Published Oct 20, 2016

Who makes up the 74%?

By Sally Worley

As a farmer-led organization Practical Farmers strives to have farmers represent at least 70% of our membership. We welcome everyone, and relish our friends of farmers members (I am a friend of farmers member).

However, having a large percent of farmers as members assures our work is indeed farmer-led. We are proud to report, as of the end of our fiscal year, 74% of our members are either farmers or aspiring farmers (67% farmers, 7% aspiring farmers). Who are these farmers and what do they grow? This group is diverse! Farmers in the network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and much more. Practices range from conventional to organic, with many iterations of conservation and farm efficiencies employed. These farmers are hard to categorize, and this heterogeneity makes the network strong.

Thank you, farmers, for being part of Practical Farmers of Iowa. Your involvement is what makes us effective and credible!

Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband, Photo Courtesy of The Land Connection

Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband – photo courtesy of The Land Connection

Wes Jarrell, Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, Champaign, IL, member since 1993: “We joined [Practical Farmers] because it’s an exceptional place to hear what other farmers are doing, all sizes, management styles, production systems, in a constructive way.  Lots of perspectives aired.”