Published Nov 12, 2015

Farm Legacy Letters to be Published in Book

By Teresa Opheim

The Farm Legacy Letters that many PFI members have done are so impressive that the University of Iowa Press has decided to publish a collection of them. We will keep you posted on the progress of the book, which will be out later in 2016.

Featured will be the following PFI members, who have generously shared what matters most to them about the past, present and future of their farmland: Jon Bakehouse, Mary Damm, Del Ficke, Jim and Lisa French, Tom and Irene Frantzen, Neil Hamilton, Marilyn and Leon Isakson, Fred Kirschenmann, Jeff Klinge and Deb Tidwell, Vic and Cindy Madsen, Maggie McQuown and Steve Turman, Barb Opheim and Angela Tedesco. The book also includes information on farm transfer from Helen Gunderson, Charlotte Shivvers and her sisters Martha Skillman and Marietta Carr, Kathy Ruhf, Mike Duffy and Mary Swander. A poem tribute to Dan Specht by his brother Phil is also part of the volume.

Here is an excerpt from the Farm Legacy Letter of Barb Opheim, my mother, who was born on the farm she now owns: “I’d prefer to keep my 80 acres in the family, but if my children aren’t interested in keeping it or it is a hassle, I don’t have a problem with selling it. It’s like inheriting a house. If it doesn’t work anymore for my children to own it, then that’s the way it is…My top goal for my farmland is to keep family harmony. I do not want my heirs to do any fighting because of this land. I don’t want anyone to feel like they didn’t get a fair share….”

Barb Opheim 1

Barb Opheim, a PFI member from Mason City and author of a Farm Legacy Letter.

The book is dedicated to the members of Practical Farmers. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to Practical Farmers.  To learn more about Practical Farmers of Iowa Farm Transfer Program, click here.