Community Food Systems Curriculum

Revised May 2022

The Community Food Systems Program (CFSP) received funds from the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center to develop and pilot two national certification programs: Local Food Leader certification, and Community Food Systems certification. Additionally, they have created a Mapping 101 certification as well. A Pilot program evaluation report was created, as well as individual evaluation reports for the Local Food Leader workshops and the Community Food Systems workshops.

  • Mapping 101:  a curriculum that includes unique input models to garner feedback, comprehensive reports utilizing qualitative and quantitative information, and resources to find necessary data for decision making on multiple scales from business development, organizational work and community food systems assessments. This certification is appropriate for individuals interested in understanding how to create maps for decision making and building new skills in QGIS for data and map development.

          Mapping 101 Certification Syllabus



  • Local Food Leader: a foundational practice certification that build capacity for individual engagement within the food system. The certification develops individual skills including: building trust, facilitation, knowledge of the food system, evaluation techniques, leadership, plan of work development and professional development plans. Here is a two-page overview of the goals and curriculum of the Local Food Leader certification.

Local Food Leader Online Module Syllabus

  • Community Food Systems: a process based certification that increases capacity for food system practitioners to work in and develop food systems. It teaches a needed framework for food systems development that walks through a three year process that started in Iowa in 2014. This certification is unique because it both focuses on collective decision making and strategic planning methods, as well as unique opportunities to tie in technical assistance such as economic impact analysis, feasibility studies, and design thinking. This is relevant because food systems are dynamic and unique. This certification will equip participants in various different skill sets and facilitation methods, as well as team building; participants will develop different strategies for decision-making, and will have the ability to bring projects from thinking to project implementation for reaching systems based goals. Here is a four-page overview of goals and curriculum of the Community Food Systems certification. The Community Food Systems Tactic Checklist is now available as well.

Community Food Systems Assessor Certification Syllabus
Community Food Systems Design Thinking Certification Syllabus
Community Food Systems Economic Impact Certification Syllabus
Community Food Systems Facilitator Certification Syllabus
Community Food Systems Feasibility Certification Syllabus
Community Food Systems Full Certification Syllabus