“Our farm was losing ground.”
Carl and Doris (Blaine) Glanzman stood by the window and watched as their family farm was washing away. This was the second stormy season, and they could see a torrent of mud and old corn stalks flowing across the field and gushing through the 102-inch diameter culvert. Only eight inches of the original three feet of soil remained. The surrounding fields were flooded and ruined.
Since the 1800’s, generations of Blaines carefully managed the farm in Oakland, Iowa. They brought up their families on a productive homestead. Doris Blaine kept the farm, but when her first husband passed away, she rented it out to be managed by another farmer.
A conventional corn/soy rotation was put in with the singular goal of bringing the greatest yield. Thirty-foot natural buffers were narrowed, terraces were destroyed or planted to the edge, opening them to erosion. Pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers lowered natural soil life and made it break apart. Damaged drainage tiles added water to the raging river across the land.
Doris and her second husband, Carl Glanzman, decided to cancel the lease to their land. They knew there must be a better way. They had heard about organic farming, but thought that it would not be able to pay for itself or produce a comparable crop. In talking to an organic farmer friend, Carl learned that wasn’t true.
At first, Carl had trouble finding information about organic farming and people who could help him and answer his questions. Learning about organic farming is not easy. There are few training programs, and information is not readily available.
Finally, Carl was referred to MOSES where he talked directly with Harriet Behar, a MOSES organic specialist. She gave him useful resources, direction, a packet of information, and enrolled him in the MOSES mentor program. Carl worked hard with his mentor, Liz Konstantinov. With seminars on the science of growing and Carl’s background as an engineer, they began to put the pieces back together.
“MOSES helped us to save this farm. My mentor was awesome. I would not have a farming business today without MOSES.”