September 3, 2019
Having the second grade class from a local school visit your farm for a day of learning during planting season takes time and work. The event is only one part of an annual project involving classroom activities, with students returning in the fall at harvesttime.
Carol Coleman and her husband, Dean, started the Adopt-A-Farmer program in 2013 on their farm near Humboldt in north-central Iowa. Son Mike and wife Michelle, along with other local farmers and helpers, are also involved.
This year, 82 students are participating in two groups. The on-farm tours strive to be fun and educational, so the children see firsthand how crops are planted and harvested. They learn about products made from corn and soybeans. They hand-plant seeds in a plot and are kept informed throughout the growing season on Carol’s website and via YouTube videos.
Carol believes strongly in teaching youth about the importance of agriculture and teaching why farmers farm, how they farm and where food comes from. Her Adopt-A-Farmer program has provided a positive educational opportunity for hundreds of children and heightened awareness among teachers about the need for this education in schools. Go online to learn more about the program.
Family, farming and community
Like the other three winners of this year’s Iowa Master Farm Homemaker Award, Carol is known for her dedication to family, love of farming, and deep faith and commitment to the success of her community and rural Iowa. Carol has served on local committees and volunteers to help others. She worked beside her late husband, Dean, and supported his activities in local organizations and his leadership in the Iowa Soybean Association and American Soybean Association. Dean died in a recent farm accident.
The other three members of the Iowa Master Farm Homemaker Class of 2019 are also exceptional, respected and admired for their activities and community leadership. Rosemary Pacha of Brighton in southeast Iowa has not only been involved in community projects over the years, but also many of them were her idea. A retired teacher, she and her late husband, Gerald, raised a family on the farm. Gerald passed away in April. Rosemary kept records for their grain and livestock operation, and helped make marketing and financial decisions.
Also, in southeast Iowa, Sandy Nelson is actively involved in the farm she and husband Jerry operate with their son-in-law at Fairfield. Her priority has always been her children and grandchildren, especially their education. “Being a 4-H leader was my favorite,” she says of her community volunteer activities over the years.
Recently celebrating 50 years of marriage, Yoshiko Johnson and husband Erwin raised two daughters on their farm in northeast Iowa. Yoshiko, a native of Japan, came to Iowa as a newlywed with Erwin in 1969, after he returned from overseas to farm near Charles City. An accomplished artist, Yoshiko has given back to the community in many ways, in addition to working on the family farm.
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