Published Jan 29, 2014

Member John Gilbert on Practical Farmers and Searching for Answers

By Teresa Opheim
John Gilbert, long-time PFI member who farms near Iowa Falls

John Gilbert, long-time PFI member who farms near Iowa Falls

Practical Farmers is growing rapidly. Recently I asked long-time members what newcomers need to know about our organization. Here is one of the responses, from John Gilbert, who farms with his family near Iowa Falls:

“First and foremost, PFI is a member driven group. There is no umbrella organization, no charter, no template to follow, and no manual for what is being done. For better or worse, PFI finds itself in the right place at the time concern for how food is produced and the land is cared for are looking for a vehicle. The culture is one of making the organization what we need it to be. We bring our ideas and concerns and find ways to find the best way to answer them. The organization is an extended family in much the same way a tribal village was a cohesive means for everyone to band together, live together and prosper or suffer together. One of the harder things for new members to grasp is that everyone has the opportunity (and obligation) to carry on the visions of the founders…that working together, searching for answers will get us further than expecting others to guess what our needs are. And we can do this as a family with respect and compassion.”