Speakers

Mollie Aronowitz

2018.9 Mollie Aronowitz HeadshotMollie is a licensed realtor, accredited land manager and sustainability director with Peoples Company. Mollie manages and consults on farms across Iowa and oversees sustainability initiatives within Peoples Company, with a particular focus on in-field and edge-of-field conservation.

Cost-Sharing for Edge-of-Field Conservation


Christer Baltzersen

Christer BaltzersenChrister’s background is in international marketing and business development within the telecoms and satellite communications industries. He joined Nofence in May 2021 to work with its international expansion, focusing on the North American market. Christer lives on the rural west coast of Norway with his wife, three children and plenty of grazing animals around.

Virtual Fence: A Solution for Graziers, Animals and Soil?


Pete Bardole

Pete Bardole 2Pete farms with his family near Rippey, Iowa, growing corn, soybeans and pigs. The family converted to 100% strip-till in 1999 and began cover cropping in 2012, with a focus on maintaining nutrients. The Bardoles custom-seed more than 5,000 acres of cover crops, and provide custom spraying and strip-tilling services.

Manure and Cover Crops


Jill Beebout

Jill BeeboutJill runs Blue Gate Farm with her husband, Sean Skeehan. They steward 40 acres of family land in southern Marion County, Iowa, where they raise Certified Naturally Grown produce, laying hens, hay and alpacas, marketing through CSA and the Downtown Farmers’ Market in Des Moines.

Finding Your People: Peer Mentorship Among Vegetable Farmers


Hans Bishop

Hans v2Hans and his family have farmed PrairiErth Farm’s 300 acres for about 30 years. Located in the center of Illinois about 160 miles from downtown Chicago, the Bishops operate a diversified farm and raise a “bit of about everything.” Today, Hans and Katie manage most of the farm’s operations, including 35 acres of organic vegetables and 200 acres of organic soybeans, corn, wheat and oats.

Shifting Market Models at a Large Vegetable Farm

Mechanical Weed Control for Vegetables


Katie Bishop

Katie 2 768x769Katie left her corporate job of 18 years to farm full-time with her family. Together, Hans and Katie run the vegetable and grain operations. Katie is responsible for marketing, administration, operations management and post-harvest handling. She also manages the CSA, farmers market, wholesale accounts and community outreach programs.

Shifting Market Models at a Large Vegetable Farm


Monte Bottens

Monte BottensMonte is a fifth-generation Illinois farmer who owns and operates Bottens Family Farm and Grateful Graze. He is also the founder and CEO of Ag Solutions Network, Inc. Monte puts soil health principles into practice with a systems approach that includes agricultural innovations in precision farming technology, biologically based crop nutrition programs and integrating diverse crops with grass-fed livestock.

Virtual Fence: A Solution for Graziers, Animals, and Soil?


Becca Brattain

Becca BrattainBecca works as the country manager for KWS Cereals and has a passion for promoting and educating others about improving agricultural production practices. Her background includes a doctorate in animal sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a masters degree from Iowa State University. Her current work focuses on expanding small grains production and use across North America with a focus on hybrid rye and its role in livestock diets. She currently lives in Greencastle, Indiana, with her husband, where they farm and raise show pigs.

Bolstering Pig Rations With Small Grains


Hannah Breckbill

Hannah BreckbillHannah has been farming since 2009 and started Humble Hands Harvest in Decorah, Iowa, in 2013. In 2018, Emily Fagan joined as a partner. The farm sells primarily at farmers markets and through a CSA. Hannah and Emily are developing a perennial polyculture system and incorporating livestock.

Tools and Methods of Land Access Roundtable

Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production


David Brown

(Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)David is a licensed marital and family therapist who currently serves as the behavioral health state specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. His key programs and grant work focus on farm stress management, mental health literacy and suicide prevention.

Stress on the Farm: Resources and Support


DaQuay Campbell

Daquay CampbellDaQuay is a beginning farmer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After participating in PFI’s Labor4Learning program in 2020 and raising pastured pigs on his own this year, he is now navigating the challenge of accessing farmland.

Why Are There so Few Black Farmers in Iowa? Narratives and Perspectives From Two Black Iowa Farmers


Will Cannon

Will & Cassie Cannon FamilyWill and his wife, Cassie, farm 1,400 acres of strip-till corn and no-till soybeans near Prairie City, Iowa. They’ve recently begun experimenting with growing small grains for seed production. Will cover crops extensively and has seen success planting corn into living covers.

