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UNI joins Practical Farmers of Iowa to launch 'Buy Local' program

May 11, 2003
Contact: 

Kamyar Enshayan, program manager. UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Educational and campaign organizer for 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local, (319) 273-7575
Todd Kimm, communications specialist, Practical Farmers of Iowa, (515) 232-5661, ext. 108
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local,' a program that will make it easier for Black Hawk and nearby counties to find locally grown agricultural products, will kick off with a directory distribution on Saturday, May 17 at two local farmers' markets. The program is sponsored by the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and the Practical Farmers of Iowa. It is one of only 10 programs in the nation authorized by FoodRoutes Network, a non-profit organization that provides support to rebuild community-based food systems.

Kamyar Enshayan, adjunct assistant professor of physics at UNI, and campaign organizer for 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local,' said the groups have put together a 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local' directory of farms, farmers' markets and meat lockers in Black Hawk and nearby counties that sell locally grown products. Also included are grocers and restaurants that feature local food. The directory will be available beginning May 17, during opening day of the Waterloo Farmers Market on the corner of E. Fourth Street and Park Avenue; and the Cedar Falls Farmers Market in Overman Park. Enshayan said the program will expand statewide in coming years.

'Throughout the growing season we will try to help people realize that we are surrounded by a rich diversity of locally grown food that is thousands of miles fresher,' said Enshayan. 'Buying local means investing our food dollars in local independent farm families who grow the food we eat. If half of the 50,000 households of Black Hawk County spent $10 a week on locally grown produce, that would mean $1 million invested locally every month.'

Also part of the program kick-off is 'Gary Kelley At the Market,' June 7 at both farmers' markets. The famed artist will unveil and sign his new poster celebrating farmers markets from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Cedar Falls Farmers Market, and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Downtown Waterloo Farmers Market. All proceeds will fund the 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local' initiative.

Enshayan said the program has its own label that will be used by grocers and farmers wishing to promote their locally grown or produced products.

Providing support for the program are the city of Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

For more information, contact Kamyar Enshayan, campaign organizer, (319) 273-7575; or Todd Kim at (515) 232-5661, ext. 108.