Sustainable Farm Partners began to take seed when I was eleven. That was my first summer working with my Uncle Jack on our family farms in N.W. Iowa. I took great satisfaction knowing I was on a tractor cultivating corn while my friends back in Sioux City were riding their bicycles. But more important than my eleven-year-old ego was the work and responsibility handed to me leaving me with a love for farming and most importantly, a deep respect for farmers. That respect came home later that fall when my father came to me and asked how much I made last summer. At a dollar-an-hour I was proud to report that I made $385. He had just finished the books from the harvest when he told me that I made more money that summer than my Uncle Jack made all year.
Fast forward when my extended family told me it was my turn to run the family side of the farm business, as had my father for 30 years. I accepted under the condition that we agreed to begin farming organically. It was unanimous. What I learned over the following years making the successful transition from conventional chemical-based GMO farming to organic brought my understanding of the world of agriculture into clear view and that view was disturbing.