Corn and Covers: To Plant Green or Not to Plant Green


Amy Crouch

20190619 FieldDay 0031Amy is the Little Sioux project director for The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. She is an ecologist who works to restore and protect native ecosystems in the Little Sioux watershed. Amy regularly works with producers to implement conservation grazing activities that benefit native landscapes.

Grazing Native Systems to Benefit Wildlife and Livestock


Brian Dougherty

BrianDougherty 01Brian is a field agricultural engineer for ISU Extension and Outreach, focusing on cover crops, manure management and the effects of cropping systems on soil health and water quality. Before obtaining a masters degree in agricultural engineering, Brian co-owned and operated a dairy farm near Waukon, Iowa.

Manure and Cover Crops


Jean Eells

Jean EellsJean hails from Hamilton County, Iowa, where she owns farmland with her siblings. Jean has experience working with farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices and has conducted research on conservation information delivery to women landowners. She owns and operates E Resources Group, a consulting firm focused on non-formal adult education, outreach and program evaluation.

Landowner-Tenant Conversation Café


Heidi Eger

Heidi EgerHeidi (she/her) of Radicle Heart Farm raises 100% grass-fed lamb and mutton and pastured, organically fed chicken near Spring Grove, Minnesota. Her favorite thing about farming is working to manage her animals in ways that improve the health of the ecosystem.

Enhancing Flexibility With Silvopasture


Emily Fagan

Emily faganEmily farms at Humble Hands Harvest in Decorah, Iowa, with her cousin, Hannah Breckbill. The 2-acre organic vegetable farm sells to local restaurants, farmers markets and through a CSA. Emily is also a participant in PFI’s Savings Incentive Program.

Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production


Rob Faux

Practical Farmers 2012 Cooperators' MeetingRob and his wife, Tammy, operate Genuine Faux Farm, a CSA, produce and poultry operation near Tripoli, Iowa. Since launching the farm in 2005, Rob has been an inquisitive farmer, testing products and concepts on his own and through PFI’s Cooperators’ Program.

Finding Your People: Peer Mentorship Among Vegetable Farmers


Dan Fillius

Dan fillius photoDan is the commercial vegetable and specialty crop specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Prior to this role, Dan spent more than 12 years managing vegetable farms in Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa. He brings a wealth of practical knowledge and vision to commercial horticulture in Iowa.

Winter Greens Production


Tom Frantzen

Tom FrantzenTom and his wife, Irene, farm on 320 certified organic acres north of New Hampton, Iowa. They raise corn, soybeans, winter annual hybrid rye, small grains, hay and pasture, as well as 40 brood cows and 40 brood sows that they farrow-to-finish. Hybrid rye has become a staple in the rotation and as both pig and cattle rations.

Bolstering Pig Rations With Small Grains


Eleazar Gonzalez

EleazarEleazar nació en México, donde de niño se dedicó a la agricultura y la ganadería. Su formación académica incluye una licenciatura en ingeniería en agronomía, una maestría en ciencias en economía agrícola y agroindustria, y tambien un doctorado en sociología rural. Ha trabajando en varios programas enfocados en desarrollar las capacidades de los pequeños y medianos agricultores mediante la mejora de sus conocimientos sobre sostenibilidad e inspirando el éxito en sus iniciativas de agronegocios.

Eleazar was born in Mexico, where as a child he was involved in farming and ranching. His academic background includes a bachelors degree in agronomy engineering, masters degrees in agricultural economics and agribusiness and a doctorate in rural sociology. He has worked on programs focused on building the capacities of small- and medium-scale farmers by enhancing their knowledge of sustainability and inspiring success in their agribusiness initiatives.

Construyendo Estabilidad Económica para su Granja / Building Economic Stability for Your Farm


Anna Geyer

IMG 5611 (1)Anna farms on the 120-acre farm that her husband, Dave, grew up on near Iowa City, Iowa. The Geyers have developed the farm for their community. In addition to raising traditional row crops, hay and grass-fed beef, Anna has created agritourism enterprises that include Geyer’s Oven, Crust & Crumb; Anna’s Cutting Garden; and Land Alliance Folk School and Retreat Center.

