Our Horticulture team of Extension professionals has developed and implemented a wide variety of successful programs for both commercial and consumer audiences:

    54th Annual Iowa State University Shade Tree Short Course and Iowa Nursery & Landscape Association Conference and Trade Show
  • Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association: The ISU Departments of Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Food Science and Human Nutrition have had a long history of working closely with the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and the industry it represents. Major efforts with this organization include co-sponsoring the mid-winter Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference which attracts about 150 participants annually; and summer field days which rotate between member and ISU farms, and attracts over 100 participants. In recent years, the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has assisted the department in obtaining $45,000 in USDA specialty crop grants, and contributed over $23,000 to the department to support research on fruits and vegetables. Drs. Domoto, Nonnecke, and Taber from the Department of Horticulture, and Dr. Mark Gleason (Plant Pathology & Horticulture) work closely with the organization.

  • Reestablishing Iowa's Grape Industry: Beginning in 2000, Iowa has seen a dramatic rise in interest in growing grapes for wine. In 2001, to meet the demand for grape growing information, ISU Extension, with a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, presented a grape growing workshop to 210 registered participants. The workshop stimulated the formation of the Iowa Grape Growers Association (now the Iowa Wine Growers Association), and the development of a state-wide annual conference that annually draws over 200 participants. Also in 2001, a viticulture web site ( was developed to make available materials from workshops, conferences and regional meetings, provide research updates, links to other web sites, listings of resources, and an events calendar. These efforts have assisted the industry as it has grown from less than 30 reported acres in 2000 to over 230 vineyards encompassing over 500 estimated acres in 2004, and the establishment of 22 recently bonded wineries. Drs. Domoto and Nonnecke, and Mr. Mike White (Ext. crop specialist) provide leadership from ISU and work closely with regional USDA-RC&D's around the state. Drs. Domoto and Nonnecke also are cooperating with the ISU Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) to develop a web-based interactive decision model for determining economic feasibility of growing grapes and establishing a small winery for wine and grape juice.
  • Organic Ag Program (OAP): The Organic Ag Program (OAP) is a joint program in the Departments of Horticulture and Agronomy and was the first in the U.S. land-grant system. In the first six years of the program, 360 presentations were given to more than 20,000 citizens; twenty-six 3-6 hour Workshops and Field Days were organized; four conferences; and two ICN courses were held on organic production. In the evaluation of the program, clientele noted that the organic industry continues to expand in Iowa and the U.S., with growers obtaining a 50 – 300% premium price for crops produced without synthetic inputs, increasing the economic base of Iowa's farm families. Dr. Delate started the OAP in 1997.
  • Hortline: a telephone and e-mail service provides assistance to Iowans with gardening questions. The telephone number is 1-515-294-3108. Assistance is available from 10:00 to noon and 1:00 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. The e-mail address is From 2005 through 2009, an average of 3325 individuals received assistance to their gardening questions from Mr. Jauron and other horticulture staff via the telephone. They also received and responded to an average of 1000 e-mail questions per year during the same period. Mr. Jauron, along with other specialists from Horticulture, Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Natural Resource Ecology and Plant Pathology, participates in a weekly 50-minute, call-in gardening program on Iowa Public Radio on Fridays.
  • The Iowa Master Gardener Program: During the fall of 2009 and early 2010 over 500 Master Gardener interns have received horticultural training in 14 subject matter areas. Classes are taught via webcasts (Adobe Connect), local presentations, and a one day Class-on-Campus. In 2009, Iowa's Master Gardeners reported over 60,000 hours of volunteer educational service to their communities. Assuming a value of $20.25 per hour for volunteer time, the Iowa Master Gardener program provided over one million dollars of education and service to local communities. The program is administered by Dr. Haynes and coordinated by Dr. Bousselot.
  • Home Demonstration Garden Field Days: Dr. Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture, coordinates the Home Demonstration Gardens (HDG) located at 6 ISU research farms across the state. Each garden hosts a field day to display and discuss different cultivars of annual flowers and vegetables and maintenance techniques for the home garden. The themes for the 2010 HDG are: giant pumpkin contest, benefits of compost, eggplant, a blooming quilt block, and other new and/or unusual vegetables and flowers.