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In The News

Radio Shows, Podcasts, Awards & Press

For those wishing to connect with Founder, Meredith Nunnikhoven of Barnswallow & Co. LLC & Barnswallow Flowers, please contact initially through email at barnswallowflowers@gmail.com to schedule a time to connect. Farmer Meredith looks forward to working with you! 
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May 13th, 2024
Iowa Farm Bureau
In Full Bloom
By  Bob Bjoin
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“Never assume. Know the weather, research, test and develop, plan to save financially (and) don’t quit when the going gets tough,” she advised. Failure is part of the process, she said.

Iowa Farm Bureau Conference participants peppered her with questions about everything from what products are used for pest control at Barnswallow Flowers to how to best germinate flowers or how far apart to plant flowers in a field.

“For flower farming, specifically, it all comes down to education and grit from the beginning, middle and beyond,” Nunnikhoven said. “I personally don’t do anything on a large scale that will affect me financially until I can actually trial it myself and see another operation doing it successfully. Failure is a part of that learning process and can be disappointing. When you are trying to farm not just one flower crop, but many, the work in this area of education will eventually pay off.”

Pictured above: Tulips always are popular, and Barnswallow Flowers had an abundance ready for distribution this spring. PHOTO / CONRAD SCHMIDT

https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/Article/In-full-bloom-265639

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May 4th, 2024
Iowa Farmer Today
Farmer Uses Flowers to Diversity Income
By Jeff DeYoung

Ask Meredith Nunnikhoven and she will tell you, there's nothing better than diversification to keep a farm successful. The southeast Iowa woman owns Barnswallow Flowers, a fresh-cut flower farm located near Oskaloosa in Mahaska County, Iowa. That business is part of the Barnswallow & Company umbrella, which also includes a chestnut farm that will eventually include 15 acres by 2028. Nunnikhoven also helps her father on the family’s farm. “We have it set up where we can offer both agritourism and ag education opportunities,” she says. Nunnikhoven says she was influenced by her mother, Kerrilynn, when it came to starting the flower business. “We really believed diversified farming and small farms were the way to go,” she says. “We loved flowers, but we also wanted an operation that could operate long-term.”

https://agupdate.com/iowafarmertoday/news/farmer-uses-flowers-to-diversify-income/article_d291285a-0906-11ef-83ff-c32db7b22846.html

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Jan. 29th-Feb.1st, 2024
Representing Practical Farmers of Iowa 
Sponsored by NSAC
https://sustainableagriculture.net/
Washington, DC
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The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
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Farmer Meredith spent several days learning about farm policy in support of the new farm bill set to release in 2024. During her final day, she met with all four Iowa House of Representatives and Senators Grassley and Joni Ernst's teams about preserving funds to support continued conservation efforts in agriculture. Meredith was able to point to her own struggles in obtaining insurance specialty crop farmers like fresh-cut flower and chestnut farmers. Other points included retaining funds for government conservation programs, growing rural food access programming and improving specialized meat processing access and education in rural communities.
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December 27, 2023
Practical Farmers of Iowa Blog 
Bringing the Buzz to Barnswallow Farm
By Vanya North

A Tradition of Diversification

"The whole idea of working with land and how we understand land has moved to a caretaking role and remembering we are owners on paper, but it’s never really ours and we should leave it better than we found it as part of our legacy.” - Meredith Nunnikhoven
 
Read the full post here!
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December 13, 2023
The News Review
The Sun Spot by Jackie Perkins
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November 2023
For Farmers Grant Awardee: Meredith Nunnikhoven & Barnswallow Flowers
https://www.forfarmersmovement.com/team/barnswallow-flowers

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November 30th, 2023
Iowa State Extension
AMES, Iowa 
Women Impacting Agriculture Awardee
Women honored for their vision and dedication to Iowa agriculture
by Madeline Schultz & Lisa Scarbrough

Four women received the Women Impacting Agriculture award for their contributions to Iowa agriculture on Nov. 30 at the seventh annual Iowa Women in Ag Leadership Conference organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The Women Impacting Agriculture recognition honors Iowans who are creating a more sustainable Iowa by improving economic resiliency and stability; conserving natural resources; and being influential agricultural leaders, family members and community volunteers. The 2023 honorees are Kellie Blair, Joanne Roepke Bode, Melissa O’Rourke and Meredith Nunnikhoven

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/women-impacting-agriculture-honored
https://vimeo.com/889862916?share=copy

