Meaghan is the central Iowa field agronomist and field specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. Her expertise includes cover crops, weed biology and management, corn and soybean management and integrated pest management.
Nathan, lifetime member and board member of PFI, runs Bobolink Prairie Farms with his wife, Sarah, near Aurelia, Iowa, raising corn, soybeans, cattle, small grains and hay. Nathan, Sarah and family have worked to grow their cattle herd while improving grazing management and incorporating cover crops through on-farm research and observation.
John is an independent orchard consultant with Threshold IPM Services, based in Richland Center, Wisconsin. For more than 30 years, John has worked as a pest management consultant for tree fruit growers. He also operates a potato farm with his son, marketing primarily at Dane County Farmers’ Market.
Jon is a lifetime member of PFI who farms with his wife Tina, son Anderson and family near Hastings, Iowa. The Bakehouses raise corn and soybeans and are integrating goats for grazing with their small cow-calf herd. As the fifth generation farming his family’s land, Jon has conducted PFI on-farm research for over five years and unofficial field trials his entire farming career.
Tina is a lifetime member of PFI and the chief creative officer at Malvern Bank. She has an extensive background in communications, theater and teaching, including as a storytelling coach and corporate trainer. She lives on Maple Edge Farm in southwest Iowa with her husband, Jon, and their son Anderson, where they raise corn, soybeans, cattle, chickens and goats.
Jude raises organic pork on his sixth-generation family farm, Becker Lane Organic, near Dyersville, Iowa. He directly markets his pork to restaurants and retail locations in the U.S. and Asia. Jude continues to learn innovative ways to retain product value and boost farm income.
Jill 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.
Sam and his wife Danielle raise corn, soybeans and small grains on a third of the Bennett family’s 2,000-acre operation. They use cover crops, no-till and strip-till to work toward their goals of improving soil health, conservation, nutrient management and water quality, and creating habitat.
Abby is the field production coordinator at Featherstone Farm in Rushford, Minnesota. For the past five years, she was the farm’s brassica production manager, responsible for over 40 acres of organic broccoli, cauliflower, kale and other brassica crops.
Kellie is a lifetime member of PFI who farms full-time near Dayton, Iowa, with her husband and two children. The Blairs operate a diversified farm consisting of soybeans, corn, rye, hay, oats, cattle and pigs. Kellie has a reputation as a strong conservationist, agronomist and agricultural advocate.
Jack and his wife Marion are lifetime members of Practical Farmers of Iowa. They raise corn, seed corn, soybeans, cereal rye and cover crops near Reinbeck, Iowa. Jack has been conducting on-farm research on cover crops as part of PFI’s Cooperators’ Program since 2014.
Hannah 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.
David serves as the behavioral health state specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. In this role, he provides subject matter support and leadership to Extension efforts related to behavioral health, such as farm stress, stress management, mental health literacy, opioid misuse and disaster behavioral health.
Jim works as a specialty grain originator for The DeLong Company in both its organic and non-GMO programs. He trades truck, rail and barges across the Midwest covering both food- and feed-grade positions.
Jennifer is the co-founder and co-CEO of Firsthand Foods, a food hub that sells local meats in North Carolina. Before starting this business, Jennifer worked with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina State Extension, where she realized farmers’ need for meat aggregation and marketing.
Troy is a farm bill wildlife biologist with Pheasants Forever in northwest Iowa working in Sioux, Lyon, Osceola and O’Brien counties. He provides landowners with technical assistance to help them integrate wildlife habitat into their farming operations.
Omar de Kok-Mercado
Omar is the STRIPS project coordinator with ISU. Omar coordinates transdisciplinary research and extension activities on prairie strips and their impacts on farmland, farm livelihoods, soil, water and wildlife conservation.
Wilber De La Rosa
Wilber is the poultry technical assistance and R&D manager at Main Street Project. He oversees the care and management of all poultry flocks and provides technical assistance to beginning producers in the project’s training program.
