Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

Meet Elyssa McFarland '13

Columbus Junction, Iowa

At 22 years old, Elyssa McFarland is an independent farmer and financially responsible for her operation. Elyssa grew up farming with her parents but never had the intention of farming beyond her childhood until she came to Iowa State University where she discovered her passion for agriculture. Agriculture is in a major transition with advances in technology and environmental awareness that will result in exciting changes for the future. Elyssa wanted to be a part of that future so she started out on her own in production agriculture, farming 170 acres of corn and soy beans in her hometown of Columbus Junction. Elyssa rents equipment from her parents and land from neighbors she has known all her life. When she's away, her neighbors call with weather updates or to ask how she is doing. That's how Elyssa sees farming - it's about caring for the community, the business and the land.


Elyssa is pursuing her master's in the hopes of becoming an extension specialist or soil conservationist before she goes into farming full-time. She wants others to see the soil as a natural resource where roots grow and flourish. To help other young people succeed, Elyssa has dedicated time to the Beginning Farmers Network at Iowa State. Farming is more than the tractor planting or the combines that run during harvest. There's a lot of time and research that goes into planning, calculating and risking it all - to plant a seed.

Elyssa is another example of the 97,000 Iowa State University alumni living in Iowa and contributing to the economic health of the state. 
 Iowa State's Mission:
Create, share, and apply knowledge to make 
Iowa and the world a better place.

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The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.