WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – August 30, 2013 – As he headed to kindergarten, Fred Howells’s father started a row of Christmas trees for his son on the multi-generational farm as a project designed to introduce Fred to farming and help finance a future college education. Today, Howell’s Dry Florals & Greenhouse helps bridge the gap between the farm and consumers and has been recognized as this month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Renew Rural Iowa Award winner for the month.
Fred and Cindy Howell operate a diverse farm producing dried flowers, pumpkins, Christmas trees, asparagus, various berries, and also raises small animals. The Howell’s Cumming-based farm is different from many other farms across the state because of the huge influx of visitors each weekend. “Our farm has become a really fun place to visit,” said Fred Howell. “It is completely unique to many of our urban visitors. Each fall we have about 4,000 kids visiting on school field trips, and on weekends we have up to 10,000 visitors on the farm.”
Young visitors on the farm have so much fun they don’t want to leave. “I came out with a group of school kids from Carlisle for a few hours and we had a hard time getting the kids to load up on the bus to go home,” said Warren County Farm Bureau member Gary Denniston. “They were having so much fun on the farm and wanted to stay and do more things.” The Howell’s farm has activities and learning experiences for all ages. Children can pet goats and other small animals, see fresh produce growing in the fields, and learn more about where their food comes from. Adults also enjoy the learning experience and the popular gift shop with seasonal decorative items and gardening tools.
Local community leaders relish the benefits and positive contributions the Warren County farm and greenhouse have on the local economy. “In a small rural community like ours, a destination like Howell’s Dry Florals & Greenhouse that draws large amounts of people has a big impact in the community,” said IFBF regional manager Tim Prunty.
Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources. The next Renew Rural Iowa Business Success Seminar takes place November 6, 2013 at Iowa Farm Bureau’s Auditorium in West Des Moines. For more information, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.
- 30 -
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to helping farm families prosper and improve their quality of life. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement, and environmental quality in their communities. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.