Katahdin sheep graze with Ben the guard donkey on Studio Hill Farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

A Grandmother's New Year's Pledge: Restore our soils
for future generations.

Sally Dodge, Vermont-based Iroquois Valley Board Manager and Northeast Community Development Representative, setting the table on soils and climate change:
As a farmer, conservationist, and grandmother, I'm excited and honored to be working with Iroquois Valley Farms. Our mission has always been to support healthy food production through our commitment to organic farming practices, while providing land access for the next generation of family farmers. Now, we are also promoting soil carbon sequestration as a mitigant, if not a solution, to climate change.
I made a pledge to my grandchildren in 2015, the United Nations Year of the Soils, that I would work on promoting soil regeneration for carbon sequestration in every way I could. In October, we held a climate symposium in a local barn at Earth Sky Time Farm in Manchester. I spoke to our forty guests about the work we're doing to slow climate change and help organic farmers gain access to land. Organic farmer Jesse McDougall gave a talk on soil restoration through holistic herd management of his (and my) sheep; Peter Donovan and Didi Pershouse of the Soil Carbon Coalition explained how carbon is sequestered and held in the soils; Professor and Climatologist Dr. Bill Moomaw of Tufts University, a Nobel prize-winning member of the UN Panel on Climate Change, spoke about the imperative of focusing on soil regeneration to slow climate change, and advocated for the inclusion of regenerative agricultural practices in the then upcoming Paris Climate talks. As Bill said... "for the past twenty years, agriculture has been off the table when discussing climate change". In Paris, agriculture got back onto the agenda.

My personal pledge to my grandchildren for 2016 is to help people understand why agriculture must change to include more holistic approaches to soil management, while eliminating toxic chemical usage. Iroquois Valley Farms, along with our community of organic farmers and committed investors, is in an unique position to lead the charge. 

In 2015, every farm purchased by Iroquois Valley Farms was leased 
to a millennial tenant. 

Organic practices build soil through the elimination of chemicals, planting of cover crops, increasing crop diversity, and reducing tillage. We're proud of our organic farmers, now leasing twenty seven farms and growing their business with land security. With improved measurement practices, farmers can put even more carbon back in the soil, and keep it there. Iroquois Valley Farms is committed to providing more support to our farmers to help make this happen. 

Sally's Soil Facts:
  • The soil stores four times as much carbon as does the atmosphere. 
  • It has been estimated that since 1900, fifty percent of the earth's carbon has been released into the atmosphere through the plowing and tilling of fields. 
  • The addition of microbe-damaging chemicals on farmland has exacerbated the release of carbon, causing even more CO2 to go into the atmosphere. 
          Connecting farm families, communities, and investors since 2007. 

As a corporate guideline, we do not look for specific farmland to purchase. We  develop relationships with farmers, mostly young and organic, that want to grow their farm business. We move to purchase if we have a ready, willing and able farm tenant in hand. 

For more information please visit www.iroquoisvalleyfarms.com
 Connect with Sally or corporate staff at info@iroquoisvalleyfarms.com

Iroquois Valley Farms LLC
708 Church Street Suite 227
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 859-6645