Ron Doetch is the founder, managing partner and agronomist with Solutions in the Land, LLC, in Poplar Grove, Illinois. Raised on a working dairy farm in northern Illinois, Ron has worked his entire career in food systems with a bias towards organic, sustainable and restorative agriculture.
Robb farms corn, soybeans and hay and operates a cow-calf and hog operation near Davenport, Iowa. He has used no-till and cover crops for nearly 10 years. Robb is passionate about market development and non-farmer ag education. He also serves on Iowa Soybean Association’s board of directors as secretary of the executive committee, representing ISA’s District 6.
Rob 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.
Craig raises corn, soybeans, oats and hay on his century farm near Minburn, Iowa. Craig understands the value of conservation practices and uses ridge-till, no-till, grass waterways and cover crops on his farm. Craig is a past recipient of the Iowa Farm Environmental Leaders Award.
Sarah Foltz Jordan
Sarah is a senior pollinator conservation specialist with Xerces Society and has partnered with PFI farmers on a variety of pollinator habitat projects over the years. Based in Minnesota, Sarah also farms organic apples and is an avid mushroom forager.
Wayne and his wife, Ruth, raise corn and soybeans in Mitchell County. They strive to implement positive environmental practices on their farm. For Wayne, the goal is finding what productive, profitable and sustainable crop production practices work while keeping conservation at the forefront.
Jack is a sixth-generation farmer from Robinson, Kansas. With his family, he operates a highly diversified operation that has been certified organic since 1989. Their management style is based on the principles of self-sufficiency, diversification, a low-input production model and the ability to constantly monitor and modify their system in response to external factors.
Faith is a farmer, farm business educator and community organizer in New York’s Hudson Valley. As a partner in Letterbox Farm Collective, she is the vegetable manager and administrative lead. Faith is the author of “Cooperative Farming,” a guidebook on forming and sustaining collaborative businesses.
John is a research agronomist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service stationed at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Much of John’s current research is focused on improving crop production systems for dairy farms.
Jason is the deputy director of Iowa Valley RC&D, based in Amana, Iowa. In this role, he seeks to create value chain partnerships among farmers and institutions. Jason is also a third-generation farmer at Grimm Family Farm, raising corn, alfalfa, small grains, black beans, beef, poultry and produce.
Jordon farms with his family – including his wife, Ann, three of their seven sons and Jordon’s father, Wayne – near West Bend, Iowa. Their diversified farm consists of corn, soybeans, oats, rye, chickens and custom-fed hogs. They also operate custom manure hauling, landscaping, septic system installation and seed corn businesses.
Ty and his wife Bobbie own and operate Story City Locker, an abattoir and artisan butchery business in central Iowa practicing ethical animal harvest and sustainable butchery. They believe that local food supply systems improve quality of life for Iowans. Ty instigated and championed the adoption of the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.
Jerry is a plant physiologist with a doctorate in agricultural climatology. He has done extensive research on the interactions between soils, plants and the atmosphere. From 1989-2019, he served as laboratory director of the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, a USDA Agricultural Research Service facility based in Ames, Iowa.
Trent runs Cabriejo Ranch in southern Missouri, which provides restoration and regenerative grazing services throughout the Midwest and southern USA. The ranch is a Savory Global Influencer Hub and produces grass-fed lamb and beef.
Sam Hitchcock Tilton
Sam is a horticulture instructor at Lakeshore Technical College near Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He has a background in vegetable farming and a master’s degree from Michigan State University with a focus on precision weeding tools. Sam has designed weeding machines for KULT-Kress and visited farms throughout Europe and the U.S., and he organizes the Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day.
Blain is a third-generation farmer with over 45 years of experience who farms with his son and family near Redvers, Canada. After transitioning from a conventional high-tech approach over 20 years ago, Blain developed a passion for soil health and conservation. He and his family have received numerous awards for their conservation efforts.
Jennifer is a senior pollinator conservation specialist with Xerces Society based in eastern Nebraska. She provides support for pollinator and beneficial insect habitat installation and management on farms and in rights-of-way.
