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NE Iowa Food & Farm Expo Set for March 16

Posted: February 22, 2013

NE Iowa Food & Farm Expo Set for March 16

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
NE Iowa Food & Farm Expo Set for March 16
Mirroring the growing national movement in regional food production and healthier living,northeast Iowans have shown an increased interest in purchasing locally produced food.  


Farmers interested in growing or producing food for these growing local markets should make plans to attend the Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Expo on Saturday, March 16 at the NE IA Dairy Foundation Center in Calmar from 10 am – 2 pm. 
 
The Expo will have a wide variety of exhibitors covering educational information,materials, equipment, seed and supplies.
 
Two educational sessions will be offered in addition to a live demonstration of the ISU Extension Forestry Sugarhouse.  The sugarhouse is an enclosed trailer, retrofitted with commercial equipment that can process about 40gallons of sap per hour.  Visitors to the mobile sugarhouse will be able to enter the trailer, see the reverse osmosis unit, watch the sap boil in the evaporator and see the syrup being drawn off the evaporator into a stainless steel bucket.  This demonstration is outside in the parking lot.  Please dress for the weather. 
 
The morning seminar will feature Sam Shroyer from FarmTek.  Shroyer will talk about hydroponic fodder systems that allow a livestock producer can produce healthy,fresh feed every day.  With concerns about drought and rising feed costs,options and solutions to maintain the health and growth of livestock can be a challenge.  Sprouting fodder on site can be a dependable and low-cost source of feed and nutritional supplementation, creating a local, on demand feed source especially for small and beginning farmers. 
 
The afternoon seminar will feature Mike Bollinger from Four Season Tools.  He will discuss how to choose and build a high tunnel on your property.  He will talk about siting your tunnel, the infrastructure needed, pre-planting considerations and construction.
 
Admission is free and lunch will be available to purchase on site.  No registration is required and people can come and go as their schedule allows.  For more information and schedule, visit www.iowafreshfood.comor call Teresa Wiemerslage, ISU Extension and Outreach, at (563)794-0599. 
 
The expo is hosted by the Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition which is part of the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative.  The NIFF Coalition creates opportunities for farmers to engage in the local food system through production, processing,distribution, storage and market opportunities and education. 


AGENDA
10:00 am          Expo Opens.  Free Admission.  Come and go as your schedule allows!
10:00 am – noon      Live Maple Syrup Demonstration
Learn how sap from maple trees is turned into the sweet, pure maple syrup that everyone loves on their pancakes.  The Iowa State sugarhouse is an enclosed trailer, retrofitted with commercial equipment that can process about 40 gallons of sap per hour.  Visitors to the mobile sugarhouse will be able to enter the trailer, see the reverse osmosis unit, watch the sap boil in the evaporator and see the syrup being drawn off the evaporator into a stainless steel bucket.

11:00 am - noon        Healthy, Fresh Feed Every Day – Hydroponic Fodder Systems
Sam Shroyer from FarmTek will educate on the basics of fodder and explain how it can be used as a supplemental livestock or poultry feed option.  He’ll know only discuss the operational benefits, but the benefits you and your livestock or poultry will experience too.  He’ll conduct a brief system breakdown and explain how to properly sanitize, plant and harvest your system.  Healthy, Fresh Feed Every Day summarizes all you need to know about fodder.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm   View Exhibits and Networksing  Lunch available for purchase on-site.


1:00 pm- 2:00 pm    Is a High Tunnel in Your Future? 
Mike Bollinger from Four Season Tools will discuss how to choose and build a high tunnel.  He will talk about siting your tunnel, the infrastructure needed, pre-planting considerations and construction.



CONFIRMED VENDORS:

NE Iowa Farm to School
Iowa MarketMaker
ISU Extension Ag Decision Maker
GROWN Locally
ISU Extension and Outreach
NE IA Food & Fitness Initiative
NE IA Food Hub
NE IA Business Network
NE IA Community College
FarmTek
Unionland Feed and Supply
Iowa Beginning Farmer Center
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service
The Sharing Spaces Kitchen
Seed Savers Exchange
Iowa Farm Energy Working Group
Windridge Implements, Inc.



ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Sam Shroyer – Greenhouse Manager

Sam’s love of horticulture germinated on a small family farm in Northeastern Iowa. He learned early on the value of a hard day’s work and the satisfaction of growing your own food. While earning his Bachelor’s degree in horticulture from South Dakota State University, he had internships in Denver, CO and Boston, MA. Sam was also lucky enough to be chosen to travel to Bolivia where him and a few classmates helped a small village establish sustainable agriculture practices. Some of his passions include his work with hydroponic tomatoes and growing fresh produce year round.

Sam joined Growers Supply in early 2011. With almost 20 years of horticultural experience, his goal is to “re-teach” the public that sustainability and self-sufficiency is well within everyone’s reach. Sam feels that gardening has been removed from the fabric of our lives for a couple of generations. NOW is the time to rectify this situation! As a company, we are taking the steps to be on the leading edge of sustainability and profitability in the green industry. We are prepared to help the small farmer and the commercial grower reach their personal goals in the horticulture industry.

 
Mike Bollinger - Agriculture Specialist
Mike Bollinger and his wife Katie own and operate River Root Farm, with four acres in rotation of certified organic seedlings, vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse production, as well as produce seed stock and research new varieties for two Midwest based seed companies. Nestled into the hills near Decorah, Iowa, they provide produce year round using a set of fixed and movable high tunnels to food stores, restaurants, and a local farmers market. Mike is also the Agriculture Specialist and Co-Founder of Four Season Tools, a company that manufactures season-extending high tunnels and greenhouses, provides farm development consultation nationwide, and designs farm tools and systems designed increase the economic viability of small acreage farms. P:(563) 382-6249. E: mike@smallfarmtools.com. www.riverrootfarm.com or www.smallfarmtools.com. 


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