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Buy Local First: How to Keep Public Food Dollars in Your Community

This webinar reviews how towns and counties can develop local food purchasing policies that will ensure that dollars spent on food by schools, senior centers, prisons and other public institutions support local communities.

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Read About the Speakers

Rob Marqusee, Director of Rural Economic Development, Woodbury County, Iowa

Rob Marqusee is the Director of Rural Economic Development for Woodbury County, Iowa – Sioux City is the county seat; a position created in 2005 to reverse economic declines in the rural areas of the county. Rob is responsible for the development of Woodbury County, Iowa’s tax rebate policy providing 100% rebate of real property taxes for farmers who convert to organic farming practices.  He also developed the first mandatory Local Foods Purchase Policy for Woodbury County.

Rob has been an attorney since 1979 and is licensed to practice law in the states of California, Colorado, and Iowa. He holds a LL.M. in Taxation (Masters in Tax Law) from the University of Denver, a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Denver (Phi Beta Kappa), and received his law degree from Seattle University. Rob practiced law in Santa Barbara, California for 13 years.

Born in New York City, he was raised in Boca Raton, Florida where his family was engaged in economic development activities. His father was a vegetarian and organic/natural food advocate his entire life which had a significant impact on Rob’s lifestyle.

Rob has 5 children and presently resides in Sioux City, Iowa.

Monika Roth, Agricultural Extension Operator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

Monika Roth has worked as an agricultural extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension for more than 30 years. During her career she has been most involved in working with farmers who market directly to consumers. She has watched the evolution of the local foods movement in the past 30 years and seen the impact it has had in the Ithaca area and elsewhere in the country where local foods are a prominent part of the local economy.  She holds a master’s degree from Cornell in Agricultural Economics with a focus on marketing.  She has been active with many Tompkins County and New York State food initiatives and nationally with organizations like the National Farmers Direct Marketing Association and the Farmers Market Coalition.

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