How to Diversify Your Farm Without Overextending Yourself


Jason Grimm

JasonJason Grimm is the executive director of Iowa Valley RC&D, where he works with Iowa farmers and businesses as a value chain coordinator, connecting producers to each other and to viable markets. He also cultivates relationships within the food system. He uses this perspective as a third-generation farmer as he manages his own farm business of marketing specialty crops across Iowa.

New Poultry Processing Ventures in Iowa

Farm-to-Farm Coordinated Vegetable Production


Blake Hansen

Blake HansenBlake is the sixth generation to farm on Hansen’s Dairy, his family’s 150-year-old dairy farm near Hudson, Iowa. Blake cares for the 300-cow Holstein herd while his wife, Jordan, manages bookkeeping, marketing and farm tours. Blake also manages the farm’s Holstein-Wagyu beef herd. Beef and milk, processed in the on-farm creamery, are sold in their own retail stores and other grocery stores, restaurants and care facilities in eastern Iowa.

Prioritizing a Working Relationship With Your Butcher


Robin Hansen

Robin HansenRobin has been farming with her husband for over 20 years and is a mother of four. The Hansens grow corn and soybeans, raise a cow-calf herd and have a repair shop and trucking company near Baxter, Iowa. They have been planting cover crops since 2010, with a mission of preserving their land for the future.

Women Seeding Cover Crops


Chad Hensley

ChadChad and his wife, Katie, own and operate Big Creek Farms near Lamoni, Iowa. With a diversified fruit, vegetable and livestock operation, Chad has experience using working lands programs including EQIP and CSP to implement conservation practices and improve his operation.

Accessing Cost-Share for Grazing and Conservation


Paul Hoffman

BCzB2ns3 400x400 (1)Paul farms with his family in LaSalle County, Illinois, where he has raised certified organic crops since 2014. Winifred Hoffman (Paul’s mother) maintains a grass-fed, dual-purpose cattle herd and genetics business that works symbiotically to allow extended rotations for the organic row crop system. Additionally, Paul’s wife, Trisha, and their children help maintain a small grass-fed hair sheep flock.

Diversified Organic Rotations: Canola, Sunflowers and More

Implementing Wide-Row Corn Systems


Mike Holden

Mike HoldenMike is a third-generation farmer who raises corn and soybeans, manages a cow-calf herd and a small feedlot, and operates a private-label retail meat company near Scranton, Iowa. He earned a bachelors degree in finance from Creighton University in 1980. Mike started cover cropping eight years ago and now covers 40% of his acres.

Fine-Tuning Planter Settings for Sowing Corn and Soybeans Into Covers


Brian and Mitchell Hora

Brian (l) and Mitchell (r) HoraMitchell and Brian Hora are a sixth- and seventh-generation father-son duo from Ainsworth, Iowa. They started no-tilling in 1978 and cover cropping in 2013. In 2018, the Horas began relay cropping and have expanded the practice to one-third of their soybeans. Mitchell runs Continuum Ag and co-hosts the “Field Work” podcast.

Relay Intercropping


Laura Jackson

LJSandPrairie11 28 20Laura has served as director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at University of Northern Iowa since 2013. She received a bachelors degree in biology from Grinnell College, and a doctorate in plant ecology from Cornell University. Laura has been a UNI biology faculty member since 1993, teaching courses in conservation biology, applied ecology and environmental studies. Her research has focused on the restoration of biological diversity in agriculture landscapes, and the dynamics of seeds and seedling establishment in tallgrass prairie restoration. She is also co-editor, with Dana Jackson, of the book “The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems.”

Q&A With Laura Jackson


Paul Jasa

Paul Jasa seederPaul is an extension engineer with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is an expert on no-till planting equipment and system management to build soil. Paul has his bachelors and masters degrees in agricultural engineering and has evaluated planting equipment and tillage systems since 1978.

Fine-Tuning Planter Settings for Sowing Corn and Soybeans Into Covers


Cliff Johnson

IMG 6226Cliff farms 2,000 organic acres and grazes 120 cow-calf pairs near Paynesville, Minnesota, with his dad and brother. The Johnsons raise corn, soybeans, oats and rye. They have experience using compost tea and have been roller crimping for seven years.

Roller Crimping Rye in Soybeans


Demi Johnson

(Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)Demi is a behavioral health program specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. She coordinates and teaches Mental Health First Aid and “Question, Persuade, Refer” (QPR) programs.

