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Locally Grown: Central Iowa Growers Share Their Experience

Apr 5, 2023 - 3:20 PM
to Apr 5, 2023 - 5:10 PM
Locally Grown Panel

The Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture invites you to join us for:

"Locally Grown: Central Iowa Growers Share Their Experience"

Locally Grown panel


In this panel, you will hear from three central Iowa farmers who will share their stories and discuss their unique farming operations.

Phrakhounmany “Air” Philavanh farms on 11 acres near Milo, Iowa, raising a diversity of livestock and crops. Air immigrated to Iowa from Laos in 1984 and started farming in 2010. He loves to share what he’s learned with other immigrant communities in Iowa, his neighbors and his family and friends in Laos. His goal is to re-create a simple Laotian farm, applying lessons from his grandfather, to showcase history and farmer ingenuity.

Naomi Friend operates her art studio and runs Friend's Flowers at her home south of Story City, Iowa. She graduated from Iowa State University in 2013 with an MFA in Integrated Visual Arts and a bachelors in 2010 from Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. Through her artmaking she explores the prairies of Iowa and the complexities that arise between humans and the natural environment in a state focused on agriculture. The flower farm, a joint operation between her and her husband Andrew, is a way of exploring the issues of conservation and running a profitable business in a concrete way. It is a satisfying way of engaging with the central Iowa community. They primarily sell flowers to local markets including the Ames farmers market, wholesale, and u-pick operations. Naomi's artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibits throughout Iowa. She has work in public and private collections, publicized in Iowa Outdoors, Diffusion Magazine, and other print media, and has had solo exhibits in Nebraska and California. 

Kate Solko is the owner operator of Root to Rise Farm. Root to Rise is 5.5ac vegetable farm serving the Ames community through a 100 member CSA program as well as Farmer's Market. It’s based on the same property as Prairie Moon Winery and Alluvial Brewing Company. The organic vegetable farm is surrounded on three sides by CRP land.