When my husband and I were house hunting, he was set on living out in the country. It’s where he spent his childhood, and he was also transitioning back to the family farm.

Meanwhile, I was less than cozy with the idea of living where no one could hear me scream. (Probably a result of watching one too many horror movies in my youth.)

Fast forward 10 years, we’re raising two kids on an acreage outside of a tight-knit town. And I get it—why my husband wanted to be here. It’s about more than peace and quiet and watching the crops grow.

It’s about how people show up for each other, and I see incredible examples of this from county Farm Bureaus across the state.

Like when a windstorm damaged a 23 year-old-old FFA greenhouse in Carroll County, the local Farm Bureau donated money to help build a new structure. And when north central Iowa was looking to create a new FFA Chapter, Floyd County Farm Bureau was the first to step up and get the ball rolling to make that happen.

While farmers are often credited for helping to feed, fuel and clothe their communities, that work extends beyond the farm field. Like Kossuth County Farm Bureau who recently held a shopping cart race that raised nearly $5,000 for their local food pantry. And Cass County Farm Bureau who holds an annual winter clothing drive to keep low-income families warm.

Sometimes farmers show up to provide needs in unexpected places. For example,  Wapello County Farm Bureau gifted books to their local library. Worth County Farm Bureau supported their local Humane Society after they experienced an influx of dogs, and Palo Alto County Farm Bureau gave to a diaper pantry.

The list goes on and on.

It’s what inspires our family to show up. It’s why my son and I volunteer at our local pet shelter and give back through our church. It’s why when tragedy fell upon our community this year, we contributed to care packages and fundraised to bring light to people who needed hope.  

It’s hard to live in rural Iowa and not feel the ripples of that “farm strong” spirit. Because, if you ask a farmer, their local community is more than just a place where they grow crops. It’s fertile ground to plant roots of service that help everyone grow more resilient together.

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