Strategic Initiatives Assistant
Shannon Kooima joined the strategic initiatives team in June 2018. She grew up in central Iowa and her interest in food and agriculture stems from her experiences. While studying community and public health at Iowa State University she learned how the choices farmers make every day about what to plant and how can have a big impact on the health of the community. While working at The Cafe, a popular Ames farm-to-table restaurant, she saw firsthand how local food systems can thrive when farmers build close relationships with their consumers. Shannon is inspired by the work of PFI and is excited to be a part of a team connecting local farmers to resources that can help their farms flourish.
Shannon lives in Ames and stays busy running around after her son, Will, and her dogs, Annie & Oakley. She spends as much time as possible outdoors camping, paddling, and gardening but on rainy days you can find her in the kitchen or curled up with a good book and a cold beer.
Doug Adams, a sixth-generation farmer in north central Iowa, led off the day’s presentations. He started using cover crops in 2012 and now uses cover crops on 100% of his own farmland. He advocates for experimenting on a small patch first, “The best way to learn how to manage it is to try it.” He shared some of his own experiments with different mixes, planting dates and application and termination methods. He also shared how environmental factors like rain and heat affected his results. At the end of the day, Doug finds that investing in cover crops pays off – he saves almost $12/acre when compared to a typical tillage program. Follow Doug Adams on Twitter @farmerdoug93.