Lack Of Structural Support Crippling Local Foods, Farmers Say — Very few farmers (if any) are making it in the local food scene

Lack Of Structural Support Crippling Local Foods, Farmers Say

By Charity Nebbe, Katelyn Harrop & Sthefany Nobriga Feb 26, 2020

Talk of Iowa

Melissa and Andrew Dunham, owners of Grinnell Heritage Farms, feel forced to radically change their business model in today’s local food climate.


Are local foods supported more in theory than in practice? Charity Nebbe sits down with farmers and advocates from across Iowa to learn more.

A few weeks ago, Andrew and Melissa Dunham of Grinnell Heritage Farms announced they will not offer their storied community-supported agriculture, or CSA, program in 2020. They’re scaling back their operation, and selling off equipment. Grinnell Heritage Farms has been one of the highest-profile, most admired local food operations in the state, and this announcement has raised concerns for farmers and advocates of the local food movement across the state.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Andrew Dunham of Grinnell Heritage Farms; Michelle Kenyon, director of Field to Family, a non-profit based in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids corridor; and Liz Kolbe, horticulture and habitat program manager at Practical Farmers of Iowa about the changes local food systems are facing, from climate change and economics, to consumer behavior.

Guests Include:

  • Andrew Dunham – owner, Grinnell Heritage Farms
  • Michelle Kenyon – director, Field to Family
  • Liz Kolbe – horticulture and habitat program manager, Practical Farmers of Iowa