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This group operated from 2007 through 2011 as part of the Value Chain Partnerships project. Many of the group's activities are now offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. For information, contact Ajay Nair, ISU Horticulture [read his Iowa Vegetables blog]; or Joe Hannan, extension field specialist, [read his blog, IowaProduce,org].
This group involved fruit and vegetable growers and buyers and various supporting organizations. The group formed to address issues limiting the growth of these businesses and their ability to deliver products to local and regional markets. Working group members identified the most important challenges: beginning farmers; recruiting, managing and retaining good employees; postharvest handling; and improving marketing.