Bernis and Jim Ingvaldson
Bernis and Jim are owners of The Honeyberry Farm, a U-pick operation near Bagley, Minnesota. They also operate HoneyberryUSA, an online mail order nursery specializing in cold-hardy small fruits, in operation since 2010.
Adam is an assistant professor and wildlife extension specialist with ISU. Adam focuses on leveraging research and partnerships to improve knowledge and prospects of wildlife populations in agricultural working landscapes across the Midwest.
Emma and Marcus Johnson
Emma and Marcus operate Buffalo Ridge Orchard near Central City, Iowa, with Emma’s parents, Mary and Vernon Zahradnik. The 80-acre farm has 5 acres of diversified vegetables and 13 acres of orchards, including 3,600 apple trees consisting of 50 new and classic varieties. 2019 was their first season with a new, long-awaited packhouse.
Nicole owns and operates Red Granite Farm near Boone, Iowa, with her husband, Steve. Their farm, launched in 2007, includes 3 acres of produce, a perennial plant business and on-farm store and 800 laying hens. Nicole and Steve have degrees in horticulture from ISU.
Erica founded Nature & Nurture Seeds near Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Mike Levine in 2001. Passionate about preserving and breeding regionally adapted, open-pollinated seed, she and Mike grow over 50% of the company’s seeds on their 122-acre organic farm – and are always seeking to expand their grower network.
Steve is a professor of integrated weed management at the University of Nebraska. His research program advocates a combination of weed control methods (the use of “many little hammers”). He conducts weed control studies in conventional and organic field crops, as well as in rangeland, pasture and riparian settings.
Phil owns land in Iowa’s Sioux and Lyon counties, and is passionate about the outdoors and wildlife stewardship. Phil has carefully assessed the conservation opportunities present on his farm and used both federal and non-federal programs to protect and enhance those areas.
Kayla is a food systems specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach in northeast Iowa, where she specializes in beginning farmer education and outreach. Kayla grew up near McGregor, Iowa, on a rotational grazing farm and studied international agriculture and rural development at Grinnell College.
Tony and Merry Kroeger
Tony and Merry are senior partners of Old School Manufacturing in Sedalia, Missouri, and the parents of three sons – two of whom farm organically and produced the initial generation of The Weed Zapper models in their pursuit of alternative methods to control weeds.
Alan is a resource conservationist with the NRCS Iowa State Office. Along with other partners, Alan has been involved in drafting new regulations and guidelines for prairie strips as a result of Conservation Reserve Program policy in the 2018 farm bill.
Brent, lifetime member of PFI, raises corn, soybeans and cover crops in north-central Iowa using no-till for soybeans and strip-till for corn. He plants into green cover crops and is working to raise his own cover crop seed. He’s also trying to work his fields into a three-year rotation to include a year of small grains.
Adam started raising goats six years ago and has since started two businesses, Iowa Kiko Goats and Blue Collar Goatscaping. Adam also works for Red Earth Gardens, the Meskwaki Nation farm located in Tama, Iowa.
Mike founded Nature & Nurture Seeds near Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Erica Kempter. Mike has been studying taxonomy and field identification of mushrooms since 1996, and growing and selling shiitake mushrooms since 2001. In 2011, he studied gourmet and medicinal mushroom cultivation with Paul Stamets.
Diahann owns Adunate Word & Design in southeastern Wisconsin, which specializes in helping food and agricultural organizations grow through branding and marketing. Diahann and her husband raise vegetables, fruit, herbs, poultry and bees.
Eric grew up on his family’s farm near Audubon, Iowa. The Madsen family is working to fully transition their corn, soybeans, oats and hay to organic production. They also raise farrow-to-finish hogs, broilers and beef cattle.
Pete was born and raised in southwest Iowa and has raised cattle all his life. He followed industry trends, including growing bigger cows, but over the last few years has returned to a different farming ethos: letting the cows do what they do best.
Nicole is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker, author and educator. She has a formal background in ecology, soil science and organizational learning. Her team of soil coaches at Integrity Soils works alongside producers in the U.S., Canada and across Australasia.
