Local Foods Title

squash sweet corn dahlias


Johnson County is a unique region in Iowa where the rural landscape meets our urban centers in many dynamic ways. We are a brilliant mix of talent, experience, and culture. We sit on some of the richest, most fertile soil on earth and our deep agricultural history continues to define us. We identify the wealth of food our region is capable of producing and understand the need for community-based food systems.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors and staff are committed to building a thriving local food system -- where farmers prosper, businesses succeed, and everyone has access to clean, healthy, delicious food.

What is the Food System?

The food system is defined as the chain of activities connecting food production, processing, distribution, marketing, transportation, access, consumption and waste management.

Local Foods Planning in Johnson County

In the fall of 2015, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors created a new position - The Local Foods and Planning Specialist - as part of the Planning, Development and Sustainability office. The Local Foods and Planning Specialist works closely with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, county planners and community partners to increase local food production and access in Johnson County.

By creating this position, Johnson County is acknowledging the importance local foods have in regional planning, and that by developing a community-based food system, we are supporting all sectors of our environment - from public health to conservation.

Why Local Foods and Planning?

The food system has significant, daily impacts on the residents of Johnson County in terms of the environment, the local economy, employment, the transportation system, public health and waste. Everyone eats, therefore everyone, whether it's directly or at the grocery store, is engaged in the food system. The current food system is driven predominantly by the private sector - but in as the impacts on the community by the food system affects all the sectors where regional planners are traditionally involved, it is important for regional planning departments to include food systems planning in their scope of work.

In Johnson County we see the need to localize our food system - and we are working to create a healthy, intact system that lessens resource inputs, promotes worker's rights and preserves the natural environment. The advancement of our local food system will enhance rural and urban economic development, increase access to healthy, clean food and build equity in our community.

In the News

December 2nd, 2015: KGAN TV: Johnson County Passes Poultry Ordinance

October 13th, 2015: The Daily Iowan: County Hires Local-Food Expert


Email: localfoods@co.johnson.ia.us

Phone: (319) 356-6083 ex 8057

Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday

Address: Johnson County Administration Building
Planning, Development and Sustainability
913 S Dubuque Street Suite 204
Iowa City, IA 52240