Meeting Iowa’s Farm Families

04-Aug-2017

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Haley Banwart | Assistant Field Specialist

1-800-932-2436 hbanwart@supportfarmers.com

By Emma Wilson, CSIF Communications Intern

Growing up in a large family, I along with my brothers learned our designated chores and duties at a young age. We grew to understand every member had to do their part to feed all the animals, harvest all the crops and ultimately make the farm successful. This past month I reflected on my own experience growing up on the family farm as I meet Iowa farm families across the state during my time with the Coalition.

The Family Farm

Hillcrest Farms sits atop one of the gently rolling hills of southwestern Iowa. A place of solitude, rest and of course the daily chores were things I grew to love about home. So many life lessons were learned in my upbringing such as the circle of life, a concept not understood at a young age, but later recognized through experiences in my adult life.

Going to college, learning and meeting individuals with a different upbringing than mine, created a greater appreciation for my home farm and it’s importance. Not only the importance of establishing passions in the lives of young people, but the importance of producing wholesome food and products for our respective communities.

Farming is a Family Affair

I was excited to kick off the 2017 Farming is a Family Affair annual photo contest this month! The contest was announced on the Facebook page and advertised to farm families to send in photos exemplifying life on their family farm. The photos we received were amazing! From gorgeous sunset photos to photos of grandchildren helping on the farm. The photos not only exemplified Iowa, but also expressed lives of farm families similar to my own upbringing- allowing me to see life outside of my own family farm.

The Future of Iowa’s Farm Families

This month I had the opportunity to tag along with the Coalition’s field specialist, Kent Mowrer, on a few farm visits. Although the future plans of each of these farms were different, they all had the same goals of creating an opportunity for the next generation by expanding their farms opportunities. Visiting with these families, you can see the spark of passion in their eyes as they talk about their ideas. Some farms haven’t had livestock in years, and seeing the families excited to bring animals back is so fulfilling.

With the appreciation and love I have for my family’s farm, it’s easy to understand and work with these families knowing their livelihoods depend on the future of the farm, just as mine does. One of the most rewarding opportunities I’ve had with the Coalition is meeting and seeing countless farm families across the state who have burning passion and love for their far