Farmers, agricultural leaders, consumers and others will gather in Des Moines today for the 95th annual convention of the Iowa Farm Bureau. Craig Hill, a farmer from Milo, is president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and he’s expecting about 800 people to attend from across the state.  “This year, we’re going to talk about generations of innovation,” Hill says. “We have a whole host of speakers that’ll talk about novel ideas in agriculture, ways of innovating and some types of notions that we have not thought of before in agriculture.”

Hill says the educational seminar should draw a large crowd of farmers seeking new ways to diversify by learning how successful niche ag businesses contribute to Iowa’s rural vitality and sustainability. Participants include a farmer from western Iowa who grows and markets aronia berries, another who raises heirloom tomatoes and a third Iowa farmer who’s raising fish.

Hill says, “Some people are doing well with new ideas, so we’ll talk about those as well as conservation, which is always a subject of conversation with farmers, how to be productive as well as a good steward.” This is Iowa Farm Bureau Week, according to a declaration from Governor Branstad, to celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of the 95-year-old farm organization.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)