Specialty Ag Articles

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MarketReady Workshops Presented to Help Growers Scale Up


Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three MarketReady workshops in January and February. The training is designed to provide producers with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound decisions about diversifying operations into wholesale, retail, and institutional market outlets.

  Iowans hope to cash in big on hemp. But they need lawmakers' help to make it happen


But legislative leaders must consider a raft of issues before hemp seeds hit Iowa soil, decisions that could set up Iowa to cash in — or risk missing out on billions of dollars in the hemp industry, experts say.

USDA outlines plan for labeling genetically modified foods


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week outlined its plan for requiring labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients.

Iowa Organic Association to host first ever Midwest Organic Pork Conference in Waterloo


This is the first conference ever organized in the United States dedicated to presenting the best resources and information available to help expand opportunities for organic, specialty, and niche pork production and distribution.

Grants available to help promote specialty crops, Naig announces


Grant funds shall be used for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and that benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. These projects can include marketing and promotions, research and development, expanding availability and access to specialty crops and addressing local, regional and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

Secretary Perdue Announces Effort to Establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard


The Standard defines bioengineered foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature. The implementation date of the Standard is January 1, 2020, except for small food manufacturers, whose implementation date is January 1, 2021. The mandatory compliance date is January 1, 2022. Regulated entities may voluntarily comply with the Standard until December 31, 2021.

Hemp market set to take off


A provision of the just passed farm bill removes hemp from the list of federally-controlled substances

USDA Highlights Opportunities for Producers and Vendors via Trade Mitigation Programs


USDA is buying products under the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, its arm of USDA’s three-pronged trade mitigation program, to help farmers impacted by unfair trade practices. Commodities being purchased include apples, blueberries, cranberry products, dried plums, grapes and pork. USDA began issuing solicitations for the purchases in early October and expect to purchase other products throughout 2019.

The sweetest gift


The Taylor family of West Des Moines started their own business thanks to a unique Christmas gift.

Deck the halls


Christmas trees from Indianola's Walnut Ridge Farm have graced the governor's office and Iowa Capitol.