Iowa Specialty Producers Conference Schedule

Thursday, January 23, 2020

CONFERENCE ROOM A / ROOM 106 - Become A Game Changer, John Stanley

Retail consultant John Stanley will keynote the Iowa Specialty Producers Conference. Photo courtesy of John Stanley Associates.



Our keynote speaker is John Stanley, a world-renowned retail consultant, speaker and author. John has spent the past 30 years working with family businesses in the farming industry throughout the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK. Known by clients as “the retail guru,” John’s skill is in interpreting broad global trends. He then provides practical, low-cost ideas to help producers maximize current economic, social, and lifestyle trends. His goal is to help them increase visitor numbers, boost sales, and grow their businesses.

ROOM 108 - Grapevine Trunk Disease - What is Really Going On? Annie Klodd (University of Minnesota) - There has been much discussion about grapevine trunk disease in the Midwest over the last 2 years. By examining over 170 grapevine samples from across the region, University of Minnesota researchers are working hard to determine how significant this disease is, and how growers in the Midwest can best manage it. This talk will give an update on what University of Minnesota researchers are finding out about grapevine trunk disease in Midwest vineyards.

ROOM 109 - Managing Microbes and Preventing Spoilage. Maureen Moroney (Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute)

ROOM 112 - Rotating Trellis Blackberries & Plastic Culture Strawberries. Thomas Duitkanych (Eckerts Orchard Inc.) - Tom will discuss the pro and cons of a rotating trellis for blackberries and design ideas. In addition he will cover how to grow plastic culture strawberries.

ROOM 113 - Plasticulture Onion Production. Ajay Nair (Iowa State University) - This talk will focus on principles and practices of onion production using a plasticulture approach. The talk will also cover topics such as fertility, cultivar selection, pests, and post harvest factors of onion production.

ROOM 114 - Farm Service Agency's NAP & TAP Programs. Barry Terhark (Farm Service Agency) - The 2018 Farm Bill authorized NAP to provide financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses. TAP provides assistance to eligible orchardist and nursery tree growers to help replant trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters.

ROOM 115 - Intro to beekeeping – Welcome to your new obsession. Andrew Joseph (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship) - Beekeeping is as fascinating and rewarding as it is challenging. We'll discuss the importance of bees and the basics of how to get started with your own hives.

Room 116 - Pollinator Plus: Creating A Buzz. Jeff Jensen (Trees Forever) - Trees Forever is Creating a Buzz through our pollinator trainings that provide a comprehensive look at the importance of pollinators, what they need, and how to provide habitat for pollinators of all types. Attendees will be provided with a toolkit they can use to educate others about the topics discussed. Pollinator habitat is more than just prairie, learn about the importance of trees and shrubs to early season forage habitat as well as nesting opportunities for a range of pollinator species. Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) applied for Soil & Water Management (0.5 credits) and Integrated Pest Management (0.5 credits)

ROOM 107 - Farm Feature: Buffalo Ridge Orchard. Marcus Johnson

ROOM 108 - Spray Program Overview & New Grape Varietals Being Developed. John Thull (University of Minnesota)

ROOM 109 - Yeast and Nutrition Q & A. Jason Mabbett (Pinnacle Yeast/AB Biotek) - Jason Mabbett will address your questions and issues regarding yeast and nutrition in the wine making process.

ROOM 112 - Strawberry Insects and Diseases Found in Iowa. Joe Hannan & Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach) - This session will discuss the most commonly found insects and diseases found in Iowa.

ROOM 113 - Biodegradable Plastic Mulch. Ajay Nair (Iowa State University) - This talk will share results from an ongoing biodegradable mulch study in pepper production. Several biodegradable mulches were evaluated for their performance when growing peppers under Central Iowa growing conditions.

ROOM 114 - Farm Finances. Craig Chase (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach) - This session will cover general topics related to better understanding the financial aspects of your farm business. Topics will include an overview of how you can determine your overall farm financial condition, as well as how you can improve profitability within the enterprises you rely on to provide farm income. There will be ample Q&A time to gear discussions toward specific questions.

ROOM 115 - Putting the Kids and Grandkids Through College on a Few Acres of Christmas Trees! Jesse Randall (Michigan State University) - Do you have a small 1- 3 acre parcel of ground that is not producing income? 1 - 3 acres is all you need to have 1200 - 4000 Christmas trees in production. This session will highlight the basics of soils, tree selection, purchasing and handling of young trees, as well as planting, weed control options, and annual tree maintenance. This talk will highlight the 8-10 year crop interval and tips & tricks for success.

ROOM 116 - Hops Research Update and Round Table. Keri Byrum (Cedar Falls Hops Company) - Understanding how Iowa grown hops are different from PNW hops is an important distinction for both growers and brewers. This session will review the first year of data in comparing oil analysis results. Growers will also have the opportunity to discuss growing, harvesting and marketing issues and opportunities during an open round table discussion.

