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: corn, soybeans
My Work: farmer, mom, wife, respiratory therapist
My Hobbies: arts and crafts, photography, travel
Ask Me About: family farms versus corporate farms
About Me: My husband, our two boys and I grow corn and soybeans in southwest Iowa. I also serve as a registered respiratory therapist for Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. I believe we should all have access to truthful information when making our food decisions and am passionate about sharing good food facts with consumers to help make these decisions easier.
Facebook: Farms Bissell; Aimee Bissell
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
Our Farm: corn, soybeans
My Work: meal prep, help haul the auger/seed tender/seed when needed; and I have an off the farm job at an Ag Marketing Agency
My Hobbies: antiquing, baking, cooking, movies, photography, singing, travel
Ask Me About: sustainability
I was raised on a century farm in Southwest Iowa as a fourth-generation agriculturalist. I have moved to North Central Iowa with my husband who is in the process of a farm transition/succession plan with a local farmer. Speaking to the public about our farming practices allows for transparency between farmers and consumers. By sharing our truth, I hope that consumers will celebrate their choices at the grocery store and support their local farmers.
Our Farm: hogs
My Work: public relations
My Hobbies: biking, hiking, running
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, family farms versus corporate farms
About Me: I grew up on a fifth-generation diversified livestock farm in southeast Wisconsin. My favorite part of the farm was raising pigs, which led me to my career in agriculture communications. Consumers have a lot of information to sort through when it comes to food and agriculture. As a farmer, I believe it is important for us to share our experiences of growing food with consumers to help ease the uncertainty around the agriculture industry.
Our Farm: alfalfa, corn, beef cattle, meat goats, soybeans
My Work: farmer, wife, animal care manager, field manager for the Soil Health Partnership
My Hobbies: baking, biking, blogging, cooking, horseback riding, kayaking, photography, overall fitness, running, skiing, writing
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, family farms versus corporate farms, food prices, food safety, hormones in meat and milk, organic and local foods, sustainability
My husband and I operate a mama cow and calf operation alongside my father-in-law and have recently added goats to diversify our farm. We also grow hay, corn and soybeans. We keep sustainability top of mind on our farm and have taken different steps to help improve the forage quality of our pastures for the animals and improve soil health for our crops. There is so much information out there when it comes to food and how it’s produced. I want to share my firsthand knowledge and experiences to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
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, soybeans, hogs
My Work: farmer, mom, wife
My Hobbies: baking, blogging, cooking, photography, reading, travel, writing
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, biotechnology/GMOs, family farms versus corporate farms, food safety
About Me: I am a fifth-generation farmer, and my husband and I love raising the next generation on our farm. Lately, the hog market has been changing and challenging, and we have been trying new things to make sure we can stay sustainable. I am proud of the choices available for consumers, and I want people to feel safe, secure and confident in the food choices available.
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
Dallas Center, Iowa
Our Farm: beef cattle
My Work: farmer, wife, mom, relationship manager with John Deere Financial
My Hobbies: baking, flower gardening, photography
Ask Me About: animal welfare, antibiotics and animal health, family farms versus corporate farms, sustainability
About Me: My husband, 10-year-old son, six-year-old daughter and I work on the farm as a family. We raise mama cows who have baby calves in May and June each year, and let our cows graze in pastures year-round. We also have a freezer beef business where we sell our meat to consumers and are opening an on-farm store to sell beef in 2021. We eat both the food we raise on our farm and the food produced by other farmers in the U.S. that we buy from grocery stores, because we know it is all safe and nutritious. We love that our last name (Rowe) happens to rhyme with cow!
Facebook: Rowes Red Cows
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