A Vision for Iowa: Growing Food for People through Diversified Agriculture Systems
Live discussion with Wendy Johnson, Floyd County Iowa Learning Farms farmer partner and co-owner of Jóia Food & Fiber Farm.
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day on Friday, December 15th at 1 p.m. CT. Join us for a live discussion with Wendy Johnson, Floyd County Iowa Learning Farms farmer partner and co-owner of Jóia Food & Fiber Farm.
“The future of agriculture is this! It’s diverse, it’s fun, and it’s joyful. You see life – growing life and supporting wildlife,” explains Johnson on the growing interest in this form of diversified agricultural system.
The virtual field day will explore how host Wendy Johnson and her husband Johnny Rankin, started and continue to manage Jóia Food & Fiber Farm with a mission to farm holistically and grow food for people through the use of a diversified agricultural system and direct marketing of meat, grain, wool and other products they are producing.
“Following significant flooding, specifically in 2016 and 2018, my husband and I made the decision to pasture more and crop less,” noted Johnson. “We have also integrated custom grazing of cow/calf pairs as added income and have added Kerzna®, a perennial no-till small grain. On these 130 acres, we are now 100% perennial. Now, in a drought, we have not had to use hay during the last three growing seasons due to our use of adaptive grazing system, increasing our resiliency to changing weather.”
Not only is their landscape diverse, but Johnson also cares for certified Animal Welfare Approved sheep and lambs, as well as raising pigs, broiler chickens, layer chickens, turkeys, a few cows of their own, and custom grazing a cow/calf herd. With growing interest in agroforestry, they are utilizing silvopasture through the integration of trees and shrubs, including fruit and nut types, in their pastures.
Additionally, Wendy co-owns Counting Sheep Sleep Company, a wool fiber business utilizing Jóia’s wool, and co-manages the family farm, Center View Farms Co, with her father. Wendy has helped to expand conservation practices on her family’s traditional row-crop farm to become more sustainable and regenerative by implementing 100% no-till, adding cover crops, and reducing costly inputs.
Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU (if approved) will be provided at the end of the event.