ROOM 107 - Tomatoes; Disease & Pest Management Strategies, Ajay Nair & Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach)

ROOM 108 - Grape Bunch Rots: How to distinguish and control it in the vineyard, Annie Klodd (University of Minnesota)

ROOM 109 - Polyphenols in Grape and Wine. Aude Watrelot (ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute) - Polyphenols are very reactive and interact with various polysaccharides and proteins in grapes during winemaking. These interactions lead to a reduction of the tannin concentration in red wine that affect the astringency perception as well as the color stability.

ROOM 112 - Tools and Technology for High Tunnels. Joe Hannan (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach) - Using technology to help manage your high tunnel.

ROOM 113 - Growing Heirloom Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds. John & Jenny Thull (University of Minnesota)

ROOM 114 - The "Why" Behind Your Brand. Scott Kolbe (Market Your Craft) - We can’t make a customer feel a certain way about our brand – we can only give clues and hints as to why they might VIBE with us. Leading brands like Patagonia, Starbucks, TOMS and Southwest have experienced incredible success because they are authentic to the core and live their brand stories every day. We’ll discuss how to design an impactful brand story to inform all customer-facing efforts, from packaging to social, digital and events and everything in-between.

ROOM 115 - Transitioning to Organic Production. Craig Chase (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach) - This session will cover general topics related to certification requirements and management recommendations as you consider transitioning current production into organic certification. Topics will include marketing, certification requirements, common production practices, and risk management, among others. There will be ample Q&A time to gear discussions toward specific questions.

ROOM 116 - Introduction to Midwest Maple Syrup Production. Jesse Randall (Michigan State University) - Making maple syrup is unique to North America! With global demand rising 5-8% per year, the interest in maple syrup as a secondary income source has increased drastically. This session will introduce the basics of maple syrup production and will enable the backyard producer to tap and produce syrup from a few trees and scale that production up to a few thousand trees if desired.
Join us for a fun evening celebrating our industry and the people who make it great! Our banquet features an Iowa Wine social hour, a multi-course dinner paired with a selection of delicious Iowa wines, awards presentations for IWGA and IFVGA, and live music! Learn more...

Friday, January 24, 2020

CONFERENCE A / ROOM 106 - Agritourism & Pumpkins, Apples, Hops, Grape growing, Wine making, IDALS Programs
CONFERENCE ROOM A / ROOM 106 - The Devil is in the Detail, John Stanley

Retail consultant John Stanley will keynote the Iowa Specialty Producers Conference. Photo courtesy of John Stanley Associates.



Our keynote speaker is John Stanley, a world-renowned retail consultant, speaker and author. John has spent the past 30 years working with family businesses in the farming industry throughout the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK. Known by clients as “the retail guru,” John’s skill is in interpreting broad global trends. He then provides practical, low-cost ideas to help producers maximize current economic, social, and lifestyle trends. His goal is to help them increase visitor numbers, boost sales, and grow their businesses.

ROOM 108 - Grape and Wine Production in Iowa: Sustainability and Matching Cultivar With Climate. Jim Schrader (Iowa State University/Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute)

ROOM 109 - Wine Competitions: Perspectives from Judges, Wineries and Organizers. Erin Norton (MGWII), Anne Zwink (Soldier Creek Winery), Matt Haas (Dubuque Heritage Winery), Nicole Eilers (Iowa Wine Growers Association) and other participants TBD - During this panel session moderated by Erin Norton; MGWII, you'll hear from wineries who submit wine to competitions - how they've selected which competitions to enter and how they've used the awards in their marketing program, as well as from organizers and judges on the actual competition process. Attendees will have the opportunity to actively participate in the discuss.

ROOM 112 - Exploration of Value Added Foods in Iowa. Shannon Coleman (Iowa State University) - Dr. Coleman will discuss "value added" food production for growers, such as licensing/ regulations for products such as lite processing of produce, jams and jellies

ROOM 113 - Finding Your Niche Market: navigating production based on demand. Mike Bollinger & Katie Prochaska (River Root Farm) - We have explored wholesale markets, farmers market, and winter CSA. Now that the dust has settled we seem to have found our niche. Join us as we explore the decisions we have made over the last several years as we allowed the market demand to shape our focus on small acreage production for wholesale markets.

ROOM 114 - H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program. Marcy Boldman (Dept of Labor), Walter Conlon (Farmhands, LLC), Melissa Garcia (Iowa Workforce Development), Kyle Maynard (Iowa Workforce Development) - Questions will be answered and general, accurate information on H-2A and MSPA will be given to help employers gain compliance with the federal labor laws and regulations.

ROOM 115 - Hop Production in the Midwest. Katie Kreuser (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) - From navigating the weather to establishing relationships with brewers, and balancing nutrient requirements to perfecting post-harvest practices, hop production in the Midwest is an art that requires precision to maintain quality at every step. Katie will share an overview of hop production with an emphasis on post-harvest processes and marketing.

