News

Red Fern Farm builds resiliency through diversification

Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice, owners of Red Fern Farm, have built resiliency in their operation to overcome challenging weather.

Nestled in a heavily wooded area just south of Grandview, Iowa, Red Fern Farm offers a unique experience for customers to harvest their own Iowa-grown fruits and nuts.

The owners grow a variety of fruit and nut trees—including chestnuts, persimmons, heartnut, pawpaw, and Asian pear. Their primary market is a “you pick” business throughout the summer, where customers schedule a time to pick from the trees and pay per pound harvested.

Staff spotlight: Studying abroad reinforces love of rural communities

Growing up on an acreage outside of Firth, Nebraska, my responsibility was to take care of the cattle—from the bottle-fed calves to the big bull we knighted Sir Loin. I broke the ice for them in winter and stuck them with needles when the time came for vaccinations. My summers were spent detasseling, hunting down thistles in my grandpa’s pasture, and swimming in creeks when they swelled with rainwater (after making sure my tetanus shot was up-to-date).

Center explores alternative beehive structures in new project

The honey industry has experienced a drop in the number of bee hives in production in the past decade. This decline is a result of a number of pressures on bee health and beekeeper retirement.

However, beekeeping as a supplemental farm income has increased in popularity over the past several years. Among the new beekeepers entering this industry are women, senior farmers, and those with disabilities. These newcomers are likely to struggle with the most commonly used beehive structure, the Langstroth hive, which can be large and heavy.

Addressing obesity through school water access

We all know water is essential for life, but the sufficient consumption of water also has long-term health benefits. Increased water consumption has been found to reduce levels of dental decay, positively impact cognition, improve overall eating and physical activity habits, and reduce the risks for obesity.

In Nebraska, where the rate of obesity for high school students and adults both fall in the top quarter of all states, an increase in the consumption of water could help not only waistlines, but the state’s bottom line when it comes to health care costs.

Pages

Get The Newsletter?