Stress on the Farm: Resources and Support

 


Iowa Mediation Service

Iowa Mediation Service logoIowa Mediation Service was founded in 1985 as a non-profit organization dedicated to solutions for farmers, families, organizations and groups or individuals who may be in need of a conflict management expert. Iowa Mediation Service
uses proactive and reactive disciplines such as mediation, facilitation, training and development, program administration and other conflict management methodologies.

Communicating With Family About Farmland Ownership


Lance Klessig

Lance Klessig 2Lance is a regenerative agriculture advocate enthusiastically working alongside farmers to implement soil health principles on their farms. He and his wife, Chrissy, and their five children direct-market and custom-graze heifers, goats and hogs on their farm, Heart & Soil Ridge, near Dakota, Minnesota.

Cover Crop Seeding Equipment: Repurposed, New and Dual-Function

Roller Crimping Rye in Soybeans


Omar de Kok-Mercado

Omar de Kok MercadoOmar is reconstructing degraded oak savannas, prairies and pastures at Grassbelly Farmstead, near Pilot Mound, Iowa, using rotationally grazed goats and sheep, fire and mechanical thinning. His expertise in agroecology, soil microbiology and native perennials informs his land management techniques. He and his wife, Meghan Filbert, manage their farm for abundant wildlife, clean water and healthy soils.

Graziers’ Gear


Kennady Lilly

Kennady lillyKennady is a farmer in Des Moines, Iowa. She describes herself as the mother of Radiate DSM, an urban farm that seeks to grow food to nourish a community in the city.

Farm-to-Farm Coordinated Vegetable Production


Andy Linder

Andy LinderAndy farms near Easton, Minnesota, raising no-till soybeans, strip- and no-till corn, oats, canning crops and hay. He first seeded covers in 2014, and in 2016 decided to quit tilling and cover every acre. Andy also runs a cover crop business selling seed and doing high-clearance application in standing crops.

Fungicide Discussion: Necessity or Hype?

Corn and Covers: To Plant Green or Not to Plant Green


Bailey Lutz

Bailey LutzBailey (they/them) is a young queer farmer motivated by right relationship with land and food ecosystems that work for all who has tended a herd of Kiko and Spanish goats for three years, and has also dabbled in pastured poultry. Bailey is exploring using their goats in a silvopasture system with multiple potential benefits for livestock, habitat and wildlife.

Enhancing Flexibility With Silvopasture


Karen and Tom Maanum

DSCN0153Karen and Tom raise corn and soybeans near Graceville, Minnesota. About 10 years ago their two sons, Sam and Charlie, started a livestock partnership and more recently began a small cow-calf herd. Their daughter, Marlie, is studying Physical Therapy. Karen and Tom are working through the process of transitioning the farm to their two sons.

Preparing for Farm Succession With The DIRTT Project


Eric Madsen

Eric Madsen DSC 8029[1]Eric farms with his family near Audubon in west-central Iowa. The Madsen family is working to fully transition their corn, soybeans, oats, wheat and hay to organic production. Eric is also an organic and non-GMO seed salesperson.

High-Yielding Oats


Jason Mauck

MauckJason Mauck is the CEO of Munsee Meats, a meat retailer providing beef, bison, pork, lamb, poultry and seafood directly to consumers and commercial clients. He strives to combine tradition with technology for a true farm-to-table experience. He also grows corn, soybeans, wheat and wean-to-finish pigs near Gaston, Indiana, and focuses on creative problem-solving and economic advantage to drive his farm forward.

Unique Meat Distribution Economies


Ruth McCabe

Gb06839F 400x400Ruth is a certified professional agronomist, an Iowa certified crop advisor and a conservation agronomist with Heartland Cooperative. She works directly with farmers to implement in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices to benefit soil health, water quality and wildlife.

Cost-Sharing for Edge-of-Field Conservation


Marshall McDaniel

Marshall McDanielMarshall works as an assistant agronomy professor at ISU. His background includes a doctorate in soil science and biogeochemistry from Penn State University and a masters degree in natural resources and the environment from University of Illinois. His research focuses on the interactions between soils and plants and how humans can interfere with or enhance these interactions.

