Feed Iowa First signs 20 year lease to help provide equitable land access for farming in Cedar Rapids

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 6:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More people will soon have access to land to grow fresh food in Cedar Rapids. Feed Iowa First has signed a lease with Linn County Conservation to farm 17 acres of land near Wanatee Creek Road and Cottage Grove Parkway southeast. It’s part of the Equitable Land Access Program.

The goal is to connect people to land who don’t have land of their own to farm.

“Proximity is a huge issue in terms of land access. You know we don’t want to go too far out of town for individuals who don’t have transportation,” Carter Oswood explained, Executive Director of Feed Iowa First.

Frontier Co-Op is giving $250,000 to help make this possible.

“Programs like this that really allow people to access good food is important especially in this kind of environment and so I think that being a small part of that solution is really you know what makes it fun to work at Frontier,” said Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-Op.

Those farming the land will be able to produce their own food, but mainly, they’ll sell it to support their families. And Feed Iowa First is expecting the fresh vegetables to reach even further than that.

“When you have the opportunity for more land you can generate more produce which means a lot of excess,” Oswood explained.

Excess food will be donated to area food pantries for those in need.

“It’s all kind of shaping up to be quite a beautiful project,” Oswood said.

This year Feed Iowa First plans to prep the land, they’ll begin farming it next year.

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