The MOSES Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Tom and Irene Frantzen, New Hampton, Iowa have been named MOSES 2009 Organic Farmer of the Year.
The Frantzens manage a diversified farm. They grow crops for animal feed on over 300 tillable acres, and sell soybeans as a cash crop. Their farrow-to-finish hog operation produces 600 head for market with 40 brood sows. They also keep 50 beef brood cows. All slaughter animals are certified organic and marketed through Organic Prairie Meat Company.
Tom has consistently been an innovator in organic hog production and marketing. He pioneered successful grazing strategies, developed pasture farrowing by utilizing hoop-houses with deep straw bedding, and worked with animal ethics groups to set humane treatment protocol for hog production. He started his own certified organic feed mill and developed innovative products, such as pelleted protein feed from soybean screenings and small amounts of weed seed.
In 2001, Tom helped the Organic Pork Pool at Organic Prairie get started, and initiated a program that utilized butter and buttermilk waste products from Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative for organic hog feed. Since then, he has hosted many on-farm field days, farm tours, and foreign visitors for Practical Farmers of Iowa and Organic Pork Pool. He is also a frequent speaker at organic, sustainable, and traditional agricultural meetings.