Penny Brown Huber featured in Successful Farming

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Executive Director Penny Brown Huber was featured in the article “Eight Crops Waiting for You to Grow” found in the December 2016 issue of Successful Farming. Check out her thoughts on planting carrot crops below! Carrots in the Midwest? Absolutely, says Penny Brown Huber, president of Iowa Choice Harvest in Ames, Iowa. Her company processes and freezes vegetables for marketing in grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. She wants farmers to start at about ½ acre of carrots. “We will help you learn how to grow and harvest the crop,” she says. You would need at least a small seeder and a regular mower. A harvest digger would be ideal. “We don’t demand organic, but we prefer at least chemical-free,” says Brown Huber. Carrots can produce 13,000 pounds per acre, she says, and ICH will pay about 16¢ per pound. Farmers from Iowa and surrounding states are welcome to email Brown Huber. iowachoiceharvest.com | pbrownhuber@iowachoiceharvest.com...
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Field Day: Soil and Water Health in Action

On November 7, 2015 Prairie Rivers of Iowa hosted an informational field day which included a tour of two farms near Stratford, Iowa. The beautiful, crisp day filled with sunshine and pastoral landscape views created a perfect setting for learning about soil and water conservation practices such as prairie buffers, filter strips, wetlands, rotational grazing, and cover crops. The highlight of the day for many of the attendees was the hay-rack tour. It was a classic way to learn about two Iowa farms and their stewards. It's definitely safe to say that both the farmers and the group covered a lot of ground. The first stop of the tour was at a ridge on Jim and Anita Johnson's farm, Prairie Hill Farm of Hamilton County. From this location you could see the prairie field borders, a prairie filter strip, and a wetland surrounded by a large riparian area. This area intercepts water draining off their farmland, which includes rotational cattle pasture and row crops. It also intercepts some...
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Local Firm Helps Farmers After Bird Flu

Our Board Member, Jan Sherwood works with Shekar Engineering, out of Des Moines Iowa. Below is about a project they received to help farmers recover and clean up after the effects of the Bird Flu. Shekar Engineering, from Des Moines Iowa, has been in business since the 1990’s performing environmental consulting and construction services. In September, Shekar Engineering was awarded a contract with the USDA to work on turkey farms affected by bird flu in Sac, Buena Vista, and Cherokee counties. Each of the farms, consisting of four to five barns, lost turkey flocks consisting of as many as 40,000 birds earlier this year. Altogether, the various farms we worked on lost in total over 500,000 turkeys due to the strain of bird flu that was particularly virulent this year. The USDA provided clean up services to remove the birds as well as clean and disinfect the barns while they were under quarantine. The birds were removed along with up to a...
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Local Food Cycle on KCWI Great Day Show

Prairie Rivers of Iowa is bringing back the Local Food Cycle again this year. The Local Food Cycle is a culinary bike ride that is a special event where bike riders tour local farms, meet farmers and eat delicious culinary delights prepared by area chefs. This year’s ride is through eastern Story County. We were fortune enough to be a guest on KCWI Channel 23 Great Day show on Friday August 14th. Jessica Johnson, Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s Marketing Coordinator and Emily Zimmerman, with the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association were the interviewees. To register and find out more about the stops visit www.prrcd.org/bike Listen to the interview below: ...
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USDA Provides Greater Protection for Fruit, Vegetable and Other Specialty Crop Growers

Read the press release from the USDA about the greater protection is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that greater protection is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops. "These new protections will help ensure that farm families growing crops for food, fiber or livestock consumption will be better able to withstand losses due to natural disasters," said Vilsack. "For years, commodity crop farmers have had the ability to purchase insurance to keep their crops protected, and it only makes sense that fruit and vegetable, and other specialty crop growers, should be able to purchase similar levels...
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Ride. Eat. Repeat. 1st Annual Local Food Cycle

September 7th was an exceptionally perfect day for a bicycle ride.  70 degrees with a slight wind out of the south made for the finest circumstances to enjoy the 1st Annual Local Food Cycle, a bicycle ride celebrating healthy sustainable food systems in Central Iowa.   Over 120 riders participated in the first year of the event.  Riders explored farms while savoring local foods prepared by area chefs.  The riders varied in skill level and age but all enjoyed the opportunity to experience local food in a new way.   The 40 mile route started at Moore Memorial Park in Ames and did a loop north through Story and Boone Counties.  Participants had the opportunity to visit six farms and a private wetland.  The farms were all small to mid-sized and did mostly fruit and vegetable production.   Mustard Seed Community Farm was the fourth stop on the route.  The small farm is dedicated to sustainable, simple living and creating a community in which everyone...
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WFAN’s Iowa Female Farmer Veteran Network project

June 17 & 18th is a networking event in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids for women military veterans looking to start a career in farming. These FREE events will begin at 6pm, featuring local food and drinks. To learn more about the Women, Food and Agriculture Network’s Iowa Female Farmer Veteran Network Project here.   Pre-registration is required by Saturday June 14th at 5pm. You can register for the Cedar Rapids event online at this link, and for the Des Moines event at this link. You may also call WFAN at 515 460 2477 and leave your name. Please call the same number or email with any questions.   Tuesday, June 17 will be located at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside, 401 NE 66th Ave, Des Moines, IA, or Wednesday, June 18 will be located at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 50 2nd Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA.   Women, Food and Agriculture Network is a non-profit, educational organization formed in 1997 to provide networking, information and leadership development opportunities to women involved in all...
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Registration now open for the April 8th Iowa Local Food Conference

Keynotes and panels will highlight the growing number of opportunities available to food producers in their local networks. Conference attendees can participate in three tracks: food hubs, processing centers, and marketing.   Registration is now open at: www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference<http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference>   Reduced-price early registration ends on March 28. The conference is geared to general audiences, students and vendors, and will be of interest to small growers, business owners and food service personnel, as well as others who are interested in the growing local food system in Iowa.   Contact Lynn Heuss for details, including scholarship application questions, at leheuss@i   Keynote speaker Lucie Amundson is the marketing brainchild behind her family's pasture-raised chicken business, Locally Laid. Her social media savvy led Locally Laid to the final four in a national competition for small businesses to earn a 30-second TV spot at the Super Bowl.   Sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Local Food and Farm Initiative (LFFI) and the Iowa Food System Working Group with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the...
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First of Two Listening Sessions to be Held to Discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed

Two listening sessions will be held to discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed on March 10th from 3:00-4:30pm at the Stanhope Community Center and then again on March 11th from 3:00-4:30pm at Gilbert City Hall. We are asking people to come and talk about the watershed and to ask questions to our board. There will also be informational material to read on the watershed.   Penny Brown Huber, Executive Director of Prairie Rivers of Iowa and a subconsultant on the project says, “Our focus in the planning project will be to engage and educate the public about the watershed.  We want to hear from all the residents in our watershed in order to create a plan that will lead us over time to make improvements in water quality while we address flooding and water quantity issues. ”   Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota was hired to facilitate the planning process.  EOR is a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm that...
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