Published Mar 8, 2023

Farmers Anna Hankins of Coggon, and Shaffer Ridgeway of Waterloo, join PFI’s board of directors; three others re-elected

By Elizabeth Wilhelm


Elizabeth Wilhelm | Media Relations Coordinator | (515) 232-5661 |

AMES, Iowa (March 8, 2023) — Coggon farmer Anna Hankins and Shaffer Ridgeway, who farms in Waterloo, are the newest additions to Practical Farmers of Iowa’s board of directors. They were among five individuals elected in January by PFI members to join or renew their tenure on the 12-person board of directors.

Anna and Shaffer are each starting their first terms and will serve three years on PFI’s board. Along with other board members, they help to ensure farmer priorities continue to guide and ground Practical Farmers’ work.

Anna Hankins and her partner, Shae Pesek, raise seasonal cut flowers, chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs and beef cows at Over the Moon Farm & Flowers, located in Delaware County, Iowa. The couple have been farming since 2019, marketing through a CSA and their online farm store, as well as developing wholesale clients for their products.

“I am so honored to serve on the board of such a far-reaching, big-tent agriculture organization in the state,” Anna says.

“Practical Farmers of Iowa has been crucial to my own growth and development as a young farmer, and I am looking forward to serving the organization and the base of farmers through my board appointment.”

Shaffer Ridgeway lives and farms in Waterloo, and is the first Black person to serve on PFI’s board of directors. Originally from Alabama, he is a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. In 2019, he and his wife Madelyn established their farm, Southern Goods, with an emphasis on growing Southern vegetables for Midwesterners. He markets through the Waterloo Urban Farmers Market and through We Arose Co-op.

“I decided to take on the challenge of serving on the board because of all the great things PFI is doing within the agricultural community,” Shaffer says. “It is a very inclusive community.”

The other board members on the docket were all re-elected to their current positions on the board:

  • Carmen Black is serving her second term as an at-large farmer director. She operates Sundog Farm and Local Harvest CSA collaboratively with a committed farm team near Solon. They raise vegetables for over 200 families and rotationally graze sheep, goats and laying hens.
  • Kristine Lang is serving her second term as an at-large non-farmer director. She is an extension consumer horticulture specialist for South Dakota State University, based in Brookings, South Dakota, where she also works as an assistant professor.
  • Gayle Olson is serving her third term as a director for PFI’s southeastern district. She and her husband, Jeff, are lifetime members of PFI near Winfield. Their operation includes conventional and organic acres, and they grow a variety of row crops, small grains, alfalfa and beef cattle. Gayle also serves as the assistant to the director for Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health.

 Practical Farmers board members serve in many capacities, from ensuring PFI is fiscally sound and our programs remain effective and farmer-focused, to providing leadership, advice and direction to staff.

These individuals are among the hundreds of Practical Farmers of Iowa members who serve in leadership roles within the organization, working in ways as diverse as hosting field days, conducting on-farm research, speaking with the media, serving on committees, volunteering at events, mentoring beginning farmers – and more.


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit