Person kneeling in field with one hand on the soil and the other hand holding a clipboard.

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.

Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association

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.

Fruit and vegetable day participant walking through field.

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.

Home-based kitchen operations online course.

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.

Food plant worker cleaning a stainless steel tank while another worker looks on.

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.

Chris and Laura Gorman of Upstream Gardens and Orchard in Altoona, Iowa.

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.

Women watering a garden.

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.

Fruit and vegetable day participants stand around a garden listening to Ajay Nair.

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.

Close-up of ripe grapes on a vine.

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.

Shannon Coleman head shot.

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.