Kenn and Ashly Jenkins want to farm

I attend Iowa State University full time, pursuing my Agronomy degree. I’m on track to graduate in December of this year. Ashly works from home full time as a closed captioner. We have two dogs, and a couple chickens in our backyard here in Des Moines. We’d love to have more chickens and also a goat some day!

While I have been working towards my degree in Agronomy with a focus on soil quality, we have found a deeper connection to the land, food, and animals and both strongly believe in sustainable agriculture. Since my wife and I have been together, it has been a dream of ours to farm bigger scale than we do in our backyard, and we would be so grateful for any opportunity for us to make this dream come true.

I’m not like a lot of my fellow agronomy students. I’m focused on what’s going on below ground and through that we found that there’s even more life underground you have to harness to get the land quality you want. We know more about the strangest foods now that you never heard about, like we eat chia seeds every day and things like quinoa. I’d never seen a quinoa plant and now I want to start growing that.

Ideally, I would like at least 10 acres with a lovely mix of pasture and trees, and then I would like to have a couple of fruit trees, bee boxes, a couple of pigs and a bigger flock of chickens and we’d love to try goats and a wide variety of your staple crops like lettuces and tomatoes you typically see in a CSA and the produce section.

We’ve talked about making different products like soaps and lotions, but maybe start with a CSA and see how could we could grow that into bigger contracts like restaurants around cities and towns trying to promote local agriculture.

My guiding principle is honesty. From being honest to what you do on your land and on the plants you’re going to sell to people to being honest about what you can produce before committing to more, and being honest to the land about what’s sustainable because you want it to be sustainable for generations.

Interested in getting Kenn and Ashly started on your land? Contact SILT today, thanks.