Suzan Erem is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, launched in January 2015 to permanently protect land to grow healthy food. Suzan graduated from the University of Iowa in the mid-1980s with degrees in Journalism and English, cutting her political teeth on the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. The stories of family farmers getting thrown and harassed off their land by lenders stayed with her all of her life.
Job opportunities dragged her out of Iowa but she returned in 2010 with her husband to witness a dramatically different landscape. At the same time local food was more popular than ever, young people could not afford the land to grow that food on. She put her organizing skills to work, and two years later leaders in agriculture, development and planning from around the state joined together to create SILT. They believe the SILT solution reduces and often removes land debt from a farmer’s equation, creating a more resilient farm economy for those who grow food for their communities.
Joe is a recent graduate of Iowa State University (Magna cum laude) with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Forestry. He has spent his summers working at vegetable farms such as Sundog Farm and Wildwoods Farm, and ran a forestry crew in the Western U.S. His undergraduate work included hands-on experience with Iowa State’s Prairie STRIPS project and riparian buffers.
Joe is available to consult with rural landowners. He will take an inventory of the current conservation issues on your property, discuss optimal locations for the production of table food (fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat/poultry/pork etc.), and provide information about how to make your good stewardship last for generations with a conservation easement. His work is supported in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.
Genie Maybanks has been in the restaurant, grocery, and wine business for 25 years. Her passion is good food! She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Geography specializing in Environmental Health. Working as a staff trainer and in public outreach and marketing at New Pioneer Co-op for the 18 years really helped fortify the understanding that we make a difference each day when we choose local healthy foods. What we eat not only affects our personal health and the health of our environment, but it also generates money and sustains our local economy and boost our neighbors. She is excited and proud to be part of this forward-thinking organization to help build capacity and maintain access to the best Iowa food for generations to come.
Jonathan Hendricks serves as the Agroforestry Specialist with the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. He holds a degree from Creighton University. His professional experience includes project management, creating conservation plans, and vine/tree propagation. Jonathan and his wife operate a small farm in Pottawattamie County where they grow fruit trees, vegetables, and raise free-range chickens and livestock in a developing silvopasture system.
Jonathan’s work is supported in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He will be working with the Savanna Institute, local farms, and experienced advisers to develop tools, resources, and outreach programs to help Iowa landowners and farmers determine how they can cashflow agroforestry on their land.
Eric Woolson is owner of The Concept Works, a media relations company in West Des Moines. Eric was a reporter at the Waterloo Courier for 9 years, the chief of communications for Gov. Terry Branstad and consultant to many candidates including Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker.
Eric can be reached at ewoolson(a)theconceptworks.com
Steven Adelmund joined Global Reach in 2019 after more than 20 years in the digital marketing and sales fields.
Mr. Adelmund has a proven ability to enhance the brand equity of his clients through strategic digital marketing, engagement planning and execution. He enjoys cultivating a holistic and collaborative approach to solving digital marketing problems.
Steve can be reached at steven.adelmund(at)globalreach.com
Julia is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago studying chemistry and Romance languages. Growing up in Kentucky, she developed a passion for the outdoors and believes strongly in leaving places better than she found them. Over the last year, she and her family have introduced various sustainable practices, such as composting and beekeeping, to their hobby farm.
Julia is excited to be interning with SILT to support their mission of protecting Iowa land through sustainable agriculture. Her objective is to use recent economic and agronomic research to help the organization promote its vision to potential supporters.