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KoiGreen Produce and Pond Supplies, located in Ogden, Iowa, uses the water from their ponds stocked with koi fish to water the produce they grow and sell. KoiGreen was able to start its business and purchase many necessary items for its pond thanks to an USDA Farm Service Agency microloan.

Local, state and national legislative policies with a significant impact on the ability to develop thriving, sustainable local food systems in Iowa will be the focus of the May 25 meeting.

Iowans have new tools to help them eat healthy and stick to a tight budget. “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers a redesigned website and new companion mobile app for use at the grocery store.

The 2016 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll examined ways farmers might help reverse the decline in North America's monarch butterfly population through habitat restoration. The survey’s questions examined farmer awareness, concern and willingness to support monarch habitat improvement.

Many opportunities are available for families to learn about Iowa's dairy industry during June.

The Iowa Beef Center has updated the BRaNDS ration balancing software. Owners of earlier versions of professional and standard editions can update at a low cost.

Grapes and raspberries can be grown in the back yard, with a little bit of ingenuity and work. Creating a trellis to support the plants in a home garden is within the means of most gardeners, with a little bit of effort.

Agritourism is a growing contributor to the travel and tourism sectors of the Iowa economy, with 275 farms reporting more than $4.3 million in total agritourism and recreational services income, according to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture. May 7 – 13, 2017 is National Travel and Tourism Week and there are a myriad of ways to take part in agribusinesses across the state.

Iowa agricultural producers who would like to develop habitat for monarchs and pollinators by adding additional soil and water conservation practices to their land have until May 19 to sign up at their local USDA Service Center for planning and funding assistance.

There is a better way than relying on calendar date to determine when to harvest the first alfalfa crop of the season due to climatic variations impacting alfalfa growth and development.

A Herbicide Research Program Field Day will be held June 22 at the Curtiss Farm (2219 520th Avenue) in Ames, Iowa. The field day, which has occurred since 1982, is an event that allows the weed science program at Iowa State to demonstrate its research to the public.

The Linn County Master Gardeners have received the Search for Excellence award for the Planting for Pollinators program. The Search for Excellence award is given annually by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program.

William Edwards has been named interim director of two extension-focused centers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — the Beginning Farmer Center and the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation.

High levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), a mycotoxin commonly known as vomitoxin, are being found in grain across the Corn Belt, including eastern Iowa. Contaminated corn is an issue especially in dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS), according to Erin Bowers, mycotoxin sampling and analysis specialist with Iowa State University.

Nearly 150 youth in grades 8-12 participated in the third annual Maize retreat April 21-23. Maize is a culturally based youth leadership accelerator program coordinated by Iowa 4-H Youth Development.

ISU Extension and Outreach is offering a short course designed for graziers interested in a more controlled and management intensive grazing system.

National cattle behavior specialist Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker at the Cattle Stewardship Conference June 8 at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds, Spirit Lake.

The seventh annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth will be July 31 at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone, Iowa at 1928 240th Street.

Rhubarb is a popular in Iowa gardens, adding flavor to early-summer produce harvests. Proper care and harvest will ensure a bountiful, delicious crop.