Fresh green beans.

New tool helps food service evaluate on-farm food safety practices

Institutional buyers of fresh, whole produce need assurances that growers followed safe food handling practices during production, harvest and delivery. These buyers may include the food service staff at schools, hospitals, care facilities and others. The US Food and Drug Administration offers guidelines for farmers to follow, known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). But third-party … Continue reading New tool helps food service evaluate on-farm food safety practices

Fresh vegetables.

Growing small-scale produce processing capacity in Iowa

Iowans know fresh, local produce is tasty and good for them. But how can small businesses or non-profits keep supplying local vegetables to clients through long Midwest winters? One potential solution: a mobile produce processing cart allowing them to can or freeze the vegetables. The Mobile Produce Processing Cart Project builds on five years of … Continue reading Growing small-scale produce processing capacity in Iowa

Lamb.

Online course teaches agritourism risk management

Risk Management Education for Farmers with On-Farm Visitors is a free online course now available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Producers will learn practical management techniques to enhance the safety and health of their on-farm visitors. Register for the course here. Participants will spend about eight hours on the course and have three … Continue reading Online course teaches agritourism risk management

Red raspberries on vine.

Evaluating alternative farming enterprises

by Craig Chase, FFED program manager At FFED, we get a lot of questions from both beginning and established farmers about alternative agricultural enterprises. These can range from hops to other horticultural crops to dairy goats to organic crops in general.  The reason for farmers’ interest varies. Profitability from conventional corn and soybeans has been poor for … Continue reading Evaluating alternative farming enterprises