Senior Programs and Member Engagement Director
Sarah Carlson is PFI’s senior programs and member engagement director. Sarah joined Practical Farmers of Iowa in 2007 and has held various staff positions over the years, including leading the Cooperators’ Program and developing PFI’s role in delivering cost-share programs that pay farmers to increase acres of continuous living cover. She has also helped develop programs that support rural businesses, including the Cover Crop Business Accelerator program.
Sarah serves as an agronomist on the staff and helps transfer agronomic research about cover crops and small grains through supply chain projects. She works one-on-one with farmers, agronomists, food and beverage staff and non-operator landowners, and seeks to reduce barriers to adopting more acres of continuous living cover on farmland across the Midwest.
Sarah grew up in a small town built on northern Illinois’ flat, black soils and spent many years on her grandparents’ farms. She co-majored in biology and geography at Augustana College in the Quad Cities, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts, then joined the Peace Corps as an ag business and ag extension volunteer and lived in the southern highlands of Ecuador for 2 ½ years.
Sarah returned to the Midwest in 2004 and pursued her master’s degree at Iowa State University, where she co-majored in sustainable agriculture and crop production and physiology.
Outside of PFI, Sarah is active in her family’s life and works to instill in them a love of the outdoors, community and working hard to make this Earth a little happier while we are all here.