Published Sep 16, 2011

SIP Spotlight: Ben Saunders

By Patrick Burke

Ben Saunders

2010 Savings Incentive Program recipient Ben Saunders manages Turtle Farm near Granger. This certified-organic fruit-and-vegetable farm supplies food to 170 families through their community supported agriculture (CSA) program, which has been in operation since 1996, one of the first CSAs in Iowa. Turtle Farm also sells food to restaurants, through an on-farm stand, and at a farmer’s market.

“While I don’t own Turtle Farm, my sole source of income is derived from the farm,” says Ben. “By participating in the SIP program, I hope to purchase a root undercutter (harvesting tool) and a European push seeder to help increase my capital-earning capabilities while at Turtle Farm and to use these tools in my future farming endeavors.”

Ben has a degree in Horticulture and has cooperated with PFI to research non-toxic controls for flea beetles on eggplant. He has also co-hosted a PFI Farminar on the topic Organic Cucurbit Production.

PFI’s Savings Incentive Program is helping Ben Saunders achieve his farming goals. Can it help you? We are currently accepting applications for SIP. If you’ve been farming for less than five years and live or farm in Iowa, apply now! Applications are due October 14.