Member Spotlight: Sara Pearson
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.
Sara Pearson, together with her husband, Bob, own and operate Prairie Sky Farm near Wesley, where they farm organically and raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats, vegetables and cattle on 40 acres. The farm business got its start in 2008, when Sara purchased her great-grandparents’ farmstead near Algona. Soon after, she started Prairie Sky Farm.
In 2010, she and several friends constructed a FarmTek high tunnel using funds from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS-EQIP). In 2014, the high tunnel was badly damaged in a wind storm. Sara and Bob removed the structure in the autumn of 2014 in preparation for a Four Season Tools high tunnel, which they built with help of volunteers last year during a high tunnel build organized by Practical Farmers of Iowa.
(Read more about that event in an article by PFI staff member Liz Kolbe, “Building Knowledge – and a High Tunnel” – in the autumn 2015 issue of “the Practical Farmer.”)
Sara has several years of experience managing organic vegetable crops in high tunnels and will teach a conference session geared to first-time high tunnel users.
In “Getting Started in Your First High Tunnel” (on Friday, Jan. 20, from 12:30 – 2 p.m), Sara will delve into the basics of building and working in a high tunnel, from site selection and structure options to planting, management, useful tools and more.
Register for the conference: Practical Farmers’ annual conference is open to everyone! Click here to learn more about the sessions, speakers and registration options.