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October 2023
KTVO News
Women, Land & Legacy hosts 'Women in Agriculture Exhibition' in S.E. Iowa
“ Who knows we're in a rural economy? I do. You know that's a thing," joked flower farmer, Meredith Nunnikhoven. "So, being diversified and your offerings are going to be very important within your business," she told the audience.
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September 20th, 2023
Spokesman
SE Iowa Area News Front Page
Submitted by Mahaska County
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DIVERSIFICATION YIELDS FIELDS OF FLOWERS
Barnswallow Flowers, located just east of Oskaloosa on Hwy 23, began with a discussion of needed diversification on the Allen Nunnikhoven Farm. To Allen's wife, Kerrilyn, - who has since passed away - and daughter, Meredith, the idea of flowers seemed the most production and a process of education started. They formed a business plan, took several classes and started planting peonies. Those peonies from the first year have grown now to include a multitude of flowers including sunflowers, dahlias, lisianthus and so many more. 
Within the realm of flowers, Meredith has futher diversified her income stream to not rely on one type of sales and to minimize the labor involved. They use The Little Blue Barn, which is a self-serve source for bouquets and orders. It is open on their farm from dawn to dusk on Fridays and Saturdays. She attends Pella Farmers Market on Thursdays from 4-7pm, it is a day of the week that works well with her picking and arranging schedule. People have signed up for the Community Supported Agriculture subscription service for regular bouquets. She hosts pick your own events or she can put together buckets of flowers within a color scheme for you to arrange. She also does wedding flowers a la carte, you order and pick up the pieces that you need. Meredith is passionate about her corner of agriculture and is excited to teach others about what is possible. She said, "Flowers when given a chance, can be simply magnificent!"

 
June 8th, 2023
In Depth with Dr. Bob Leonard
What it's like to be a farmer florist?
https://www.kniakrls.com/?powerpress_pinw=535604-podcast
 
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May 2023
YouTube Practical Farmer's Panel
Corn and Soybean Basics for Landowners - Farminar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j89eTrGjztU
 
March 26th, 2023
By Channing Rucks, The Herald
Ernst talks Farm Bill, cover crops in southeast Iowa
https://www.oskaloosa.com/knoxville/ernst-talks-farm-bill-cover-crops-in-southeast-iowa/article_bf2a8c62-bc5d-11ed-a8b0-d3fed534f8d8.html
“Results matter,” said Meredith Nunnikhoven, a Practical Farmers of Iowa member who operates Barnswallow Flowers southeast of Oskaloosa. “Some of these [conservation] programs stop in five, six years … CSP is an example. That is a really hard program to sign up for … It’s a whole farm outlook program, and once it was over, it was like, what we just started, we’re not seeing the effects of that program. And for someone who’s hardwired to seeing the results, who has that cultural perspective, that’s going to be important for them.”
Nunnikhoven suggested lengthening government programs like CSP so that farmers can see the results, and the culture can change
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Fall 2022
Practical Farmers of Iowa Autumn Issue
Field Day Photography
https://practicalfarmers.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Autumn-2022-Magazine_FINAL_web.pdf
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2022
Mahaska Chamber & Development Group Blog
Fresh Air & Farmhouse Views
https://www.mahaskachamber.org/blog/fresh_air_and_farmhouse_views/
“This is a community cottage. Those who stay here contribute to the lives of those who take care of it.” - Meredith Nunnikhoven, Owner
 
August 9th, 2022
In Depth with Dr. Bob Leonard
What’s it like to run a flower farm? 
https://www.kniakrls.com/?powerpress_pinw=497557-podcast
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2022
The Donna Lonna Kitchen Show
Episode 019: Flower Farming at Barnswallow Flowers With Meredith Nunnikhoven
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/019-flower-farming-at-barnswallow-flowers-with/id1609308964?i=1000571450425
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April 12, 2022
Choose Local YouTube Video by IVRCD
Visit a Farm Stand
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYNhaPFCsIU&t=19s
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May 17th 2022
Elija Decious of The Gazette
Amana nonprofit launches statewide campaign to encourage farmer, consumer connections
https://www.thegazette.com/community/amana-nonprofit-launches-statewide-campaign-to-encourage-farmer-consumer-connections/
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June 24, 2021
Practical Farmers of Iowa
The Joy of Flowers By Jacqueline Venner Senske
https://practicalfarmers.org/2021/06/the-joy-of-flowers/
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2020-2021 Podcast
Behind the Blooms 
Episode 1 & 2
https://www.northernspotlight.com/issue-4/behind-the-blooms
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May 2020
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October 31, 2019
Oskaloosa News
Barnswallow Flowers and Produce Speaker
http://oskynews.org/barnswallow-flowers-and-produce-speaker/
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October 18, 2018
In Depth with Dr. Bob Leonard
One local farm family is diversifying their operation–with flowers.
https://www.kniakrls.com/2018/10/18/in-depth-barnswallow-flowers/