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Man talking to kids on agritourism farm
February 29, 2024

Agritourism can be a fun and rewarding experience for Iowa landowners. With some careful planning and foresight, agritourism can provide supplemental revenue to a farm or become its main source of revenue.

Person holding carrots
February 05, 2024

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encouraged Iowa horticulture food crop producers to participate in a statewide industry survey aimed at capturing fresh data on the diversity, growth and economic impact of horticultural food crop production in our state. This is the first Iowa survey of its kind in nearly a decade.

Food inside Refrigerator
February 01, 2024

Food entrepreneurs who want to take their new products to the next level may register for a new, in-person course made available by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The one-and-a-half-day course is set for March 8-9 in Dubuque.

December 08, 2023

Specialty crop producers are invited to learn from industry professionals Jan. 8 and 9 by attending the Iowa Specialty Producers Conference at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The two-day event will feature keynote speaker Michelle Miller, known online as "The Farm Babe," with educational breakout sessions both days led by a variety of speakers, including specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Lone Oaks Farm Historic Barn
July 10, 2023

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural agritourism bus tour, the Visit Iowa Farms Program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a second “Exploring Iowa Agritourism Ventures” tour on Monday, Aug. 28.

Boy and dad picking strawberries
May 18, 2023

A free, online course from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development team is available to help those with on-farm visitors regarding risk management and liability concerns.

Cinnamon Ridge Farms
May 04, 2023

Are you interested in beginning or improving your own agritourism business? Learn directly from leading agritourism operators and experts during upcoming Agritourism Entrepreneurship Business Education Tours.

March 13, 2023

Every Iowa community has a unique culture, and every culture has exceptional stories. Communities can bring those stories to life — if they have the training and tools to do it well. Tour guides and volunteers will have the opportunity to hone their skills at the 2023 statewide Guide Training Workshop April 18 in the community of Earlham, located in northern Madison County.

January 13, 2023

The Farm, Food and Enterprise Development team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold a virtual Specialty Crop Marketing Boot Camp on two occasions in February. Designed to help those who grow and market specialty crops, the boot camp will feature expert insight from Darcy Maulsby, an Iowa author and experienced ag marketer known as “Iowa’s Storyteller.”

December 21, 2022

Transitioning a farm to the next generation is one of the biggest challenges that farm owners and beginning farmers will face. The decisions made can affect families, finances and rural communities for decades into the future.

December 08, 2022

Recognizing the growing interest in specialty crops and specialty crop production, the state’s fruit and vegetable association is taking on a new name and new look to better serve Iowans in those industries. The newly branded Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association will carry on the same duties of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – with a new name and a broader focus.

November 14, 2022

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program will host a farm financial management bootcamp for specialty crop producers in December. The short, intensive program is designed to provide producers with the opportunity to optimize their business model, examine their financial infrastructure, develop a financial plan and prepare to raise money for further business development.

November 08, 2022

As harvest season is wrapping up, small food businesses in Iowa are busy baking pumpkin pies and canning fresh blackberry jam. Part of the food supply chain, Iowans who produce and sell goods from their homes are known as home-based kitchen operators.

September 19, 2022

Beginning in October, food entrepreneurs can learn about best practices related to food safety, food labeling, and cleaning and sanitation of food contact surfaces during a free webinar series.

July 28, 2022

Specialty crop growers can get a better handle on their production costs and returns by using fruit and vegetable production budgets developed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The budgets cover all major costs and returns for common fruits and vegetables grown in Iowa, for both annual crops and perennials.

July 28, 2022

The horticulture team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold the 2022 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Aug. 15 at Iowa State University’s Horticulture Research Station northeast of Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, nonprofit organizations and master gardeners.

July 27, 2022

Small farmers and acreage owners who want to learn more about agritourism and specialty crops can register to attend a bus tour on Aug. 31. The inaugural event will feature four operations in central Iowa, with presentations by farm and agribusiness owners and specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

June 30, 2022

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University will host the 2022 Wine Grape Field Day on Wednesday, July 27. This field day is offered to grape growers and winemakers, extension personnel and nonprofit organizations. The field day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature two separate sessions.

June 20, 2022

Selling food to the public is a big responsibility. Numerous state and federal laws are in place to keep the public safe and assure that important food safety protocols are followed. However, navigating all of the dos and don’ts can be a challenge. Depending on what exactly is being sold, and how much, many Iowa food vendors may be exempt from state licensing and federal requirements. But knowing the requirements and best practices is still wise.

June 06, 2022

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today encouraged producers of pesticide sensitive crops to renew their field and beehive entries on the Iowa Sensitive Crops Registry.  “The Iowa Sensitive Crop Registry is an effective tool to support communication between producers of specialty crops, beekeepers and pesticide applicators – all important aspects of Iowa agriculture,” said Secretary Naig. “Now is a good time for farmers, beekeepers and pesticide applicators to reference and update their information using this user-friendly online platform.”

June 02, 2022

The newest commercial fruit crop specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will use his extensive background in the industry to help Iowa fruit growers overcome challenges.

Picking apples
May 25, 2022

On May 19th, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed SF 356 into law establishing the “Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act.” See Iowa Code § 673A et seq. Agricultural tourism is a growing industry in Iowa. In 2017, Iowa had 350 agri-tourism operations, an increase from 275 in 2012. Because many of the inherent risks of farming cannot be removed, the Act promotes agricultural tourism by limiting the potential liability of agricultural tourism farms in certain circumstances.

May 02, 2022

Colony Pumpkin Patch, a North Liberty based multi-generation, urban farm strives to provide seasonal and family-oriented experiences and is once again being honored by Google with an exclusive invitation to the Google Business Meetup in Washington D.C. from May 4 - 6, 2022.

January 17, 2022

Every farm operation will face transitions at some point, whether it’s a new beginning, an expansion, retirement or farm exit. In order to help farmers prepare for these kinds of transitions, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State are providing a two-day educational event Feb. 10-11 in Ames.

January 17, 2022

Bringing visitors onto the farm can be a great way to educate others about farm life, and it’s a critical part of the agritourism and agritainment industries. However, there are important risk management considerations for those involved with on-farm visitors. In order to help educate farmers about the risks and how to prepare, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a free, online training that covers the types of concerns these farmers might face. 


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