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Ag Diversification and Market Development Bureau


Market Development - Producers

The key to any successful production operation, farming or otherwise, is successful marketing.  A commitment to producing alternative crops in Iowa must also be understood by the producer as a commitment to the marketing of their products.   The marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables is vastly different than selling commodity corn and beans.  This fact has discouraged many producers from trying something new on their farms, even on a small scale.  However, it is this fact that has provided a niche for those producers willing to produce and market alternative agricultural products.  There are many opportunities to find the marketing outlet which best fits you whether it is farmers markets, roadside stands, on-farm stores, CSAs, or pick-you-own operations.  Below are links to some of the opportunities which exist in our great state.

 

Tomatoes

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Choose Iowa
The purpose of Choose Iowa is to support and promote Iowa value-added agricultural producers, processors and agritourism destinations to consumers.  Those actively involved in the program will be called Partners and will be divided into two categories:  Participating Partners and Sponsoring Partners.  A participating partner is any individual or company doing business from an Iowa location meeting any one of the three categories of grower/retailer, processor or an agritourism destination. 

Farm to School Program
The mission of this program is to promote the purchase of locally and regionally produced or processed food in order to improve child nutrition and strengthen local and regional farm economies.

Agritourism
Defined as the act of visiting a working farm or any agriculture, horticulture or agribusiness operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation that also adds to the economic viability of the site.  In the future, a listing of various agritourism sites will be created.  At this time, you may list your establishment by self-enrolling in any or all of the directories listed below.

Farmers Markets
As one of the leading states in the development and sustainability of farmers markets, Iowa’s more than 174 farmers markets have a $31.5 million dollar impact on Iowa’s economy.  Sixty-six percent or two-thirds of producers of horticultural specialty crops use farmers markets to sell their crops direct to the consumer.  Contact information for each of the farmers markets as well as Information on the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) can be obtained by going to this site. 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
CSA is a partnership between local community members and local growers that work together to create and maintain an economically stable food system, encourage land stewardship, and promote community development.   The community members support the farmers acting as share holders in the operation, taking on many of the same risks and benefits of each year’s crops.  In turn the community members are provided with seasonal produce at a generally lower price.  This partnership allows the community to be directly linked to the food they eat and keep their dollar within the community which contributes to the economic sustainability of the area, biodiversity through small farm preservation, and a sense of responsibility for the stewardship of the land.

Directories
Apple Growers Directory
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Directory
Corn Maze Directory
Fruit & Vegetable Growers Directory
Honey Producer Directory
Organic Producer Directory
Pumpkin Growers Directory
Strawberry Producers Directory
Farmers Market Directory

Iowa Mazes Apples Pumpkins Strawberries (M.A.P.S.) map


 

 

 

 

watermelons


 

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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