Idaho Organizations Supporting Local Food & Sustainable Agriculture

In every region of Idaho there are community organizations and cooperatives dedicated to supporting local farmers, promoting independent food and agriculture businesses, and increasing local food access for all Idahoans.  Find out how you can be involved in this important and rewarding work by contacting an organization working in your town, county or region.

Backyard Harvest works in partnership with communities on the Palouse and in the Clearwater Valley of north central Idaho and southeast Washington to connect those with extra fresh produce to those who need it most.

Backyard Harvest relies on generous donors who share their backyard bounty and extra fruit as well as volunteers who lend a hand picking to help make sure that everyone in their community has healthy food to eat.

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Established in 1973, the Boise Co-op is a community-owned food cooperative and marketplace that educates and connects the greater Boise community to high-quality, natural, organic foods and specialty products. 

With two locations in Boise and Meridian, the Boise Co-op provides in-store shopping, delivery and will soon add curbside pickup – essential services for shoppers social distancing due to COVID-19.

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The Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) mission is to grow healthy communities and inquiring minds.  As a specialized, inquiry-based education organization, BUGS utilizes an organic garden setting as the foundation for their unique learning environment.

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Buy Extension (BE) focuses on developing sustainable communities within southern Idaho’s Treasure Valley by promoting sustainable agriculture, celebrating art and artisans, and fostering a sense of community through relational development with farmers, gardeners, artisans and local operating markets. 

BE more.  BE local.

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City of Good is a collective action network created by Boise businesses and civic organizations to feed those who are isolated or in need in our community – and put people back to work in this effort during our challenging time of the COVID-19 crisis.

We are currently making and delivering meals free-of-charge to those in the community who are most vulnerable at this time. All meals are prepared using high-quality ingredients that deliver strong nutritional value.

Visit City of Good’s website to donate or request food.

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The Cultivating Success™ program provides beginning and transitioning farmers with the planning and decision-making tools, production skills and support necessary to develop a sustainable small acreage farm or ranch.  Whether you are a beginning farmer learning the basics of farming or ranching or an experienced farmer trying something new, Cultivating Success™ provides educational opportunities for you to be successful!  

In response to COVID-19, Cultivating Success™ has produced several “best practices” webinars and an extensive list of resources to help Idaho producers safely bring their products to market.  These resources are available on the Cultivating Success™ website.

Cultivating Success™ is a joint program of University of Idaho Extension, Washington State University Food Systems Program and the small acreage farming nonprofit organization, Rural Roots.

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For sevearl years, Edible Idaho provided Idahoans and visitors to our great state with new ways to explore and appreciate Idaho’s vibrant foodsheds and diverse culinary endeavors through print and online stories.  Edible Idaho shuttered its windows in spring 2020.  You can still find back issues of Edible Idaho on the Edible Communities website.

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The Idaho Independent Food, Agriculture, Restaurant and Beverage Establishments Alliance (FARE) is an organization of local independent businesses and their workforces representing all sectors of Idaho’s unique food & beverage industries.

FARE exists to advocate for policies and practices that create an equitable and prosperous environment for Idaho’s farmers, grocers, restaurants, and beverage focused establishments.

Representing the interests of those who dedicate themselves to supplying our communities with the products and service that make Idaho unique, FARE is an organization committed to the growth and sustainability of Idaho’s local food chain.

Visit FARE Idaho’s website to find Idaho COVID-19 resources for independent food and agriculture businesses.

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Global Gardens welcomes farmers and gardeners to engage in work that brings them joy, provides food for their families and community, and earns a fair wage within our local food economy.  With a vision of longer tables, fewer walls, and rich community collaborations, Global Gardens works to enable an inclusive, diverse and profitable local food system in the Treasure Valley. 

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The Boise-based Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture (ICSA) promotes local and sustainable food communities through research, collaboration with farmers, and the expansion of local food distribution.  ICSA seeks to inspire all agricultural producers to cultivate partnership with regenerative agriculture entrepreneurs and experts to share their knowledge, innovative research and inform policy to benefit Idaho’s communities.

