The IFC board relies on many who volunteer their time in a greater capacity to serve as board officers.
Producer Board Officers
Meadow Blazing Star
Andy Joseph & Catherine Rihm
We operate Meadow BlazingStar Honey out of our home in the Beaverdale area of Des Moines. Andy has been keeping bees for almost 20 years, & our small family business began with his first hives. We now manage about 200 hives & are very happy to be a part of the Coop community & to provide our products through their system. We have been producer members of the IFC since 2016 & are starting our fifth year as IFC board members.
Visit their website here.
Eileen Wuebker with Crescentia Farms became a producer member in 2015 seeking an opportunity to market their Iowa grown grapes with IFC. Along with her husband, Mark, and their children they operate a small farm business located on 10 acres in rural Story County. They grow a variety of vegetables, grapes, and chickens for egg production. Their high tunnel and outdoor production includes asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, kohlrabi, potatoes, pumpkins, radish, squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
Prairie Landscapes of Iowa
Inger has loved all things related to plants and nature since she was a child growing up in Flint, Michigan but frequently visiting a family farm in western Iowa. She eventually studied Botany and Plant Physiology in college, and inherited the Iowa century farm. While living in the St Louis area she volunteered at the Missouri Botanical Garden, collecting, cleaning, growing and planting prairie species in both the reconstructed prairie areas and a home native landscaping demonstration area. She describes realizing native plants could be used in her perennial landscaping beds (and not require irrigation!!) as an enormous “aha” moment. She has taught Restoring Native Landscapes, Botany, and Environmental Science classes at DMACC Ankeny and Urban campuses. Today as owner of Prairie Landscapes of Iowa LLC she uses knowledge gained from 25+ years of prairie and native flowerbed management experiences when consulting on both small and large scale native planting projects. Her engagement with the Iowa Food Coop began with selling native plants and led to a greatly expanded appreciate for local foods and the IFC’s mission.
Knob Hill Farm
Janine Robertson and her husband Mike, along with their three adopted children, Carlie, Michael, and Oliver, live in Webster City and run Knob Hill Farm. They bought this acreage in 2013 and started the process of organic certification for their ground, hogs, chickens and crops. They have been Certified Organic since 2016. They raise Berkshire cross pigs, laying hens and vegetables as well as hay and small grains that they farm with their team of draft horses. Janine’s background has always been in agriculture. She grew up on a farm in central Iowa and has always enjoyed being part of raising food for herself and others. She graduated from Iowa State University in Agricultural Communications, not sure where life would take her. Her path to being a farmer was a winding one. Past employment includes: Living History Farms in Urbandale, where she held a variety of positions ranging from Day Camp assistant director to Agricultural interpreter to Event and Rental Coordinator, and where she met her future husband, a concierge at a guest/dude ranch in Wyoming between Jackson Hole and Yellowstone N.P., Front Desk at a local grain/feed cooperative, and most recently as a floral designer. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a common thread connecting this path, but it boils down to Janine enjoys the outdoors, agriculture, and people. Recently, Janine left the ‘work world’ to be able to invest more time and effort into her growing family and the market garden. Aside from selling through Iowa Food Cooperative, Knob Hill Farm is part of the Ames Main Street Farmers Market and they sell directly to end consumers.
Janine is looking forward to serving on the IFC Board and helping the COOP in its mission to provide good food from local producers to the community.
Star Grass Farms
Jason Jones is a certified organic market farmer, who along with his wife Erin and children Mabyn and Jade, owns and operates Stargrass Farm in Maxwell, IA. Jason has worked for nearly 20 years in the local food system in central Iowa. Jason has operated in several direct marketing models including CSA and farmers markets. He was also one of the original producer members of the IFC, selling then under the name Wilted Leaf Farm.
Visit his website here.
Consumer Board Officers
IFC is my favorite place to shop – I look forward to the experience of buying food from folks I know. Being involved in the coop is a privilege I cherish.
A few of my other passions are woodland rehabilitation, maintaining pollinator habitat and restored prairie on our acreage in Waukee where we live with 2 dogs, 4 cats, a handful of chickens, 3 alpacas, and one goat named Stormy.
My name is Katie Niday and I live in Beaverdale with my husband Bret and daughters, Joan, and Nora. I have a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit business management and sociology that I earned at Warren Wilson College, a tiny farm school in Asheville, NC. After college I moved to northern California where I worked for a rural public school district and was an active member of the North Coast Co-op for 8 years. My family and I moved back to Des Moines in 2018 where I work in the business and finance department for Des Moines Public School District. I am currently completing a master’s degree in public administration at Drake University. I am passionate about local food systems and sustainable agriculture. I am an avid gardener, cook, reader and piano player. My family and I love the Iowa Food Co-op and are always excited to support our local producers.
My name is Brant Kassel and I currently serve as the secretary for the IFC board. I live in Des Moines with my wife Lynn and our two awesome kids (Elliott- 4 and Hazel – 1). I enjoy gardening, bike rides, listening to records, and cooking when I’m not busy with my day job as a stay at home dad. I love the Iowa Food Coop because of the people and the great food.
I have been a consumer member since 2010 and was first elected to the board in 2013. After a brief absence I am back again. In addition to holding the treasurer position I do some work for the IFC as an accountant. I live on a farm in Lacona with 3 dogs, numerous farm cats, and 18 chickens. I love the co-op as it is an avenue to eat local and support small businesses.
I was born and raised in Beaverdale and have enjoyed raising my daughter here. I am passionate about creating a sustainable local food supply, and a community that uplifts and magnifies it. My background includes photojournalism, a Fine Art degree from the University of Iowa with an English minor, marketing, and data analytics. By day I work in Data Management at American Equity. In my free time I enjoy arts and crafts with my 5 year-old daughter Cordelia, reading, cooking, and powerlifting. I joined the co-op board in 2021 and look forward to using my talents to serve the wonderful people in this community.
Beth Hoffman began her food writing career focused on culture, producing a food series on KUER (an NPR affiliate in Salt Lake City) and receiving a grant to document the stories of immigrant women as they cooked in their homes (which became a radio series that aired on Weekend America). Now twenty years into writing and producing work on food and agriculture, her areas of expertise have grown to include the potential of agriculture in development, the financial viability of farms, and sustainability in agriculture. She has aired and published on NPR’s Morning Edition and on their food blog The Salt, written for The Guardian, The Counter, and produced work for the News Hour, Latino USA, and The World. She blogged as the “Hungry Hack” for Forbes.com and wrote a major report and several smaller ones for Oxfam International about how the top ten food and beverage companies in the world contribute to hunger and poverty. In 2019, Beth moved to Iowa with her husband to take over his family’s 530 acre farm where they now raise grass-finished beef and goats. Beth wrote a book about their journey and about agriculture in America entitled Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America.
I am very excited to be joining the IFC Board in 2022. As an Iowa native who has lived in and travelled to many places, I am grateful that my husband and I are raising our kids in central Iowa. When I am not working or homeschooling my children, I enjoy outdoor gardening, propagating uncommon house plants, painting, and playing with our kids and menagerie of animals (dogs, guinea pig, lizard, fish, hermit crabs, etc.) I’ve enjoyed watching IFC grow and change over the years, and I value the opportunity to contribute to this community’s important legacy.