Andy and Betsy Boone and their two children, the farmers of Driftless Hills Farm in Calmar, a SILT farm donated by Lyle and Sue Luzum. Andy is raising pastured pork, chicken and lamb in a way that builds soil and mitigates climate change.
Andy and Betsy Boone and their two children, the farmers of Driftless Hills Farm in Calmar, a SILT farm donated by Lyle and Sue Luzum. Andy is raising pastured pork, chicken and lamb in a way that builds soil and mitigates climate change.
Iowa’s newest statewide land trust announces its first local celebration, dubbed “SILT Fest,” at Pulpit Rock Brewery in Decorah, Friday July 19, starting at 7 p.m.
Admission is free. SILT Fest will include samples of local vegetables and pastured meats, live music by Eggen and Hippen, door prizes, invitations to join SILT and more. SILT Board Member Kayla Koether will emcee and former state legislator and national director of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Paul Johnson will speak. RSVP by July 17 to info@silt.org
The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust works with landowners to permanently protect their land to grow table food in a way that builds soil, cleanses waterways and mitigates the effects of climate change – what the group calls nature-friendly food farming. In less than five years, SILT has protected 771 acres and given 14 next-generation farmers affordable access to land.
These days, farmland owners often have to choose between selling to a developer or to the next larger corn and soybean farmer, says Lyle Luzum of Calmar.
“SILT gave us a third choice,” Luzum says – who, with his wife Sue and daughter Steph Hughes, donated their 170-acre farm to SILT in 2017. “With SILT, we were able to honor the farming heritage of our land.”
Through its farmer vetting process, SILT chose Andy and Betsy Boone who later discovered they are related to the Luzums. The Boone family of Driftless Hills Farm will be attending and saying a few words.
SILT is one of a rare breed of land trusts across the nation that specializes in protecting land permanently for nature-friendly table food farming. SILT’s mission addresses multiple challenges including affordable land access for young farmers, public and environmental health, local food security and the need to diversify Iowa’s agricultural economy.