Get to Know Iowa Farmers

From planting sprawling fields to selling fresh produce at farmers’ markets, Iowa farmers have one goal in mind: to provide nutritious and safe food. Farmers make a living from the land and their livestock, which is exactly why they provide the best possible care for both. Farmers breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat the same meat, eggs, dairy and grains as you. 

Iowa farm families hold valuable insights and perspectives that can help you make informed decisions about your food choices. Download a copy of our ag facts booklet for a fun perspective on the work Iowa farmers do to feed their families, neighbors and people around the world.


Fun Ag Facts

Did you know most soybeans grown in Iowa are processed into feed for livestock like pigs, poultry and dairy cows? 

Learn More


Across Iowa, farmers are leading the way in innovation, conservation and food production. Read the profiles below to see the hard work, dedication and passion they put into providing wholesome food. Have a question about farming? Complete this form and we'll get your question answered by an Iowa farmer.


Bruce Dooyema 

Bruce is a third-generation farmer in Sioux County. He works alongside other family farmers to operate Center Fresh Eggs, which has 10 million egg laying hens producing around 8 million eggs a day. Bruce is passionate about the role of modern agriculture in feeding people. He has partnered with farmers in Mozambique to establish local egg production and build schools for agriculture education.

Did you know? 

  • Egg farmers in the U.S. donate around 12 million eggs a year to food banks and charities.
  • Hens with brown earlobes lay brown-shelled eggs, while hens with white earlobes lay white-shelled eggs. The color of an egg’s shell has no relationship to egg quality, flavor or nutritional value. 
  • Iowa’s egg farmers produce 16 billion eggs each year, which is enough to feed every American for 47 days!
  • Eggs are shipped in refrigerated trucks. Most eggs arrive at your local store within a week after being laid.

Kellie Blair 

Kellie is a soybean, corn, cattle and pig farmer in Webster County, near Dayton. She is a proud conservationist, agronomist and “agvocate.” Kellie and her husband AJ were both raised on Century Farms in Iowa and enjoy raising their two young children on their family farm.

“There’s nothing quite like being home on the farm. I am thankful to be raising our family here,” she says.

The Blairs strive for continual improvement of their soil and water quality. Kellie devotes much of her free time to working with agriculture organizations, sharing insights on farming and biotechnology with consumers and gaining education about new research for on-farm decision making. Kellie is also active in working with policy development to ensure legislation affects the farm in a positive way that is beneficial for all Iowans.

Kellie is passionate about telling the story of Iowa agriculture and is always willing to answer questions about all things farming, food and family. She shares stories from the farm on her blog, Home Again Finnegan.

Darcy Maulsby

Anyone who eats has a connection to the things Darcy is most passionate about, including food, farming and Iowa history. Darcy is a fifth-generation corn and soybean farmer in Calhoun County, near Yetter. Her younger brother, Jason, is the primary farm operator, while her father plays a key management role. While Darcy helps run the tractor or combine throughout the year, she focuses on serving as “Chief Information Officer,” where she handles media interview requests and serves as the farm spokesperson. 

Beyond the farm, Darcy is an Iowa State University graduate who runs her own marketing communications company and is a published author. As “Iowa's Storyteller” she's published three non-fiction, illustrated Iowa history books in the past few years, including Calhoun CountyDallas County and A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites and More

An avid home cook, Darcy’s culinary journey has been featured in “Our Iowa” magazine. She has cooked with “American Idol” winner and restauranteur Taylor Hicks during the Iowa episode of the national TV program “State Plate.” She is also a food writer and blogger whose work appears in a variety of media outlets, including Farm News.

Darcy has won blue ribbons at the Calhoun County Fair, the Clay County Fair and the Iowa State Fair for her molasses cookies and mixed-berry jam. She's also a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judge, has judged the Best Burger in Iowa contest and knows her way around a great piece of pork or beef. 

