Marketing Local Fresh Producefrom a University Research Station
The ISU Horticulture Station serves a wide range of research projects including vegetable and fruit crops. Produce is generated from a variety of activities including field research projects, a student-run plot, plantings for teaching, and bulk areas. Some of the produce is not useable once research and teaching functions are complete. However, a considerable amount of produce is generated in marketable condition. In the past, apple was the primary crop marketed. Much of the other produce generated before 2006 was not sold and often disposed of onsite. Over the last 10 years, the Station has made a focused effort to market more of its produce locally. The marketing of produce gives students an opportunity to gain experience developing markets and dealing with customers, as well as supplement the station’s budget. Funds generated through the sale of produce help offset station costs and keep user fees lower for researchers.