ISU Northern Research Farm 75th Anniversary Celebration and Field Day

George Cummins, Field Specialist-Crops, Northeast; John Holmes, Field Specialist-Crops, Central; Jim Hill, Hancock County CEED; and Leroy Jensen, Wright County CEED

Problem Statement:

The Northern Iowa Experimental Association was formed and the Northern Research Farm (NRF) established in 1931, the first outlying research farm in the state. The 75th Anniversary Celebration provided the opportunity to highlight the Land Grant University System; to actively involve the Association Board of Directors; and to recognize the people responsible for the success of the NRF.

Programmatic Response:

Association Directors, representatives from the Outlying Research Farm Office and ISU Extension Field Staff formed the celebration planning committee. Sub-committees were appointed for fund-raising, program development, food/ local arrangements, and publicity. The 75th Anniversary Celebration and Field Day was held September 8th and built on the theme The Northern Research Farm Its Past, Its Present and Its Future. Activities included:

a.       A VIP reception for past and present association board members, university staff and ISU Extension leadership responsible for the success of the Northern Research Farm.

b.     The development of a video documenting the 75 year history of the NRF.

c.     The development of a commemorative brochure recognizing the people, sponsors and activities from the past as well as a listing of current research and an agenda for the day.

d.     The Opening Ceremonies included special comments by Dr. Wendy Wintersteen,  Dean of ISU College of Agriculture and  Representative Tom Latham, US House of Representatives. His family has close ties with the NRF.

e.     Walking tours which included plantings of historic corn, soybean and vegetable varieties and a stop that showed  the soils typical of the Clarion- Nicollet- Webster Soil Association.

f.     Static displays that included several recognizing the history of ISU Extension, the College of Agriculture and individual departments.

g.     The WOI noon radio show was broadcast live statewide from the field day.

h.     Dr. Elwynn Taylor and Dr. Kendall Lamkey, Interim Chair of the Department of Agronomy, gave special presentations, the latter on The Future of Agricultural Research.

i.     An antique farm equipment display was organized.

j.     A wagon tour of six current research projects.


a.     Association board members assumed leadership of and took an active roll in planning the celebration and implementing the plan.

b.     The celebration revitalized the working relationship between the Association Board of Directors, Extension field staff and ISU staff and faculty.

c.     Four new posters were developed by ISU Extension Specialists specifically for the field day The History of Pest Management,  The History of Herbicides, The History of Fungicides and Soils of North Central Iowa

d.     Over $7000 was raised in cash and in-kind donations for the celebration. The association has identified priorities for any funds which exceed celebration expenses.

e.     An effort to recruit new members for the association has been initiated.

f.     Attendance for the day was estimated at 340, based on noon meals served.

g.     Ag Science students from West Hancock, Ventura and Forest City High Schools participated in the days activities.

h.     The video will be used by local Extension staff as appropriate to raise awareness of the NRF, its activities, and its relevance.

i.     TV, radio and print media from across the area provided excellent coverage before, during and after the celebration raising awareness of the NRF and its activities.

September 2006

101 Strategic and Organizational Management Development for Iowas Farm Businesses

Page last updated: October 19, 2006
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