Blogs Featuring Darcy's Food & Farm

Darcy chronicles adventures from her farm in the Iowa Food & Family Project's Farm Life Journal blog series. Each month, she provides insights on modern agriculture, passes along her tried-and-true recipes, and captures the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets that can only be viewed from the tractor cab.

“I love to share my stories through the Iowa Food & Family Project,” Darcy says. “This organization understands the power of food to put a face on farming, bring people together and showcase what makes Iowa such an exceptional place to call home.”

Cristen Clark  

Cristen is a sixth-generation farmer, wife, mother of two, blogger and award-winning cook and baker. Along with her husband, Cristen raises hogs in modern barns and show pigs in smaller barns and outdoors. She also farms with her parents and sister, where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle southeast of Des Moines, near Runnells. 

Beyond the farm, Cristen has a passion for baking and enjoys teaching others, especially sharing old-fashioned kitchen know-how with children. Cristen began her blog, Food & Swine, to preserve contest-winning recipes, heirloom family recipes and the memories that accompany them. In addition to sharing recipes and stories from life with two young kids, another blogging goal was to feature modern-day agriculture and the innovations that will help farmers grow and produce more food using fewer resources than ever before. 

Mark Jackson 

Mark is a grain and livestock farmer in Mahaska County, near Rose Hill. He farms soybeans and corn and raises pigs with his son, Michael, and brother, Tom, on their family's Century Farm, which dates back to 1890. In addition to two grown children, Mark and his wife, JoAnn, have five energetic grandchildren and a host of shop cats. The Jacksons are passionate about our environment, conservation and the importance of the family legacy toward these goals.

Mark Featured by TED@Unilever

In 2014, Mark was one of the featured speakers in a TED event in New York City. TED Talks partnered with Unilever to place a spotlight on ideas, projects and insights they hope will contribute to shifting perspectives and a brighter future. The program, “TED@Unilever” provided a voice to 16 people, spanning several continents, to share their ideas of creating social and business change for billions of people.

In his talk, Mark painted a picture of the struggles and joys that his family has gone through since the 1800s while farming near Rose Hill. He highlighted technology he uses on his farm to aid in conservation and decrease pesticide use while saving on fuel costs.


Mark's Farm Life Journal

In 2017, Mark shared a closer look at his farm in the monthly Farm Life Journal blog series. The year-long diary chronicled all aspects of life on his farm; from equipment repair to sustainability to budgeting for farm expenses. He also shared personal stories, including the joys of farming with children and the antics of his furry farm companions.

Mark Joins Let's Grow Together

Mark also shares his passion for agriculture through his involvement in Let's Grow Together, a collaboration between the Iowa Food & Family Project and Earl May Garden Center. The program encourages Iowans to try their hand at food and flower gardening. Mark provides valuable insights about agriculture while opening up conversations on the similarities between gardening and farming. Learn more about Let's Grow Together.

Tim Graber

Tim is a turkey farmer in Washington County, near Wayland. He and his wife, Lisa, raise their four children on the farm. 

Tim  got his start as a farmer working on his family's farm with his dad, uncle and grandpa. They had row crops, cattle, hogs and turkeys. He quickly knew he wanted to have his own turkey farm, and in 2007, he had the opportunity to buy his neighbor’s farm when his neighbor's children didn't have an interest in taking over the farm.

Turkeys arrive on the farm as early as one day old. They grow from one ounce to 40 pounds during the 19 weeks they are on the farm. Turkeys naturally grow quickly and reach market weight without the use of hormones or antibiotic supplements.

“We get the turkeys off to a good start and it takes a lot of work and time, but if you put the extra effort in, it really pays off in the end,” says Tim Graber during Expedition Farm Country 2017, when 40 Iowans visited the family's turkey farm.

Once the turkeys reach market weight, they are sent to West Liberty Foods, a farmer-owned processing plant and the No. 1 supplier of turkey meat to Subway.  

Beyond raising turkeys, Tim is also part owner of the local feed mill, which is entirely farmer-owned. The Grabers bought the mill to focus on quality as they feed their turkeys high-quality pellets.

Additionally, he grows about 130 acres of corn and soybean crops.