Farm tour and award ceremony will honor Rob and Susan Fleming – July 16, near Carlisle

For Release: July 1, 2016

CARLISLE, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa invites farmers and the public to a farm tour and award ceremony honoring Rob and Susan Fleming, of Danamere Farms Inc., who were selected as the 2016 recipients of Practical Farmers’ Farmland Owner Award.

Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman will present the award to the Flemings on Saturday, July 16, at Danamere Farms, located at 2014 Scotch Ridge Road, on the outskirts of Carlisle. A self-guided farm tour will start at 5 p.m., followed by the award presentation at 5:45 p.m. A dinner catered by Back Alley Smokehouse will start at 6 p.m. Due to electric fencing in place for the season, guests are asked to park at Carlisle Middle School next to the farm. Please RSVP for the meal to [email protected] or (515) 232-5661 by Wednesday, July 13.

The Farmland Owner Award is granted annually by Practical Farmers of Iowa to non-operator landowners who use their land to help the next generation get started, advance land stewardship, and promote long-term sustainability of farm businesses, environmental quality and rural communities.

Rob and Susan were selected for using their farmland near Carlisle to help beginning farmers gain land access, and for their long-term commitment to land stewardship and conservation.

“We need more landowners like Rob and Susan. They are willing to provide farmers access to their land in the rapidly developing Des Moines metro area,” says Mark Peterson, who farms near Stanton and serves as president of Practical

Farmers’ board of directors, which selects the award recipients. “They also are willing to go the extra mile to help a beginning farmer and an experienced refugee farmer succeed at their farming careers.”

Since taking over Rob’s family farm, he and Susan have undertaken extensive conservation work, including prairie and oak savanna restoration on the land. As part of that effort, they started renting pasture to PFI member Aaron White, a beginning farmer and lessee at the Fleming farm’s next-door neighbor.

This spring, they started renting 2 acres to Alex Congera, of Des Moines, a refugee from Burundi and graduate of Practical Farmers’ Savings Incentive Program, so he and his family can raise vegetable crops. Rob and Susan have also donated part of their land to the City of Carlisle for bike trail access, and are exploring how they can work with the Carlisle school district to use their land as an outdoor natural history and farm-to-school classroom.

During the farm tour, guests will have a chance to learn about each of these efforts and farm enterprises, and to meet with Aaron and Alex to learn more about their stories and farm operations.

Directions from north, east and west: Take IA Hwy 5 to Carlisle. At the traffic light intersection with a Subway on the southwest corner, go south on Scotch Ridge Road. Park in the middle school lot at the top of the hill and look for signs. The party will take place in barns next to and just south of the school. From the south on U.S. 65: Turn right onto Scotch Ridge Road and go about 4 miles. Look for the well-marked middle school entrance.

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Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit http://practicalfarmers.org.

Contacts:

Rob Fleming | Danamere Farms, Inc. | (215) 816-2524 | [email protected]

Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]