lower recently watched “The Weight of the Nation for Kids” and made some connections to her past experiences with being part of Food and Fitness while in high school.  She was reminded of all of the hard work involved with being a part of the program and was amazed by the young leaders doing everything in their power to bring about change in the health of our nation and in our schools.  Read more of her review.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Cresco is now home to a “fitness trail”! Outdoor exercise equipment was recently added along the Prairie Springs Recreational Trail in Cresco to increase opportunities for residents to get out and be active.  Here are more photos from the city’s Facebook page.


Meet Laura
Laura Liechty has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as the Regional Youth and Nutrition Coordinator.  She will be coordinating outreach activities for school-based 4-H Food and Fitness teams and youth-led FEEST events, and outreach to families about healthy eating and active living. Welcome, Laura!


The Youth Investment
4-H and FFA members are also part of the “local food system” and the benefits of a local food system are vividly demonstrated at our county fairs each year. At four county fairs in northeast Iowa, 4-H members sell their livestock projects at an auction at the end of the fair. Don’t miss your chance to fill your freezer with a side of beef, pork or lamb, and invest in a young person’s future.  Here is a post from last year that demonstrates the impact of these transactions.  Upcoming auctions: July 10 – Chickasaw; July 12 – Winneshiek; July 20 – Allamakee; August 4 – Clayton.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Emily Neal, Food Corps, AmeriCorps
Ever wondered what our service members are busy with during the summer months? The answer for many of them: summer camps and gardening!


TIP OF THE WEEK:  There is a new report out by the Economic Research Service that said that eating more fruit is associated with healthier weight but that Americans who eat more vegetables may actually increase their calorie and sodium intake. How can that be? Vegetables are naturally low in calories and sodium. Read how your veggie recipes may be sabotaging your health goals.


Angie Tagtow, former FFI Regional Council member, has been appointed as Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) at the USDA.  Her position starts this month in Washington, DC.  Congratulations, Angie!






Summer Newsletter Available

We love email, but sometimes the news deserves to be printed to be fully appreciated. Once a quarter, we select our best stories to be published as a newsletter that can be printed, shared and enjoyed.  Your copy of the Summer edition of the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness newsletter is waiting for you.  Click here to read or print your copy.


In This Edition:

  • Read how the bike racks overflowed at Wings Park in Oelwein this spring
  • See how preschool classrooms are engaging parents and changing family tables
  • Find out what was on one FEEST intern’s Christmas list
  • Learn how much local food was purchased by schools last year
  • Learn more about the definition of a Good Food System and how we are creating it in northeast Iowa
  • Join us as we recruit new AmeriCorps service members for the fall.