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The Idaho Farmers Market Association (IFMA) is a statewide, member-based association bringing together resources and expertise from around the state to help farmers markets in Idaho thrive. IFMA works hard to ensure the economic well being of Idaho farmers and the health of Idahoans through increased access to fruits, vegetables, and other local products.

On March 25, 2020, Idaho Governor Brad Little announced and order to self-isolate for the State of Idaho due to COVID-19.  Certified farmers markets in Idaho were deemed “essential businesses” in the order, placing them in the same category as grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinians, hardware stores and other services.

IFMA  has developed a Coronavirus advisory page on their website with resources for safe operations of farmers markets during the Pandemic.

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The Idaho Organization of Resource Councils empowers people to improve the well-being of their communities, sustain family farms and ranches, transform local food systems, promote clean energy, and advocate for responsible stewardship of Idaho’s natural resources.

IORC’s vision is to live in a state where every person can meaningfully participate in decision-making processes that impact their lives and each person can actively participate in the creation of just, healthy, self-reliant communities.

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The Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild is a network of permaculture practitioners who inhabit a region of the northwestern U.S. between the Cascade Mountain Range and the Rocky Mountain Range.  The Guild hosts annual gatherings and operates an interactive website to facilitate communication among Guild members and between the Guild and the greater community.  The Guild’s goal is to inform their members and others about the promise of permaculture.

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The Local Food Alliance (LFI) envisions a thrivign Community where people are nourished by fresh, locally and regionally grown food every day.  LFI’s goal is to increase access to food grown and produced in and near the Wood River Valley of central Idaho. LFI collaborates with farmers, food artisans, businesses, organizations, schools and individuals to create a resilient local/regional food system for the individual, economic and environmental health of their community.  Find farm-fresh food through their Wood River Valley local food guide.

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LINC Foods, the Local Inland Northwest Cooperative, is a worker and farmer owned food hub based in Spokane, Washington.  Their goal is to build a robust local food system and vibrant ecosystem in the Inland Northwest.

LINC’s wholesale team sources local food with exceptional freshness and quality from their member farms which is sold to local markets including restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions across the Inland Northwest.

The LINC Box, a farm-to-table weekly delivery of local farm-fresh food, was started in spring 2020 in response to COVID-19.  LINC Box members are making a significant impact on the local food system and keeping local farms and ranches in business.

LINC Malt provides craft malt with a great story, great flavor, and a regional character.  Malts are processes in small batches with cereal grains grown in the Inland Northwest.

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The Moscow Food Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store located in Moscow, Idaho.  Open to everyone, the Moscow Food Co-op’s mission is to nourish and nurture their community.  For over 40 years the Co-op has been promoting their cooperative identity, stewarding the earth and each other, and creating a healthier planet and a stronger, healthier community.

With two Moscow locations, in the heart of downtown and on the University of Idaho’s campus, the Co-op is truly a third place where the community gathers, grows and shares great food.

In response to COVID-19, the Moscow Food Co-op has developed an online ordering platform and offers curbside pick-up.

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The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) works to protect community and environmental health and inspire the use of ecologically sound solutions to reduce the use of pesticides.

NCAP works to expand organic and sustainable food production in the Idaho by advancing alternatives to pesticides on the ground, and by promoting strong food policies locally and federally.

NCAP hosts special workshops, conferences and field days designed to help farmers access real, practical techniques and learn directly from one another about what works.

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The Palouse Land Trust (PLT) works with families and individuals across the Palouse and north-central Idaho to conserve and protect the lands that mean so much to all of us:  working agricultural land and forests, healthy waterways and wildlife habitat, iconic landscapes, open spaces, outdoor recreation sites, and special ecosystems like the Native Palouse Prairie.

