Published Dec 8, 2016

Member Spotlight: Joel Gruver

By Tamsyn Jones

Passing on knowledge from farmer to farmer works because farmers are credible to each other. Supporting this farmer-led model is what we strive to do at Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Our 2017 annual conference, “Pass It On” (Jan. 201-21 – learn more here), celebrates this model and the impact of farmer-to-farmer learning on farmers’ confidence to explore new or different farming practices, and their ability improve farm profitability and land stewardship.

As we prepare for the conference, we’d like to introduce you to some of the PFI farmers you can learn from during conference sessions.

Joel Gruver

Joel Gruver
Member since 2007
Macomb, IL

Joel Gruver grew up on a small, diversified farm in rural Maryland. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Principia College, a master’s degree in agronomy from the University of Maryland holds a doctorate in soil science from North Carolina State University.

Joel is currently a faculty member in the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University. In addition to teaching several classes, Joel conducts research on conservation cropping systems, with a focus on cover crops and organic grain production, soil organic matter and innovative teaching methods.

He just completed his 10th season of large-scale field research on cover crops and organic grain production in western Illinois, and will lead a conference sessions that provides a retrospective on key lessons learned over the last decade.

The session, “A Decade of Cover Crops Research” (Friday, Jan. 20, from 12:30 – 2 p.m), will cover cover cropping strategies for improved soil fertility, weed control, disease control and soil health in organic and conventional farming systems.

Register for the conference: Practical Farmers’ annual conference is open to everyone! Click here to learn more about the sessions, speakers and registration options.