Carbon Sequestration: Methods of Measurement


Amber Mohr

Amber mohrAmber farms with her family at Fork Tail Farm, a vegetable, fruit and poultry farm near Avoca, Iowa. Amber also serves as project director of Avoca Main Street, whose mission is to promote, preserve and enhance the downtown district as an economic, cultural and social center of the community.

Tools and Methods of Land Access Roundtable


Doris Montag

Doris Montag crop pleaseAs a curator of historical collections, Doris discovers, borrows and collects vintage artifacts; researches the stories they tell; and develops engaging exhibits for small museums, libraries and public spaces. She is known as a homespun humorist presenting her laugh-and-learn sessions on “The History of Ordinary Things,” which is also the name of her venture. Doris writes monthly columns on random ordinary things for senior magazines, including Mature Focus and 50plus LIFE. Her goal: to make history fun.

The Chicken and the Egg: Raising Chickens in the 1900s


Hilda Moreno

Hilda f2s open graphHilda cría aves de corral de múltiples especies con gallinas y emús. Criada Origineria de México, Hilda dirige su pasión y conexión con la tierra a su granja de tres acres en Fremont, Nebraska. La esperanza y meta de Hilda es de continuar diversificando su finca agregando árboles frutales.

Hilda raises a multi-species poultry flock with chickens and emus. Raised in Mexico, Hilda carries her passion for and connection with the land to her 3-acre farm in Fremont, Nebraska. Hilda’s hope is to continue diversifying her farm by adding fruit trees.

Creando nuevas oportunidades con empresas avícolas y vegetales / Creating New Opportunities With Poultry and Veggie Enterprises


Paul Mugge

Paul Mugge 2021 updatedPaul, a lifelong environmentalist, lives in Sutherland, Iowa, with his wife, Karen. On their farm, they raise corn, soybeans and small grains, and dedicate portions to pollinator and wildlife habitat. The Mugges have been growing organic crops for nearly 20 years.

Organic Cultivators and Weed Control


Katherine Muller

Katherine MullerKatherine is a researcher with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service investigating the benefits of diversified crop rotations and cover crops. She started studying nitrogen fixation in legumes in 2013 while working toward her doctorate at the University of Minnesota, and has continued with research on nitrogen fixation traits in green manures in a postdoctoral position at Cornell University.

All About Legumes Part I: Cover Crops

All About Legumes Part II: Nitrogen Fixation


Danelle Myer

Danelle MyerDanelle is the fifth generation to farm her family’s land near Logan, Iowa. At One Farm, Danelle raises vegetables for farmers markets, pop-up farm stands, online ordering, restaurants and wholesalers in Omaha and Des Moines. In November 2020, she opened a pop-up farm store in downtown Logan, population 1,400.

Navigating Regulations for Local Food Stores


Andrew Nees

Andrew NeesAndrew is an organic farmer in Sac County, Iowa. He raises corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa. Andrew certified his first farm in 2015 and farms alongside his dad, David, who has been certified organic for over 35 years.

Organic Cultivators and Weed Control


Elmarie and Manie Nel

Elmarie & Manie NelElmarie and Manie own and operate Clarion Locker, a newly expanded state-inspected facility that processes beef, deer, pork, lamb, goat and bison in Clarion, Iowa. Originally from South Africa, the Nels incorporate South African meat products into their consumer offerings and have won multiple champion and reserve champion awards for their processed meat products at the Iowa State Fair. They prioritize working directly with farmers to achieve the best processing outcomes.

Prioritizing a Working Relationship With Your Butcher


Sarah Nizzi

Nizzi editedSarah is a farm bill pollinator conservation planner and Natural Resources Conservation Service partner biologist with the Xerces Society. Sarah works across Iowa to offer technical assistance to landowners interested in pollinator habitat. She also provides pollinator-related training to NRCS staff and partners.

Climate-Smart Pollinator Habitat

Pollinator Conservation for Homesteads and Backyard Gardens


Meredith Nunnikhoven

Meredith nunnukhoven 2Meredith established Barnswallow Flowers & Produce in 2018 near Oskaloosa, Iowa. Following a career in the film industry, Meredith came home to re-engage with the family farm in a way that feeds her passions, reflects her environmental ethic and exercises her creativity and strategic thinking.

Flower Farming for Realists: Growing Plants for Versatility and Variety


Monika Owczarski

Monika 2Monika is a central Iowa native who was once a social worker and is now an accidental first-generation farmer. She is committed to social justice and equity in our food system, and lives and farms in Des Moines’ River Bend neighborhood, where she and her husband raise their three children.

