AMES, Iowa – Iowa’s commercial horticulture industry contributes $48 million to the state’s economy each year and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to Iowa consumers. Gov. Kim Reynolds recognized the value of this segment of agriculture by designating July 26-30, 2021, as Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Week.
“The Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and other organizations, including Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, plan to promote the event through social media outreach and other channels,” said Kendra Meyer, Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program education specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
The Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association represents producers statewide, supporting grower education and consumer outreach. Vice president Marcus Johnson owns and operates Buffalo Ridge Orchard near Central City.
“We like being a part of the community and growing food for the community that we live in,” said Johnson. “Part of building community is reaching out and letting people know that growers are producing food they can buy at farmers markets and food stores. We want to get that word out, and Fruit and Vegetable Week is a great way to do that.”
The governor’s proclamation included the request that “local Iowa fruit and vegetable producers receive support and recognition for their achievements by celebrating this week across Iowa.”
The most recent statewide survey of commercial horticulture production in Iowa, released in 2017, showed that the top five crops in 2015 were tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, green beans and winter squash. According to the most recent U.S. agricultural census (2017), more than 1,000 farms statewide grow vegetables and an equal number grow fruits.
For information and outreach materials, see additional links and publications below or contact Kendra Meyer at 515-294-9483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Iowa State University Extension