Joe Hannan has been named the Iowa State University Extension commercial horticulture specialist for central and western Iowa. Hannan, who is housed in the Dallas County Extension office, is responsible for providing commercial growers with educational resources and will conduct associated research at the Iowa State Horticulture Farm near Gilbert and the Armstrong Research Farm at Lewis.
Hannan, a Dubuque County native, has served as an agriculture specialist at the Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm in Fruitland for four years before accepting his current position. While there he was a research assistant working with commercial vegetable and fruit production and managed the vineyard at the Southeast Research Farm near Crawfordsville.
"I'm looking forward to meeting and working with the growers in the central and western parts of the state," Hannan says. "During my first month I've met people who are asking for ISU research that will help them address some of the issues they are facing. Others want ISU materials and information to be more easily accessible."
ISU Extension has abundance of information for commercial growers
Hannan has initiated the development of a website that will be a "one-stop shop" of Iowa State resources frequently used by commercial fruit and vegetable growers and their consumers. He is also considering research in response to high tunnel production growers' requests for help with disease management in tunnels repeatedly used to raise tomatoes.
Hannan looks forward to applying his ISU bachelor's degree in horticulture and his research farm experiences to the needs of the commercial growers as he works towards an ISU master's degree in horticulture. "ISU Extension has an abundance of information for commercial growers; I'm anxious to share it with them," he says. He will also co-lead the ISU Extension value-added agriculture fruit and vegetable working group on statewide efforts. Hannan can be reached at the Dallas County Extension office by phone at 515-971-9503 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.