Practical Farmers and Farming at Whiterock

Today's show dealt with farmers who work together to improve their land, build their communities and make a profit. Sally Worley, executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa, explained the goals and methods of the organization of 3,000 farmers that she leads. Then we took a road trip to Whiterock Conservancy for a conversation on the porch of Liz Garst's farmhouse learning about the philosophy and farming methods practiced on the farms at Whiterock Conservancy, a 5,500 acre preserve. Liz Garst told us how the legacy of caring for the land that came from her father, Stephen Garst, and her grandfather, Roswell Garst led her and her sisters to form the Whiterock Conservancy as a non-profit. Liz and the Conservancy's land manager, Rob Davis combines growing corn, beans, and cover crops with agricultural experimentation in field and pastures. Plus the public can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding on 45 miles of trails through old growth oak savanna and rolling hills or canoeing and fishing along seven miles of the Middle Racoon River. We closed out the show with Paul Wierson telling us about the history of ragtime music and the origins of Ragtime in Randall, which will be celebrating its thirty-first year this Saturday (October 22) at the Elim Lutheran Church in Randall (ragtime in a church? what would grandmother say? -- if she lives in Randall she's probably helping with the lunch the church ladies are serving there).

Photo courtesy of Whiterock Conservancy; Nat E. Meehan

Originally broadcast 10/19/2016
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