Matt Kroul, Johnson County Farm Bureau member

Matt Kroul is a former Hawkeye football offensive lineman who played in the NFL before returning to the family farm. He and his family run Kroul Farms near Mount Vernon, raising beef cattle, row crops, eggs, pumpkins, tomatoes, firewood and flowering plants. Kroul Farms is also a regular vendor at the Cedar Rapids Farmers Market. Locals can also visit their on-farm store to buy seasonal produce. 

Kate Edwards , Johnson County Farm Bureau member

Kate Edwards owns and operates Wild Woods Farm, a 10-acre vegetable farm near Solon that supplies locally grown produce to 200 families through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription. After earning a graduate degree at Iowa State University and working out of state for several years, Edwards returned to Iowa to follow her dream of becoming a full-time farmer.

Pictured above: Kate Edwards, Johnson County Farm Bureau member

Ashley Recknor, Wright County Farm Bureau member

Ashley Recknor and her husband, sister and parents launched Purple Ribbon Beef near Britt in 2016. They started small by selling beef sticks at the Ames Farmers Market. Today, they also run a storefront in Clarion, offering their own farm-raised beef as well as local cheese, salsas, seasonings and more. “We can tell you everything about the beef, from the day it was born until it hits your plate,” Recknor says.

Pictured above: Ashley Recknor, Wright County Farm Bureau member