Lara Mangialardi and Jacob McGreal

Lara Mangialardi and Jacob McGreal

Strawberry Point, Iowa

BattazziWhy do you want to farm?  

Farming bridges gaps between the individual, the family and the community. Our desire to farm has come from connecting our love for being outdoors, creating, problem-solving, spending time with family and connecting others around us to food that we are proud of and excited to share. Jake is from the country and I am from an urban area, but we both have families that enjoy getting together, cooking, sharing stories and traditions and value the work we do.

What are you farming right now?   

We have been collaborating with Jake’s family, on McGreal Family Farm, to raise Angus beef cattle. This year, we also raised some Berkshire pigs to sell mostly to family, but also at the farmers market. We will be entering our third season of growing vegetables, too, which has mostly been for our own consumption and preservation.

What’s your vision for your farm?   

In one word, our farm’s vision centers around collaboration. I, Lara, have been involved in mutual aid projects in Chicago and am interested to see how both producers and consumers can engage in more collaboration to make farm-fresh goods more accessible. I would love to bring farms similar to ours together to the benefit of all. I would also love for us to continue to grow and evolve to keep up with the unpredictable times that lie ahead.

Why do you want to participate in this program?

We believe in delaying gratification and investing in the future of food and community. We know that our business model has been working, but can always be improved. Part of engaging in more collaboration, as mentioned in our above vision, includes continuing to participate in organizations like PFI to grow our network and to give and receive knowledge.

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