Workshop to help link Iowa schools to healthy, local food sources

Midwest National Farm to School Network

School food-service directors play a crucial role in the health of Iowa’s children, according to Andrea Geary coordinator of the Northern Iowa Food & Farm Partnership (NIFFP) housed at the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy & Environmental Education.

NIFFP is sponsoring an educational workshop for food-service directors, farmers, community members and interested individuals to show how food service directors can serve healthy, fresh food to students through a farm-to-school food program. The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 15, at UNI’s Malcolm Price Lab School.

Bertrand Weber, director of wellness, nutrition and culinary standards for Taher, Inc., a food-services management company in Minnesota, will give the keynote address. Taher, Inc. provides K-12 school lunch management and other food services to clients in 10 states. Weber formerly managed numerous hotels and resorts and has worked with many school districts to elevate their school lunch programs to a healthier level.

“This training also will provide resources to help food-service directors connect with local farmers and hear firsthand stories about how some Iowa schools are switching to healthy, local foods,” Geary said.

The event is open to the public. Registration is required; the $30 registration fee includes lunch. To register contact Geary at or (319) 273-7883.

NIFFP is the co-lead agency for the Midwest National Farm to School Network (NFTSN) and works with farm-to-school programs in the Waterloo Community School, Independence Community School District, and UNI’s Price Laboratory School. Find more information at