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Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Date: Monday, 6th November, 2017; 8:30am
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to first Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest. Keynote speaker is Adam Montri from Michigan State University. Adam, along with his wife Dru, is the co-owner of Ten Hens Farm, LLC in Bath, Michigan. Adam and Dru started Ten Hens in 2008 and now farm three acres of outdoor production during the traditional Midwest growing season and year-round in over 17,000 sqft of high tunnel space. They market their produce through one farmers market, an on-farm stand, multiple restaurants, other farms, a grocery store, two multi-farm CSAs, and two senior center/assisted living facilities. Adam is also a hoophouse outreach specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) and with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems where he works with farmers throughout Michigan on the Hoophouses for Health program.

Core objectives of this short course are to:

  • Highlight the importance of crop, environment, and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels
  • Provide a platform to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production
  • Connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff, and industry personnel  working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods. 

Tentative schedule:

8:30am: Registration and coffee
9-10am: Keynote speaker Adam Montri, Michigan State University (Title: Two Acres and a High Tunnel: How Season Extension has gone from Niche to Necessity and Where It Fits in the Future)
10-10:45am: Ajay Nair (Title: Cucurbit crops for high tunnel production)
10:45-11:45am: Cary Rivard, Kansas State University (Title: Breaking Bad Habits: Integrating Crop Diversity into High Tunnel Production Systems)
11:45-12:30pm: Lunch and networking
12:30-1:15pm: Laura Iles and Lina Rodriguez (Title: Disease and insect management in high tunnels)
1:15-2:15: Adam Montri (Title: Crop Selection, Pricing and Economics for Successful Year-Round High Tunnel Production)
2:15-3pm: Joe Hannan (Title: Valuable lessons from production to marketing of high tunnel tomatoes)

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by November 2, 2017.


High Tunnel Vegetable Production Workshop

AMES, IA. Three workshops will be held to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives, and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production. Topics to be covered include soil management, tomato grafting, insect management and environmental control. A visit to a working high tunnel is also part of the workshop.

The workshops will be offered in three locations:
1. April 25 at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Webster County office in Fort Dodge
2. April 26 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Wappelo County office in Ottumwa
3. May 2 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dubuque County office in Dubuque.

Ajay Nair, assistant professor of horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist will lead the workshops along with Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Donald Lewis, professor and extension entomologist; and Kristine Neu, graduate assistant in horticulture.

Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop with classes running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop but registration is required as space is limited. Register by April 18 by filling the form below or by calling Kathy Beni at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dallas County office at 515-993-4281.


Grower listening session

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 10:00am
Event Type: 

Two Eastern Iowa Farmers to Host Fruit and Vegetable Producer Meet-Ups

Ames, Iowa —Two fruit and vegetable farmers in eastern Iowa will host producer meet-ups to discuss the upcoming season, challenges and opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers, and to meet and network with other farmers over a cup of coffee. These meet-ups are free and open to all fruit and vegetable growers.

The first meet-up will take place on Tuesday, March 14, at Salt Fork Kitchen in Solon. Laura Krouse, who operates Abbe Hills Farms near Mount Vernon, will host the event. Laura grows vegetables for 200 families in the Mount Vernon area, and raises open-pollinated corn. Salt Fork Kitchen is located at 112 E. Main St., in the heart of downtown Solon across from the Main Street Market.

On Tuesday, April 4, Adam Hohl, of Harvestville Farm, will host the second meet-up on his farm near Donnellson. Harvestville Farm is a fifth generation family farm that raises pumpkins, vegetables, corn, and invites guests for “agri-tainment” on the farm. The farm is located at 1977 Highway 2, 1.2 miles east of town. From Hwy 27 (Avenue of the Saints). Harvestville Farm is located 1 mile from the exit on the left (north) side of the road.

Each meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with refreshments provided. Registration is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. To RSVP, contact Liz Kolbe at (515) 232-5661 or

Staff from Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and Iowa State University horticulture faculty and extension specialists will attend each meet-up to contribute to the conversation, meet new farmers and gather farmers’ ideas for research and extension activities.


2017 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the 2017 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Monday, Aug. 7 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station near Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, non-profit organizations, and Master Gardeners. The field day will provide a face to face opportunity to interact with ISU researchers and evaluate research projects focusing on high tunnel pepper production, organic vegetable production, asparagus production, pest management in cucurbit crops, viticulture, high tunnel tomato grafting, and honey bee health and behavior studies. The field day will also provide opportunity to view equipment and tools needed in small scale fruit and vegetable production systems. Funding for the event is provided by USDA SARE and IDALS Specialty Crop Block grants. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 2:00-6:30 p.m. Registration is free but required to get a count for supper. Please register below.

For more information contact:

Dr. Ajay Nair, Vegetable Specialist,                                                     

Dr. Diana Cochran, Fruit Specialist,