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Iowa’s fruit and vegetable growers deserve recognition

They grow healthy food, generate economic impact

There’s more than corn and soybeans growing in Iowa’s rich soil.

Iowa’s farmers grow staggering amounts of corn and soybeans, so it makes sense that those crops are the first ones many people associate with the state’s farms. But there is also a surprising amount of fruits and vegetables grown in Iowa.

To recognize that fact, Gov. Kim Reynolds has proclaimed this week as Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Week.

The proclamation states, in part, that “local Iowa fruit and vegetable producers receive support and recognition for their achievements by celebrating this week across Iowa.”

Fruits and vegetables raised by the state’s professional horticulture industry contribute $48 million to the state’s economy every year.

According to a recent statewide survey, the top fruit and vegetable crops in Iowa are tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, green beans and winter squash.

There are more than 1,000 Iowa farms growing vegetables and a similar number growing fruits, according to the most recent U.S. agricultural census.

Unless you have your own garden, you’re not going to get fruits and vegetables that are more local than those grown on Iowa farms. Elsewhere in the United States, people may talk about the wonders of farm to table produce. Here in Iowa, we have it and we should take advantage of it.

That $48 million annual contribution to the Iowa economy is just as healthy in its own way as the fresh fruits and vegetables themselves.

We salute Iowa’s fruit and vegetable growers and urge everyone to support them by buying fresh, healthy produce.

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