Room 116 - Nut Evaluation. Iowa Nut Growers Association - The Iowa Nut Growers Association has been conducting an annual nut evaluation since at least the 1970’s and continues this tradition to the present day. Anyone can submit a sample, member or not, resident of the state of Iowa or not, it is not important just send the sample. We welcome volunteers to help us process and score the nuts; we will begin at 10:30 on Friday, January 25th. Learn More...

CONFERENCE B / ROOM 107 - Iowa Weather: Climatological Trends and Impacts of Growing Conditions. Dr. Justin Glisan (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

ROOM 107 - Farm Feature: Farm Feature: Bode Moonlight Garden. Joanne Roepke Bode

ROOM 108 - Mechanical Harvesters: Pros, Cons and Real Feedback from Vineyard Owners. - During this panel session, you'll hear from grape growers who are utilizing a mechanical harvester in their vineyard, how they made the decision to purchase a harvester and their feedback on harvesting grapes mechanically vs. by hand.

ROOM 109 - Unleash Your BRAND VIBE! Scott Kolbe (Market Your Craft) - Do you have a sense of how customers feel about your brand? Would you like to learn how to improve your brand awareness? Are you ready to engage new audiences and grow sales? It's time to UNLEASH YOUR BRAND VIBE! Uncover the intersection where your brand, customer and competition meet, designing a content marketing strategy to promote your brand story using high-performance media.

ROOM 112 - MAIA Apple Varieties for the 21st Century. David Doud (Midwest Apple Improvement Association) - Presentation and discussion of the patented and trademarked apple varieties from the Midwest Apple Improvement Association.

ROOM 113 - Start Farming: Crop Rotation Planning. Katie Kreuser (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) - Crop rotation is an essential part of vegetable farming to maintain soil health and combat pests and diseases. Making a rotation plan creates an easy to follow map to help producers read their farm, prioritize goals, and maximize their profits. Come with ideas and leave with a plan.

ROOM 114 - Beyond the Fine Print: Considering Legal Risks for Specialty Producers. Kristine Tidgren (Center for Agricultural Law & Taxation) - In this session, Kristine reviews general legal risks faced by specialty producers. She will discuss negligence, premises liability, and several other concerns and address ways to mitigate those risks.

ROOM 115 - Chestnuts and other Profitable Trees for Iowa. Tom Wahl & Kathy Dice (Red Fern Farm) - There are perennials that are far easier and more profitable to grow in Iowa than apples and grapes. Come and hear from the owner/operators of Red Fern Farm, one of the oldest and most diverse chestnut groves in Iowa, talk on their experience with their food forest.

ROOM 116 - Specialty Melons for High Tunnel Production. Moriah Bilenky (Iowa State University) - Lengthening crop rotations with high value crops is essential for sustainable high tunnel production. To investigate alternative crops for high tunnel production, a melon variety trial was conducted at the ISU Horticulture Research Farm from April - July 2019. Ten varieties of specialty melons were evaluated for their potential as an early season high tunnel crop.

ROOM 107 - Required CIC Session. Mark Shour (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Learn more...

ROOM 108 - Iowa Vineyard Research/Data Project Overview. Matthew Bare (University of Iowa Master's Program Student), Kristy Walker (Walker Homestead Farm and Winery)

ROOM 109 - La Crescent Lab Trials & Tasting. Jennie Savits, Somchai Rice and Maureen Moroney (ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute)

ROOM 112 - Growing and Retailing Apples. David Doud (Midwest Apple Improvement Association) - Historical overview and discussion of current considerations when growing apples for retail sales.

ROOM 113 - Enterprise Budget Development and Market Analysis. Emily Coll (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach) - This is an interactive session where Emily will discuss the why's and how's of enterprise budgets and go through a few budgets already completed. The budgets chosen to review will be based on audience preference. Come learn about how budgets are different than whole farm financial records and how market outlets can drastically change profitability.

ROOM 114 - Simplifying FSMA Recordkeeping for Qualified Exempt Farms. Dan Fillius (Iowa State University) - Still confused about what your Qualified Exempt farm needs to do to comply with FSMA? Walk out of this session with a better understanding. Plus get some tips on ways to effectively put these ideas into practice.

ROOM 115 - Should You Go Whole Hog on Hemp? Robin Pruisner (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship) - Hemp is thee HOT topic in Iowa right now, but is hemp the right crop for your operation? Learn about the risks and growing nuances of the various hemp crops that are about to be legal in Iowa.

ROOM 116 - Oxygen, Friend and Foe: Where it comes from, how to test for it and how to manage. Darren Michael (Scott Labs) - This session will cover oxygen testing and management in winemaking. Variables such as cellar operations, where oxygen is introduced, bottling levels to target, closure types, testing, and steps to control. It is important to know where and when our friend oxygen will show up and how best to let it know when it's overstayed its' welcome.