Local Food Producer Website Building Workshops

Northeast Iowa RC&D, in partnership with the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and the Google Data Centers Grants Fund of the Tide Foundation, is hosting website building workshops for local food producers and farmers across Iowa.

Attendees receive one-on-one, hands-on training on how to create and maintain a simple, affordable website using Google Sites. We look at free online tools that can enhance and complement your website including Picasa, Picnik, Wufoo, Google Apps, Mailchimp, Facebook Like Boxes, and more. Participants can expect to leave the workshop with a viable website and interested participants have the opportunity for free follow-up technical support through Northeast Iowa RC&D.

Is this workshop for me?

If you are comfortable using the internet, checking email, uploading digital photos, or creating documents with tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, you will be comfortable with the technical level of this workshop. If not, please feel more than welcome to bring along someone who is.

Each participant will build a unique website using Google Sites. Google has made the process of building and maintaining a website easy, flexible, and virtually free.

What does a Google Site look like?

You will notice the site looks professional, there are no distracting ads, and each site nicely reflects the personality of the individual farm or business.

When and where will workshops be held?

In 2010, we held 3 workshops across Iowa and built more than 25 websites. Thanks to funding from the Google Data Centers Grants Fund of the Tides Foundation, we are working with local partners to host five more workshops in 2011.

March 31, 2011
Monticello, Iowa

September 22 & 29, 2011
Luther College
Decorah, Iowa
5:30 – 8:30pm

October 19 & 26, 2011
Allamakee/Clayton County
Northeast Iowa RC&D
Postville, Iowa
5:30 – 8:30pm

December 3 & 5, 2011
Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs, Iowa
(Brought to you by Golden Hills RC&D and SWIFFI)
1:00 – 5:00pm

December 10, 2011
Ankeny, Iowa
1:00 – 4:30pm

Partners have included the Luther College Environmental Studies Department, Southern Iowa RC&D, Iowa Valley RC&DSouthwestern Community College, the Iowa City Public Library, CZ Top Computers, Clayton County Economic Development, and ISU Extension.

Please contact Brad Crawford at Northeast Iowa RC&D — 563.864.7112 or brad@northeastiowarcd.org — for information on future workshops.

What does all of this cost?

The workshop is free, thanks to generous grants from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Google Data Centers Grants Fund of the Tides Foundation. If you do wish to register a domain name (e.g., givengardens.com), you pay a domain registrar approximately $10 per year. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required.

Website Related Costs:

Task Cost to you through grant vs. Typical Cost
Website Design/Development Your time (+ free professional help) $300-1000
Updates and Support Easy to do yourself (+ free professional email/phone support through the end of 2010) $50-500/year
Website Hosting Free (provided by Google) $75-120/year
Domain Name Registration (e.g., givengardens.com) $10/year $10/year
Grand Total $10/year A Significant Investment

What to bring:

  • A laptop if you have one.
  • Photos Good photos are key. Bring them on a flash drive, CD, laptop. If you don’t have any, try asking a friend with a digital camera to take a few. Photos can make or break a website.
  • Written content to get started with. (Just start writing, and bring this content on a flash drive, send it to yourself in an email, etc.) Information about you, your products, or your process that you would like to share. What do you produce? Where can consumers purchase your products? Do you offer a CSA share? How did you get started? Do you have recipes to share?


To find out about a workshop in your area, or if you have questions, please contact Brad Crawford at Northeast Iowa RC&D.

Email: brad@northeastiowarcd.org Phone: 563.864.7112