Winner of the 2011 Better Together Award from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
With a broad mission of "Building Community by Engaging Citizens in Meaningful Conversation and Active Learning," the non-profit organization provides a variety of non-partisan, educational programs and community services focused on sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and civility, three core legacies of the Wallace family.
The Wallace Centers of Iowa’s two locations include the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center in rural Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines. Both sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The diverse programs and services include:
- Production and Sale of more than 40 organically-grown fruits and vegetables to local grocery stores, farmers markets, and Prairie Harvest Community Supported Agriculture subscribers.
- The Gathering Table restaurant at the Country Life Center offers dining nearly year-round that utilizes locally-grown food.
- Community-Building Educational Programs include:
Real Soil, Real Food, A Real Difference educates teens about critical food issues such as food insecurity, food safety, and nutrition with a short-term intensive and long-term self-guided project.
Civility Dialogue Lunches gather concerned community members around the table for discussion about civility in our community.
Everyday Civility helps to build civility in the workplace with a two-hour learning session for employees.
Community Conversations facilitate conversation about current issues with community members and local experts.
Hearts & Homes Historic Teas share household tips and issues of the day from the women's section of the historic Wallaces' Farmer farm journal.
- Entrepreneurial Food Production Processes and Activities provide proven methods to other producers and reintroduces consumers to real food. WCI’s new One Step at a Time program will help small growers develop, test, process and market a value-added food product.
- Community-Building Consulting for neighborhoods, towns, non-profit organizations, and people who share a common interest. Using seven unique components, WCI's community efforts foster civil dialogue; shape a broad, grass roots-supported vision; and translate that vision into action.
- Agri-Tourism Programs, Historic Tours and Archives: Provides information about the achievements of Wallace family members to students, authors, researchers, and the public for reports, articles, books, historical exhibits, and general interest.