Farm-to-Farm Coordinated Vegetable Production


Alejandro Plastina

Plastina, AlejandroAlejandro is an extension economist at ISU with a specialty in agricultural and natural resource economics. His recent research focuses on the economics of conservation and carbon markets, and he serves on ISU’s Science Team for the Iowa Carbon Sequestration Task Force.

Carbon and Ecosystem Service Markets: What Farmers Should Consider


Kristin Plate

Kristin Plate 1Kristin farms with her husband and family near Oskaloosa, Iowa, growing corn, beans and hogs. Kristin, a mother of three, is a substitute teacher and volunteer at their school. During harvest, Kristin is full-time on the farm, running the grain cart and planting all 1,000 acres of cover crops.

Women Seeding Cover Crops


Dale Raasch

Dale RaaschDale has farmed with his wife, Marcie, in Adair County, Iowa, since 1978. Since 2013, his 40-acre farm, which includes 25 acres of vegetables and 15 acres in livestock, has been certified organic. Dale’s children Eric, Tyler and Sadie have helped on the farm for many years. The farm employs friends and family to help with the many tasks that include planting, weeding, harvesting and packaging more than 40 items, ranging from apples to zucchini. Dale and Marcie hope to continue to grow, provide and promote healthy food for their community.

Producing Organic Vegetables on 25 Acres


Eric Rademacher

Eric RademacherEric and Frank are a father-son team raising non-GMO corn, soybeans and wheat on their 600-acre farm near Gifford, Illinois. They use no-till and cover crops, and conduct on-farm trials with new crops and practices, aiming for a scalable regenerative agriculture system that uses minimal inputs.

Nitrogen Management in a Soil Health System


Frank Rademacher

Frank RademacherEric and Frank are a father-son team raising non-GMO corn, soybeans and wheat on their 600-acre farm near Gifford, Illinois. They use no-till and cover crops, and conduct on-farm trials with new crops and practices, aiming for a scalable regenerative agriculture system that uses minimal inputs.

Nitrogen Management in a Soil Health System


Sekar Raju

Sekar RajuSekar has a doctorate in marketing from The Ohio State University, and is currently an associate professor and chair of the Marketing Department at the ISU Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business. His areas of expertise include brand commitment, attitude strength, food choice, advertising effects and low-income consumers.

Plant-Based Proteins: Learning From Consumers and Marketers


Shaffer Ridgeway

Shaffer RidgewayShaffer lives and farms in Waterloo, Iowa. Originally from Alabama, he is a district conservationist with the NRCS. 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.

Why Are There so Few Black Farmers in Iowa? Narratives and Perspectives From Two Black Iowa Farmers


John Rock

20190619 FieldDay 0013John is a farmer and rancher in the Little Sioux watershed. Owner and operator of Rock Cattle Company, John uses managed grazing to increase the diversity of his pastures and also grazes TNC-owned lands under the terms of a conservation lease.

Grazing Native Systems to Benefit Wildlife and Livestock


Tom Rosburg

Tom RosburgTom is a producer and ecologist from Colo, Iowa. In addition to raising chickens and free-range hogs, Tom is a professor of biology at Drake University and teaches courses in ecology, botany and natural history. His guiding philosophy is that farms should be managed as agricultural ecosystems.

Climate-Smart Pollinator Habitat


Steve Saltzman

Steve Saltzman 2019Steve Saltzman is a sixth-generation farmer near Lenox in southwest Iowa. He raises corn and soybeans with his parents and extended family.

Fungicide Discussion: Necessity or Hype?


Ben Saunders

Ben saunders 3At age 16, Ben worked on a vegetable farm near Iowa City, Iowa. Vegetable farming became his passion and led him to opportunities around the country for years. At 25, family obligation led him back to his native Iowa, where he earned a degree in horticulture from ISU and took over a certified organic farm from a retiring farmer.

Finding Your People: Peer Mentorship Among Vegetable Farmers


Jordan Scheibel

Jordan ScheibelJordan runs Middle Way Farm near Grinnell, Iowa, on the Lacina family farm, where he raises 2 acres of chemical-free vegetables sold primarily through CSA shares and online sales to Grinnell-area residents (population 9,300). Having built his farm reputation through the Grinnell farmers market, in 2020 he chose not to sell at farmers market due to COVID-19, and worked to transition his customers to farm-direct online ordering.

Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production


Dave Schmidt

DSC 0090Dave and his wife, Meg, own Troublesome Creek Cattle Co. near Exira, Iowa. Their goal is to produce high-quality, wholesome meat by ensuring the well-being and long-term health and productivity of their livestock while maintaining the most basic resources: soil, air and water. As experienced graziers, they use management-intensive grazing, bale grazing and stockpile grazing techniques.

Watering Systems for Graziers


Lucia Schulz

Lucia headshot web (2)Lucia se desempeña como asistente de proyectos para el programa agrícola y comunitario en el Centro de Asuntos Rurales. Su trabajo se centra en alentar a los agricultores latinos a trabajar en red entre ellos, educar y liderar.

Lucia is a project assistant for the Farm and Community Program with the Center for Rural Affairs. Her work is centered around encouraging Latino farmers to network, educate and lead.

Creando nuevas oportunidades con empresas avícolas y vegetales / Creating New Opportunities With Poultry and Veggie Enterprises


Zack Smith

Zack SmithZack farms in Winnebago County, Iowa, where he has raised corn and soybeans using strip-till and cover crops since 2014. Zack developed an innovative system he calls “stock cropping” that combines livestock and row crops in the same field space. The system has potential to increase farm profitability and soil health, lessen a farm’s carbon footprint and expand economic opportunities for rural communities.

Unique Meat Distribution Economies


Kate Solko

Kate SolkoKate started working in organic vegetable production around 2010 and today is the owner-operator of Root to Rise Organic Farm in Ames, Iowa. Her goal is to produce high-quality, affordable produce for her community and her family. In addition to farming on 5 acres, Kate homeschools her three children.

Growing Carrots Profitably


Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart and daughterMatt and his wife, Diana, farm near Oelwein, Iowa, milking Holstein cows and growing corn, oats, alfalfa, soybeans and pasture. They take a traditional approach to dairy, with summer pasture and a freestall barn. The Stewarts began farming together after college and raised five kids on the farm.

High-Yielding Oats


Rob Stout

Soil healthRob farms in Washington, Iowa, where he raises corn, soybeans, small grains and pigs. Rob has used no-till since 1983 and cover crops since 2009 to improve soil health and for conservation. Small grains play a role in his conservation practices by diversifying his rotations and serving as a feedstuff for his pigs.

Bolstering Pig Rations With Small Grains


Rena Striegel

Rena StriegelRena, creator of The DIRTT Project, is an internationally recognized business coach and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working directly with farmers, agriculture leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs to identify and implement strategies that create growth and profitability. Rena grew up on a dairy and hog farm in What Cheer, Iowa.

Preparing for Farm Succession With The DIRTT Project


Linda Sturm-Flores

Linda 300x300Linda grew up on an organic urban farm in Falls Church, Virginia. She holds masters of science degrees in forestry and agronomy, and is a former Peace Corps volunteer. Over the years, Linda has promoted organic methods in the landscaping industry; worked with the North Carolina Department of Labor to ensure safe working and housing conditions for migrant farm workers; served as the executive director of Health for All, a free medical clinic in Bryan, Texas; and worked as a stay-at-home mom for 15 years.

Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production


Ryan Tienfenthaler

TiefenthalerRyan grows corn, soybeans, rye and oats in transition to organic near Carroll, Iowa. He also raises hogs and runs Breda Ag Solutions selling seeds, specialty production contracts and fertilizer. His conditioning facility cleans corn, soy and small grains for seed and food processing.

Transitioning to Organic With Small Grains


Tarin Tienfenthaler

TiefenthalerTarin farms with her husband, Ryan, growing soybeans, corn and cover crops near Carroll, Iowa. They have three children ages 19, 15 and 6. The Tiefenthalers also have a seed conditioning facility. Tarin enjoys advocating for agriculture with multiple groups across Iowa.

Women Seeding Cover Crops


Mark Quee

Mark Quee e1552610469205Mark has managed Scattergood Friends School Farm near West Branch, Iowa, since 1999 and is an at-large member of PFI’s board of directors. Mark’s job at Scattergood allows him to nurture his many selves: teacher, lover of books and films, outdoors explorer, organic farmer and one who appreciates living in community.

