Published Aug 31, 2018

Field day will explore production, marketing of cut flowers and produce – Sept. 16 near Van Horne

By Tamsyn Jones

Ann and Eric Franzenburg and family 483x727

For Release: August 31, 2018


Ann or Eric Franzenburg | Pheasant Run Farm | (319) 228-8758 | |

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

VAN HORNE, Iowa — When Ann Franzenburg decided to start growing flowers for the fresh cut-flower market 10 years ago, she was mentored for a year by an experienced cut-flower farmer. That’s important, Ann says, because raising cut flowers can be a challenge for a complete beginner.

“Growing cut flowers has a steeper learning curve than growing produce,” says Ann, who operates Pheasant Run Farm with her husband, Eric, and son, Calvin, near Van Horne. “Each flower is different, with different growing needs, cutting procedures and post-harvest handling requirements.”

Pheasant Run Farm is a diversified operation that includes row crops, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, and five different botanical crops raised for the health-food industry. The farm was established in 1994 by Eric and Ann while farming with Eric’s father on a traditional corn, soybean and farrow-to-finish swine operation. Based on the size of the farm, they quickly decided to diversify the operation for greater profitability.

The Franzenburgs will share their experience with two of their enterprises – cut flowers and produce – at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day they are hosting on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2:30-5:30 p.m., near Van Horne (6925 19th Ave., about 2.5 miles northwest of town).

The event – “Production to Market at Pheasant Run Farm” – is free and will include dinner. RSVPs are appreciated for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661, by Wednesday, Sept. 12. The field day is sponsored by Iowa Farmers Union.

The Franzenburgs will explain their production and marketing strategies for cut flowers; blueberries and strawberries; and tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Attendees will tour the farm’s fields and greenhouses, and will learn about the post-harvest handling techniques that allow them to deliver high-quality products to market.

Teresa Hermsen, a local florist from Timber Gate Gardens in Belle Plaine, and Mike Krough, a produce buyer from New Pioneer Food Co-op, will both share their expertise on the characteristics they are looking for when purchasing flowers and produce directly from the farm.

Directions from the west: From U.S. 30, turn left (north) on IA Hwy 200. Travel through Keystone and turn east (right) on Co Rd E44. In 5 miles, turn left (north) on 19th Avenue (gravel road). It’s the first farm on the west (left) side of the road – you’ll see the five greenhouses.

Road closure note: For attendees traveling on U.S. 30 from the east, please be advised that U.S. 218 is closed for construction. From U.S. 30 turn right (north) onto 21st Avenue / Co Rd V66. Turn left (west) on Co Rd E44 and travel through Van Horne. About 1.5 miles west of Van Horne, turn right (north) on 19th Avenue (a gravel road). Look for the first farm on the left (west) side of the road – you’ll see the five greenhouses.

Practical Farmers’ 2018 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Applegate Natural & Organic Meats; Blue River Organic Seed; Cascadian Farms; Center for Rural Affairs; Farm Credit Services of America; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers, Inc.; Green Cover Seed; Green Thumb Commodities; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); ISU Extension and Outreach; La Crosse Forage and Turf Seed; MOSA Organic Certification; Natural Resources Defense Council; Organic Valley / Organic Prairie; PepsiCo; Pipeline Foods; Premier 1 Supplies; Sunrise Foods International; The DeLong Company; The Fertrell Company; The Scoular Company; Unilever; University of Iowa College of Public Health (I-CASH); USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.


Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit