What gets you up each morning? For Hannah and Anne, it’s their farms.
These farmers opened their farm gates and hosted tours for the NE Iowa Food and Farm Network last summer.
At Low Oaks Farm, Anne showed off her vegetable wash station, cool-bot trailer and new caterpillar growing tunnels to extend the growing season. At Humble Hands Harvest, Hannah talked about the crowd-funding support that helped her purchase seven acres for vegetable and permaculture production.
Daily life on their farm is far from luxurious. There’s rarely a day off, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The NE Iowa Food and Farm Network is known as a resource for beginning farmers. Extension specialists Kayla and Teresa, worked with these farms and others to help them with business plans, market development, social media visibility and food safety.
The Network is sponsored by the Iowa Food Hub and its host organization, Allamakee New Beginning. That’s because beginning farmers are important to the food hub. They also focus on small and medium-sized farm viability, food access and equality, local economic development and job creation.
Building relationships has helped these farmers work together, support each other, promote each other’s products. The events even help farmers take much-needed time away from the farm to relax and recharge. When this group started meeting in November of 2016, many of these farmers didn’t know each other. Now, real friendships have emerged, along with a genuine sense of community that helps newcomers connect and feel welcome.
Thanks to a grant awarded to Practical Farmers of Iowa, the network will continue to meet for three more years with coordination provided by Kayla and the Iowa Food Hub. One requirement of this funding is to provide $1500 in annual match. We are asking for your help to keep this program going strong.
Together we can create even more stories about dreams coming true for beginning farmers. When we work together, we create opportunity for those who call rural America home, and opportunity that makes dreams come true. Will you support this important work with a gift today? Online or mailed - every gift is appreciated.
Checks can be mailed to Iowa Food Hub, Attn: Beginning Farmer Fund, 124 East Elm Street, West Union, IA 52175.
Allamakee New Beginning (EIN: 26-2580557) is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax-deductible. To request a tax receipt, click "Contact the Organizer" button in the "About the Organizer" section towards the bottom of the fundraiser page to send us a message.