Reading the Farm

*Super seminar participants are required to participate in the Professional Improvement Tour (#23).

Reading the Farm is a program designed to help Extension agents and other agriculture service providers use a team approach to better understand farms as holistic systems. Addressing the economic, environmental, and social components of a farm assists farmers who want to improve the sustainability of their operations. This super seminar will provide a program overview of the farm we plan to visit. On tour day we will meet the farmers, enjoy a farm-to-table lunch, then travel to a local meeting place to summarize our observations before meeting with the farmers to share our ideas.

The location we will be visiting will be the Dogpatch Urban Gardens, a community destination to support local food. They make farm-inspired products available to grocery stores throughout the state of Iowa, host farm-to-table dinners, and even have an on-site AirBnB! Jenny Quiner started DUG in the fall of 2015 to enhance community and environmental conservation. Sustainable and regenerative agriculture is the foundation of their farm model. While the farm was founded on growing healthy, fresh produce for their community, they have diversified the business to be more than crops and are proud to offer valued customers a full range of products and services.

The Super Seminar and tour will be led by the 2018 fellows, Jessica A. Kelton, Soil Health Institute (formerly with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System); Kathleen Painter, University of Idaho Extension; Nicole Santangelo, Penn State Extension; Claire Strader, University of Wisconsin Extension.

Space is limited to 50 people and preregistration for both the super seminar and the professional improvement tour is required.