Sponsored by Frontier Co-op, the Equitable Land Access program secured 17-acres of land in partnership with Linn County Conservation to increase land access to marginalized farmers


[Cedar Rapids, IA March 12, 2022] - Feed Iowa First has signed a long-term lease on 17 acres of land owned by Linn County Conservation, which will be developed over the course of the coming years into a regenerative farming project building back the soil and expanding land access through the Equitable Land Access program. Frontier Co-op will be the lead sponsor, contributing $250,000 to the development of the project.


Feed Iowa First Executive Director Carter Oswood said the organization had been pursuing multiple avenues to increase land access for marginalized farmers over the previous year, and that the partnership with Linn County Conservation developed organically.  “We are beyond thrilled as an organization for the opportunity to develop this land in a sustainable way that will provide opportunities for so many individuals in the community,” said Oswood, “and sincerely look forward to increasing both food and land access in the area.”


The lead community sponsor on the project, Frontier Co-op, has contributed $250,000 toward the development at the farm. “Feed Iowa First has long played an important role in addressing injustices in our food system, and we are proud to continue to partner with them to support the new ELA program,” said Tony Bedard, Frontier Co-op CEO. “Programs like these are foundational to providing an opportunity to underrepresented and marginalized populations who face unique barriers to land access. These new farmers will receive the financial, organizational, and agricultural support they need to not only get their businesses off the ground but in doing so, expand access to a diverse array of organic food options in our region.”


The farm lease that officially began March 1st will run for 20 years, the maximum allowable time period in Iowa per the state’s constitution. Work on the development of the land agreement was assisted by the Farmland Access Navigator program, which is administered by Practical Farmers of Iowa and Renewing the Countryside and supported by a USDA grant.  Linn County Conservation Executive Director Dennis Goemaat said of the partnership. “It truly is a unique opportunity in our community, and the Conservation Board is pleased to be assisting in this innovative program.”


Feed Iowa First is committed to sustainable and regenerative land management practices through the use of cover crops, pollinators and other regenerative methods to build back the health of the soil, with all food grown being chemical-free and non-GMO.  Vegetable production will follow in the second year, incrementally opening up sections of the field to farmers participating in the Equitable Land Access Program.


Feed Iowa First is a local non-profit dedicated to increasing food security in the community by growing food and farmers.  Started in 2011, the organization operates a number of programs to generate, aggregate and distribute fresh produce into the community at no charge, no questions asked. To learn more about Feed Iowa First visit www.feediowafirst.com, and to learn more about the Equitable Land Access program visit www.equitablelandaccess.com


Frontier Co-op®

Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Co-op offers a full line of products for natural living under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic®, Plant Boss®, and Aura Cacia® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; plant-based organic meal solutions; and aromatherapy products with a wide selection of organics. Frontier Co-op’s goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit the co-op's website at www.frontiercoop.com.


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