Recognizing the growing interest in specialty crops and specialty crop production, the state’s fruit and vegetable association is taking on a new name and new look to better serve Iowans in those industries.
The newly branded Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association will carry on the same duties of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association – with a new name and a broader focus.
“We recognize the changes taking place within the Iowa fruit and vegetable industry, and we are changing our name to better reflect what we do and who we serve as an association,” said Kendra Meyer, executive secretary for the association and program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program.
“We will continue the same educational outreach the association has been known for since its founding, but with renewed support for specialty crop growers and anyone involved with those industries,” Meyer continued.
Meyer expects the name change will lead to a growth in membership, netting more ideas and opportunities for Iowa’s specialty producers to network and learn.
“To best serve these needs, the association has refocused and rebranded,” said Maury Wills, association president. “Production is ‘key’ and the Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association is dedicated to assisting growers in the production of abundant high-quality specialty crops. We encourage growers to contact the Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association to learn more.”
In addition to educational opportunities throughout the year, the association holds the annual Iowa Specialty Producers Conference at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The 2023 conference is Feb. 22-23.
The vision of the Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association is to provide educational opportunities and support the success of fruit, vegetable and specialty crop producers.
Roles of the association include:
- Providing support, information and education for growers on production/marketing.
- Helping members/growers move into sustainability via economic and best management practices.
- Promoting the Iowa specialty crop industry to consumers and policymakers.
- Advocating and being a voice for Iowa specialty crop producers.
- Promoting the support, health and well-being to the general community/economy by providing healthy, fresh and local crops and produce.