Sally Worley chosen as next executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa

For Release: January 29, 2016

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa is pleased to announce the selection of Sally Worley as its new executive director. Sally has worked at Practical Farmers for more than eight years, where she has earned a reputation for being farmer-focused, successful in fundraising and passionate about working to fulfill the PFI mission to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing.

Since joining the Practical Farmers staff, Sally has steadily advanced in the organization to her current role as operations director. The Practical Farmers of Iowa board of directors unanimously chose Sally to succeed outgoing executive director Teresa Opheim – who has led the organization for 10 years, and is stepping down to focus on advancing Practical Farmers’ farm transfer work – after a nationwide search and selection process.

“We were looking for someone who embraced the concept of a farmer-led, farmer-focused organization that envisions an agriculture of diverse farms, healthy food and vibrant communities,” says Tim Landgraf, chair of the Practical Farmers of Iowa Executive Director Transition Committee.

“Sally brings, and instills in others, deep passion for an agriculture based on diverse farms – diverse sizes of operations, scopes of farm enterprises and ecological habitats. She brings a clear understanding of PFI’s role to serve its members by listening to them and using their guidance to shape research priorities and areas of focus. She also practices an ethic of care for staff, accountability to supporters and leadership in setting a path forward.”

“I am very honored and excited to serve as Practical Farmers’ next director,” Sally says. “Practical Farmers of Iowa is strong, and getting stronger. As we continue to grow, strengthen and adapt to new opportunities and challenges, I will make sure we remain a farmer-led organization that welcomes all into our big tent.”

Sally will officially take over as executive director on Feb. 1. She has a degree in horticulture and experience working on farms in Iowa, New York and Idaho. Before joining the staff of Practical Farmers of Iowa, she served as vocational director at The Homestead Living and Learning Center in Pleasant Hill. Sally lives in Grimes with her husband, Chris, and three children, Maya (11), Mesa (9), and Wyatt (6).

The announcement of Practical Farmers’ new executive director concludes a year-long process of careful transition planning. Teresa Opheim, whose leadership helped the organization attain a new level of strength and growth, decided early last year that it was time for a new leader to carry it into its next phase. While she will remain on the PFI staff, she will be based in Minneapolis.

“Practical Farmers has been very fortunate to have Teresa serve as executive director for the last 10 of its 30 years,” Tim says. “Teresa has helped guide the organization toward a very stable, sustainable future – but we are excited to have Sally as our new executive director, and to begin the next phase of our work at Practical Farmers.”


Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit


Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |