Love for the land, our families, our friends and our food – that’s what fuels our CommonGround community. Scroll down to learn where our volunteers are located, or Contact Us to get involved.
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, pigs, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, watershed coordinator
My Hobbies: blogging, movies, reading, yard work
Ask Me About: biotechnology, sustainability and conservation, family farms vs. corporate farms
About Me: On our farm, my husband and I strive for continual improvement of our soil and water quality. I think it is great that consumers want to know where their food comes from. Eating healthy is important to me and how I feed my family. I believe we have safe sustainable choices in the U.S. While I devote a lot of my free time working with numerous agriculture organizations and initiatives, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family and play with my kids.
Website: Home Again Finnegan
Facebook: Home Again Finnegan
Julie Van Manen
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, pigs, soybeans, sweet corn
My Work: farmer, wife and mom
My Hobbies: baking, reading, flower gardening and having lunch with friends
Ask Me About: animal nutrition and welfare, hormones in meat and milk, family farms vs. corporate farms
About Me: Our farm has been in my husband’s family since 1927. We’ve been married for 25 years, and we still enjoy working side-by-side to finish daily chores. While we have chores that we have to complete daily, there are no two days that are the same, and that is what makes farming so great.
Website: Farm Life In Black And White
Facebook: Farm Life in Black and White
Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, dairy cattle, pigs, soybeans, wheat
My Work: farmer, wife, mom
My Hobbies: biking, travel, reading
Ask Me About: hormones in meat and milk
About Me: I work alongside my husband and our daughters on our farm. To milk our dairy cows, we use robots and, as a result, host many on-farm tours each year to see how it all works. We love to have groups visit us and are passionate about helping inform them while demonstrating our use of modern technology to better care for our land and livestock.
Website: Cinnamon Ridge Farms
Facebook: Cinnamon Ridge Farms
Our Farm: corn, pigs, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, consultant for ag and community groups
My Hobbies: cooking, photography, blogging
Ask Me About: family farms vs. corporate farms, GMO foods, animal welfare, food safety
About Me: My job on the farm includes keeping farm records, assisting with field work and running into town for parts. Off the farm, I spend time working with many agriculture and non-agriculture associations. I am passionate about working with the Make-A-Wish foundation, 4-H, FFA and the county chamber of commerce.
Facebook: Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids
YouTube: Valerie Plagge
Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, marketing manager
My Hobbies: baking, cooking, photography, blogging, running, arts and crafts, travel, movies, reading, overall fitness
Ask Me About: biotechnology/GMOs, animal nutrition and welfare, food safety, family farms vs. corporate farms
About Me: Having grown up in town, I had a lot to learn about farming after I married my farmer husband. I love living on a farm and am so glad that we can raise our family here. My favorite things to talk about are family, food and life on the farm. We feel so fortunate to be the sixth generation living on our farm, and raising the seventh generation!
Website: Sara’s House
Our Farm: corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, agronomist, co-manager of a seed dealership and precision-agriculture business
My Hobbies: cooking, arts and crafts, travel, hiking, gardening
Ask Me About: biotechnology/GMOs, sustainability and conservation, food safety, family farms vs. corporate farms
About Me: My husband and I farm on the same land that my ancestors started farming in 1873 in Farmersburg, Iowa. Because of our families’ long history with farming, we are extremely mindful of protecting the environment in order to ensure that the land is improved for future generations. I believe that the United States is fortunate to have natural resources and farmers to produce safe, economical, quality food for the world. I love to share that story!
Facebook: 2 Farmers and Their 3 Sprouts
Blog: Suzanne’s Common Ground
YouTube: Suzanne Shirbroun