IFU honors Minburn-area farm family
AMES – Iowa Farmers Union members gathered on Nov. 17 in Ames for the 98th Annual State Convention, and witnessed members Rick and Stacy Hartmann, of Minburn, receiving the 2012 Family Farm Advocacy Award.
UIFU said the awardn recognizes the Hartmanns’ work to promote and protect the interests of Iowa’s family farmers.
The Hartmann family owns and operates Small Potatoes Farm, an intensively managed, certified-organic vegetable farm located on a 10-acre homestead near Minburn in Dallas County.
The farm operates primarily by selling produce directly to individuals and households, mainly through community supported agriculture shares.
Rick Hartmann serves as the IFU representative on the six-member advisory council for the Local Food and Farm Program, which was established by legislative initiative in 2011 to promote the expansion of local food production, processing, distribution and marketing in Iowa; increase consumer and institutional spending on Iowa foods; increase the profitability of farmers and businesses engaged in local food enterprises; and increase the number of jobs associated with local foods.
The Hartmanns worked in 2012 to help organize and coordinate Dallas County Farmers and Neighbors, a grassroots community group focused on preserving the environment and quality of life in rural Dallas County.
The group succeeded in convincing a Dallas County landowner to voluntarily withdraw a proposal for a large industrial-scale hog confinement that area farmers and residents were concerned would negatively impact the quality of life in the local community.
In his remarks to the convention, Rick Hartmann noted the power of grassroots community advocacy in overcoming the influence of what he called society’s myth makers.
“The myth makers will tell you that something cannot be done, that one person cannot succeed in making a difference against powerful interests, that things are the way they are and that you just need to accept that and move on,” said Hartmann. “But if you don’t accept that, if you don’t accept the story that the myth makers try to tell you about the world that we live in, then you can succeed and change the world for the better.”
“We are so pleased to be able to honor Rick and Stacy with this award,” said IFU President Whitney Davis. “The idea that one voice can join with other voices to make a difference, that a rural community can come together in cooperation to choose a healthy environment and better quality of life for its residents and farmers, those are the values that Iowa Farmers Union strives to represent.”
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