July 31, 2024

Tour Information

Welcome to the 2024 pre-conference tour!
Please enjoy lunch on your own prior to the tour. We will provide bottled water throughout the afternoon and dinner at Gatherings. We ask that you travel to the tour sites in personal vehicles and seek out others to carpool with. Driving and parking on gravel roads will be necessary. Arrive at the first stop at 12:15 to gather with the group. Closed-toe shoes are required. The tour will take place rain or shine, so please be prepared for the weather. In the case of severe storms, we will use telephone voice or text to notify you of changes.

Tour Hosts

Feel free to contact the tour hosts with your questions.

  • Lisa Scarbrough, ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program
    515-971-4214 (cell)
    [email protected]
  • Madeline Schultz, ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program
    515-290-4082 (cell)
    [email protected]




12:30 pm – Tour Begins at ISU Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory

  • 1937 Christensen Dr, Ames, IA

1:45 pm – Depart Veterinary Diagnostics, travel 6 miles

2:15 pm – Arrive at Iowa Lavender Farm

  • 25016 Sand Hill Trail, Ames, IA 50014

3:30 pm – Depart Iowa Lavender Farm, travel 20 miles

4:00 pm – Arrive at Marshall Ridge Dairy Farm, LLC

  • 1131 245th Street, State Center, IA

5:15 pm – Depart Marshall Ridge Dairy Farm, LLC, travel 15 miles

5:45 pm – Arrive at Gatherings & Farmhouse Catering

  • 1024 6th Street, Nevada, IA 50201

7:00 pm – Tour Concludes at Gatherings


Tour and Speaker Information


ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

The ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory tour is hosted by Katie Woodward, DVM. Iowa State University is a national leader in protecting animal and human health. Experience what this fully accredited facility by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians provides using world-class technology, including quality diagnostic and analytical services for animal species.


Iowa Lavender Farm

Iowa Lavender is a boutique, family-owned farm where they grow, harvest and personally handcraft all of their irresistible lavender products. Lavender has the trifecta when it comes to flowers – beauty, aroma and usefulness long after it blooms. After visiting a lavender farm while on vacation, Jason & Jessica Mortvedt were convinced this would be the perfect plant to grow on their central Iowa acreage, just outside of Ames. In May 2020, the first 150 lavender plants were put into the ground. They were in the middle of a global pandemic – stress and anxiety seemed to be at an all-time high for everyone. Jessica began producing handcrafted lavender products from the first harvest and Iowa Lavender was officially established as a business! Through Iowa Lavender, the Mortvedts are happy to be able to share with others the soothing and calming properties of lavender which has led to its widespread use as a stress reducer and sleep inducer for hundreds of years.



Marshall Ridge Dairy Farm, LLC

Kevin and Holly Blood, along with their son Alex and his wife Melissa, are the owners of this Holstein dairy, where they also care for replacement heifers. The crop farm involves their three daughters: twins Shannon & Sharon and Teri, as well as the daughters’ husbands. In addition, the dairy employs full-time employees who handle the three-times-a-day milking and all the chores that go along with such a large, quality conscious operation. Many aspects of the dairy will be discussed, from milking procedures, milk storage, cow nutrition, cow health and manure handling. Visitors will observe a dairy farm in action. The Blood family loves dairy farming and they do it well by taking great care of their animals and environment. They enjoy producing a wholesome, quality product for consumers.



Hospitality has always been a big part of Evie Peterson’s life, owner of Gatherings and Farmhouse Catering. Having grown up at one of the largest camps/conference centers in Iowa, she was given many opportunities starting at a young age to cook, serve and clean. Farmhouse Catering was birthed out of necessity to provide for her family and has become a dream come true. Later she added her venue, Gatherings, and it became an extension of her home where everyone who comes to Gatherings is welcome as family. She is extremely active in the Nevada community through her businesses, involvement on the Main Street board, and her children’s activities. She enjoys home renovation projects, decorating, gardening, and camping when not wrangling her five children.

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