Kate raises pastured pork and chicken at Okoboji Organics on certified organic land near Okoboji, Iowa, and is currently working towards certifying her livestock enterprises. Kate is also director of the Organic Farmers Association advocating for organic farmers nationwide.
Steven is a research ecologist in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland. Steven develops high-residue, reduced-tillage field crop production systems under both conventional and organic production.
Paul, 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.
Ajay is an assistant professor at ISU working on sustainable vegetable production. His lab focuses on developing strategies that enhance crop production, soil health and profitability in vegetable cropping systems in Iowa.
Sarah is a farm bill pollinator conservation planner and NRCS partner biologist with Xerces Society, based in Newton, Iowa. Sarah works statewide to offer technical assistance to private landowners interested in pollinator habitat and provides training related to pollinators for NRCS staff and partners.
Adam and Jennifer O’Neal
Adam and Jennifer cultivate fresh flowers at PepperHarrow Farm, their 20-acre farm in Winterset, Iowa. Adam brings his gardening experience while Jennifer brings her passion for floral design. They genuinely delight in seeing the joy flowers bring people.
Michael is the founder and CEO of Rantizo, a drone spraying and application company based in Iowa City, Iowa. Michael has extensive experience in finance and is an author on five patent applications. He lives in Iowa City with his wife Anne, sons Quincy and Ryan and daughter Rosalie.
Greg joined Practical Farmers of Iowa’s staff in 2016. He oversees the next generation programming, ensuring resources, events and learning opportunities are available for beginning farmers and farmers looking to transition their farm and land.
Bryan is an agronomist with Legacy Hemp in Prescott, Wisconsin. He works with farmers throughout the Midwest to successfully add hemp to their operations. Bryan also raises organic corn, barley and cover crops on his own farm and has plans to add a few acres of industrial hemp to his rotation.
Mark farms about 500 acres of corn and soybeans with his wife, Melanie, at Bent Gate Farm near Stanton, Iowa. Four years ago, they started partnering with nearby cattle producer Pete Marshall to contract-graze their cover crops for soil health benefits. Mark is a past president of PFI and currently serves on the board of directors.
David is the director of sales for Rantizo, an agricultural drone-based applications company based in Iowa City, Iowa. David has an extensive history working in agriculture. His tenure includes 24 years with Ag Chem Equipment serving territories in Missouri and southeast Iowa. He has also worked for Raven Industries, AGCO, New Leader and Junge Control. David lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife. He also has a son who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jim has a 180-acre farm north of Boone, Iowa, where he raises corn, soybeans and a small patch of coneflower. He spent 30 years in computer applications development and now works with farmers who want to take a do-it-yourself approach in order to adopt the newest technologies without spending big bucks.
Jeff is a farmer and businessman from Greene County, Iowa, who has been active in conservation since 1970. Jeff has received Iowa Farm Environment Leadership and Blackhawk Watershed Conservation awards, and has experience with a wide array of conservation programs and practices.
Mark has managed Scattergood Friends School Farm near West Branch, Iowa, for 16 years 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.
Carole is a landowner and farm manager from Clive, Iowa. Carole manages farmers on family farms in Cerro Gordo, Polk, Madison, Clark and Decatur counties in Iowa, as well as in Mercer County, Missouri.
Mike is a clinical psychologist and long-time member of PFI, who is known nationally and internationally for his work to improve the understanding and management of behavioral health by agricultural producers and its importance in regenerative agriculture.
Jordan 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 farmers markets from May through November. 2019 was his seventh growing season as a solo farmer.
Dean was raised on the family farm outside of Dedham, Iowa, where he grew up with cultivating and walked soybeans every summer. His father certified the farm organic in 2001. Dean has been raising organic corn, soybeans, oats and hay for 10 years.
Matt Scotton (PT, DPT, ATC, LAT, CSCS)
Matt is a physical therapist and athletic trainer for Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, and manages the clinic in Newton, Iowa. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an endurance athlete. Matt grew up on a farm and loves to explore nature and human performance to help people harvest the rewards of “hard work.”