Finding Your People: Peer Mentorship Among Vegetable Farmers

Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production


Jenny Quiner

QuinerJenny, along with her husband and three boys, operates Dogpatch Urban Gardens, an urban farm situated on 1 acre in Des Moines, Iowa. The business is diversified with multiple ways for the community to support the farm, including salad subscriptions, farm dinners, restaurant sales and a farm stand – a seasonal, on-site store that sells Dogpatch Urban Gardens products, as well as other items from growers across Iowa.

Navigating Regulations for Local Food Stores


Mike Unruh

Dave & Mike UnruhMike and his father, Dave, grow corn, soybeans, hay and cover crops on 750 acres near Winona, Minnesota, on the bluffs of the Mississippi. They own Unruh Cover Cropping, which provides custom seeding using multiple methods in southeast Minnesota. In 2021, they covered 3,000 acres. Mike also sells seed for Saddle Butte Ag and Dairyland Seed Co.

Cover Crop Seeding Equipment: Repurposed, New and Dual-Function


Marissa Waldo

B96400efMarissa farms with her husband, Andrew, and her family near Cascade, Iowa. They raise corn, soybeans and small grains, and Marissa’s brother, Eric, also runs a malting business on the farm. The family has been interseeding covers into wide-row corn since 2018. Marissa and Andrew also raise hogs, sheep and chestnut trees on their small acreage.

Implementing Wide-Row Corn Systems


Ben Wallace

DSC 3271Ben is a landowner and biologist from Sac County, Iowa. With his father, Craig, Ben has worked with partners to restore a number of oxbow wetlands on their property in northwest Iowa. Ben also works as a fisheries biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Oxbow Wetland Restoration for Multiple Benefits


Cristin Weber

Cristin (1)Cristin is a precision agriculture and conservation specialist with Pheasants Forever. Based in South Dakota, Cristin works with growers to find opportunities for habitat on farms and to maximize profitability. Prior to joining Pheasants Forever, Cristin’s work focused on soil health and precision agriculture.

Precision Conservation: Finding Opportunities for Habitat on Farms


Darrick Weissenfluh

DSC 3247Darrick is a private lands biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Through voluntary agreements, and by working with conservation partners, Darrick provides technical and financial assistance to restore fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Des Moines Lobe region.

Oxbow Wetland Restoration for Multiple Benefits


Tony Wells

Tony is the business services director at Stacyville Poultry Processing, a new poultry processing facility in Iowa. He is also the COO and CFO for Regeneration Farms, a role in which he has built extensive expertise in all aspects of regenerative poultry production and processing; farm and coop design; and sales and distribution. Tony is a beginning poultry farmer in Kenyon, Minnesota, and raises poultry using the Tree-Range system developed by Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin.

New Poultry Processing Ventures in Iowa


John Wesselius

WesseliusJohn and his wife, Janna, own and operate The Cornucopia, a 9-acre vegetable farm raising Certified Naturally Grown produce near Sioux Center, Iowa. Since 2005, the couple has marketed through a CSA and by selling produce at farmers markets in Falls Park, South Dakota, Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Center, Iowa. They also raise pastured poultry and partner with a neighbor to sell pork from purebred Berkshire pigs.

Growing Carrots Profitably

Vegetable Farm Infrastructure


Torray Wilson

Erin and Torray WilsonTorray and his wife, Erin Wilson, are experienced graziers. They operate Wilson Organic Dairy, a grass-based dairy consisting of 120 cows and 100 young stock on 220 acres in Paullina, Iowa. Torray says regenerative grazing let him have a secure forage source during the recent drought. Using ingenuity, Torray has adapted his grazing equipment to function specifically in his pasture, allowing him to make the most of his grazing rotations.

Graziers’ Gear


Susan & Rich Young

Susan and Rich YoungSusan and Rich started Lucky Star Farm in 2011 on the outskirts of Iowa City, Iowa. The 20-acre farm includes pasture-raised eggs, turkeys for the holidays, Nigerian dwarf goats, occasional public goat yoga sessions and a small herd of llamas. In 2020, the Youngs completed a renovation of the 1950s-era milk house on their farm, converting it to a farm-stay Airbnb. Since opening in 2020, they have achieved “Superhost” status on Airbnb with more than 150 five-star reviews.

Be Our Guest: Hosting an Airbnb on the Farm