IOA Field Day: Farmers Hen House Organic Free-Range Eggs & Iowa's Amish Community

Join Farmer's Hen House and the Iowa Organic Association for a field day that takes you behind the scenes of free-range, organic EGG-riculture and production! Discover the rich history of Farmers Hen House and their network of Iowa's Amish and Mennonite farmers, and their commitment to producing the highest quality Free-Range, Pasture-Raised, Certified-Humane, Organic Eggs - that do good for the hen, farmer, environment, and community alike. Tour their solar-powered production facility, enjoy an egg-inspired lunch, and travel to a local farm to experience first-hand sustainable poultry production and the on-farm grain cycle, and meet one of the local farmer's and his family who work to bring you your eggs.

Farmers Hen House began in 1997 with an Amish man's idea that producing organic eggs could be a way to keep small farms in the Kalona, Iowa area sustainable. The business began with just a few farms, but soon began to grow. Today, Farmers Hen House operates an egg grading and distribution facility in Kalona, Iowa. It's where eggs from our network of family farms are cleaned, graded and packaged. Our network includes mostly local farms, as well as farms in Bloomfield, Iowa and northern Missouri. Farmers Hen House’s facility is 100% solar powered.

Our field day host, Merlin Ropp, is a local farmer who produces organic free-range eggs for Farmer's Hen House. He and his wife (who also worked in the packing facility at Farmers Hen House before marrying Merlin) purchased the farm from his grandparents, and built the chicken house the following summer.  The Ropp's egg gathering/packing crew also includes his two young children, who delight in holding and playing with their chickens. When he’s not farming, Merlin and his family enjoy spending time in nature, hiking, birdwatching, and singing.  Merlin is also a skilled buggy maker in the community!

Registration Options:

Space is limited, please RSVP as soon as possible to save your spot!

  1. Attend the field day (FREE) – please register below
  2. Field day and Farm-to-Table LUNCH– please register HERE 
    • $10 for IOA members
    • $25 for non-members


  • 11:00 am: IOA Welcome and Tour of Farmers Hen House Production Facility
  • 12:00 pm: Farm to Table Lunch provided by Miller Homestead Cooking
    •  Please register HERE  for the lunch ($10/IOA members and $25/non-members)
    •  Travel to Merlin Ropp's Farm (4 Miles)
  • 1:00 pm: Tour of Merlin Ropp's Farm 
  • 2:00 pm: Event adjourns

Don't miss this unique opportunity to connect with local farmers, traditional Amish culture and organic stewardship,  and the story of sustainably produced, fresh, organic eggs.


With cases of Bird Flu becoming a rising issue for poultry farmers across the country, this event has specific requirements for attendees.  Please avoid contact with chickens for up to 48 hours prior to the event, and be sure to wear clean clothes, and closed-toed shoes.  Do your part to help protect local farmers and their livelihoods.


Funder Acknowledgement:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the program agreement with the project number 15061 titled "Risk Management Outreach and Education for Beginning, Transitioning and Organic Producers". Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the RMA and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

August 17, 2023 at 11:00am - 2pm
Farmer's Hen House
Kalona, IA 52247
United States
Google map and directions
Erika Otto · · 712-215-6851
Aaron Lehman Jordan Scheibel Jean Wiedenheft Doug Schock Erlene Fopma

Will you come?