Erik operates Patchwork Green Farm in Decorah, Iowa, where he raises vegetables with his wife, Sara Peterson, and three daughters. Produce is sold wholesale to the Oneota Food Co-op, a food hub and several local restaurants, and sold retail each week at the Decorah Farmers Market.
Derek is an organic farmer from Tampico, Illinois. He has been using The Weed Zapper for the past two growing seasons. Derek counts it as one of the many tools he uses to manage weeds.
Eric and Diana Smith
Eric and Diana operate Simple Life Farms in Winterset, Iowa, with their three children. In 2005, Eric and Diana purchased their farmland, spent time learning how to raise goats and began producing various goat products.
Loran is an innovative agriculturalist who has expertise in intercropping, soil health and no-till practices. He is also a test engineer for Dawn Equipment and UndergroundAg. He and his wife Brenda own and operate FLOLO Farm near West Union, Iowa, raising corn, soybeans, cereal rye, winter wheat, malt barley and buckwheat.
Rena is an internationally recognized business coach and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working directly with farmers, ag leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs to identify and implement strategies that create growth and profitability.
Mike is a landowner in Appanoose County, Iowa, who has created a wildlife haven through multiple federal and non-federal programs while maintaining working lands. Mike is an avid hunter, land manager and prairie enthusiast.
Jimmy is the orchard manager at Brightonwoods Orchard near Burlington, Wisconsin, where he has worked closely with owner Bill Stone since 2006. Bill’s father-in-law started the orchard in 1950. Since taking over, Bill has expanded to over 18 acres of trees. The orchard now features over 200 varieties of apples, plus grapes, pears and a few quince.
John is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University. By studying relationships among plants, insects and natural enemies and exploiting their biology and ecology, he aims to provide strategies for more sustainable insect pest management.
Mike Van Zee
Mike farms corn and soybeans near Sully, Iowa. He’s been cover cropping with cereal rye for a few years as a part of the Van Zante Creek Watershed Project. Mike is an ISU Agricultural Engineering alumnus and is especially interested in increasing soil biology through foliar feeding.
Michael farms near Washington, Iowa, growing corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle. The Vittetoes use no-till and cover crops, practice intensive rotational grazing and conduct on-farm trials to determine how they can best steward the land.
Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice, lifetime members of PFI, own and operate Red Fern Farm, a nursery and farm near Wapello, Iowa, established in 1986. It is the site of ongoing research on a variety of tree crops and forest farming systems, a pick-your-own chestnut (and other fruit and nuts!) operation and container-grown tree seedlings well-suited to the Midwest.
Nick is a farmer, entrepreneur and lifetime member of PFI with 15 years of experience in various forms of pasture-raised and grass-fed meat marketing. Nick owns and operates Wallace Farms near Keystone, Iowa, selling his own meat and other farmers’ meats over the internet.
Shane is a farm bill biologist with Pheasants Forever based in Centerville, Iowa, covering Appanoose, Davis, Monroe and Wapello counties. He provides technical assistance to landowners and producers interested in improving wildlife habitat on their farm.
Darrick is a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program stationed in Kossuth County, Iowa. Through the program, Darrick provides technical and cost-share assistance to private landowners in the Des Moines Lobe.
Erich and his wife, Tammy, grow corn, soybeans and cover crops on their diversified farm in Cass County, Iowa. They also own and operate Wickman Chemical in Iowa and Kansas, which offers custom cover crop seeding services.
Maury and his wife Mary own and operate Wills Family Orchard near Adel, Iowa. They began the orchard in 1993, and have slowly expanded their organic apple (5 acres) and peach orchards (1 acre). They craft homemade, value-added products in their farm store, and also raise non-organic pumpkins and gourds.
Jaron farms organic row crops near Paullina, Iowa, with his wife, Liz, and sons Walter and Peter. He is one of the members of Seven W Farms and is a self-taught tech enthusiast who does information technology repair work for his local community. He’s been repurposing old technology and farm equipment his whole life.
Contact Steve Carlson at (515) 232-5661 or email@example.com