Through voluntary conservation agreements, PLT works to ensure that the landscape that defines us and sustains us not only endures, but thrives for today, tomorrow, and generations to come.

PLT is a nonprofit organization funded by private donations, grants and foundation support, and government contracts.

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For more than 20 years, Rural Roots has worked with small farmers and ranchers who use sustainable practices to support and enhance sustainable and organic agriculture and local food networks in Idaho and the Inland Northwest.

Based on the belief that healthy farms & food = healthy communities, Rural Roots goals include vibrant, successful farms, nutritious, healthy and locally produced food, and resilient communities.

Rural Roots is a partner in the Cultivating Success™ small acreage farming education program. 

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Salmon Valley Stewardship works to promote a sustainable economy and productive working landscapes in the Salmon River region of Central Idaho. They envision a community where stewardship of natural resources is at the core of the social, economic and ecological vitality of the region.

SVS’ work leads to shared community understanding of natural resource and land use issues; community supported policies that protect natural resources, maintain rural characteristics of the community and promote responsible growth; thriving local natural resource based businesses using sustainable practices; and, local resources utilized for maximum community self-sufficiency.

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Slow Food of the Tetons, a chapter of Slow Food USA, is a non-profit organization based in beautiful Jackson, Wyoming that connects the Teton community with local healthy food on both sides of the Idaho – Wyoming border.

Slow Food in the Tetons hosts a year-round farmers market for local growers and cooking classes where kids and adults learn where their food comes from and are empowered to make healthy choices.  They also make locally grown food easier to find through their Local Food Guide and hold events throughout the year to celebrate their food community.

Slow Food in the Tetons’ ultimate goal is to increase the amount of food being grown locally, so everyone can all eat better and healthier while growing the economy and making a more positive impact on the planet.

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Snake River Seed Cooperative is a collective of farmers, seed enthusiasts, and plant diversity advocates promoting local seed diversity and a more sustainable food system.

With a home base in Idaho’s Treasure Valley,  Snake River Seed Co-op takes pride in offering a selection of top-of-the-line seeds grown using sustainable methods by family farmers in the Intermountain West. With every generation of seed being saved, seed becomes more adapted to the Intermountain West region.

The Co-op also teaches classes to adults and children about seeds and how to protect and produce them.

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The Hunger Coalition, located in central Idaho’s Sun Valley, builds community through food.  The Coalition believes good food inspires joy, togetherness, growth, health, strength, and the courage to make a difference and that everyone has the right to good food.

The Hunger Coalition envisions a community where everyone has access to good food regardless of economic circumstances, where human connections grow, and all are empowered to speak up and be heard.

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Two Degrees Northwest (2DNW) believes the arts and handmade goods are central to a strong and vibrant place-based rural economy. 2DNW works to support and create opportunities for art and food-based economic development; to cooperatively market the region’s artists and artisans; and to promote our region’s arts and fine crafts along with other locally made products such as foods, wines, unique sites, services, and experiences.

The 2DNW Artisan Trail Guide is designed to enhance and support regional job creation and economic development related to the arts, locally grown and prepared foods, heritage, contemporary craft and other micro-enterprises in an eleven-county area of north-central Idaho and southeastern Washington — between 45º & 47º latitudes.

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University of Idaho’s statewide Small Farms and Community Food Systems Team of Extension Educators collaborates across the state to offer timely, relevant and science-based small farms and community food systems programming.

U of I Extension support thriving small scale agriculture and vibrant local food systems which foster small business opportunities, income production, healthy people and increased individual and community food security.

The Small Farm and Community Food Systems Team’s mission is to support the start-up, development and success of small-scale agricultural businesses; empower landowners and residents of small acreages to protect and preserve their natural resoruces; and, contribute to the strength and resiliency of safe, local food systems in Idaho’s communities.

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Sponsored by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Idaho SARE provides resources, professional development opportunities and funding for sustainable agriculture research and education across the state. SARE’s mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education.

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