Franklin County farmer Val Plagge can see the future laid out before her — or rather, sitting in the living room, playing make-believe while watching cartoons.

As a mom of two children, and a third child on the way in January, Plagge says she does whatever she can to support the rural north Iowa community where her kids are growing up.

"Franklin County is my home, and it’s the future for my kids," says Plagge, 30, watching her children play inside the family’s farmhouse. "If I’m not out there being part of my community, trying to help my community, then who is?"

Plagge, who farms with her husband, Ian, near Latimer, serves as the public relations chair of the Franklin County Farm Bureau board. She’s also a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau Speaker Corps, and she started a popular blog, called "Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids" (, to help educate others about agriculture.

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