Our mission at Golden Hills RC&D is to collaboratively develop and lead community, conservation, and cultural initiatives to improve our quality of life in rural western Iowa. Our "official" territory from our original organizational bylaws is an eight-county region in the southwestern portion of Iowa (Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby). In 2023, we added four more counties (Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, and Monona). Several projects extend beyond these 12 counties into more than 20 counties (learn more about where we work).
Our goals are to develop industries in local communities that utilize local resources; ensure healthy natural resources that meet the needs of agriculture, industry, private use, and recreational facilities; promote and enhance art, culture and historic resources in rural communities; collaborate with local governments and organizations on projects that benefit the environment; and work on projects that fill gaps in community services to benefit people of southwest Iowa.
We accomplish these goals by focusing our work in five program areas: outdoor recreation and tourism, land stewardship, water resources, local foods, and arts and culture. Today's Mission Monday focus is Local Foods.
Both Integral and popular parts of our Local Foods program, the Featured Farm blog posts and Southwest Iowa Farmer Meetups are great ways to learn about local producers in southwest Iowa. Golden Hills has organized several farmer meetups over the past year, including Cottonwood Hill Farms in McClelland and Flavor Country Farms in Honey Creek, which specializes in mushrooms and microgreens.
The farmer meetups are a great way to meet local food producers and others interested in local food farming in southwest Iowa. Farmer meetups are free and include a tour of the host farm or the facility where the meetup takes place, making the events an excellent way to socialize and network with others in the local foods scence.
Fortunately, if you missed previous farmer meetups, Golden Hills has two farmer meetups scheduled over the next two weeks.
In addition to organizing farmer meetups, Golden Hills has featured a total of 17 southwest Iowa farms in our "Feature Farm" series. This series of blog posts highlights local food producers, farmers markets, and businesses throughout southwest Iowa.
Sycamore Ridge Small Farm LLC
One Farm Market
3 Bee Farms
Garden of Paradise
Flavor County Farms
Archer Aqua Farms
Mud Ridge Ranch
Brun Ko Farm
Hidden Hollow Farm
Cottonwood Hill Farms
Long Walk Farm
Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard
Sown Local Foods