Empowering Veterans to Thrive in Agriculture

Meet the  2016 Veterans in Agriculture Board



Lyle Stewart, ChairOwner of Stewart’s Tax Service, LLC, working mainly with family farms and small businesses.  Lyle was the initial organizer for the development of Veterans in Agriculture, and has talked with over 30 organizations in Iowa for support of the coalition.  Lyle served as the Secretary of Veterans In Agriculture from January 2013 – May 2016.





David Baker, Vice-Chair – Iowa State University Extension Farm Transition Specialist at the ISU Beginning Farmer Center, Dave is an expert in farm transition and business development, a farmer and a US Air Force veteran.  Dave has served as Vice-Chair since January 2013.



Morey HillCentral Iowa farmer from Madrid and former district director to the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  Morey will work as a liaison between the coalition and the Iowa Farm Bureau.  Morey has served on the board since January 2013.  Morey is a US Army veteran.




Tracy Keninger – Tracy is the director of the Easter Seals Iowa Rural Solutions program.  She has a great deal of experience serving Iowa’s farmers and veterans and grew up on an Iowa farm herself.  Tracy joined the board in 2014.



John Baker – John is the attorney at Iowa Concern Hotline and administrator of the Iowa State University Extension, Beginning Farmer Center.  John will serve as an advisor to the Veterans in Agriculture organization along with being an active board member.  John was also a Marine Corp veteran.  John has served on the board since January 2013.




Jathan Chicione – Jathan is the Director of the ISU Veterans Center at Iowa State University.  Jathan also operates his Native Prairie Bison Farm and is a Navy Seal veteran.  Jathan has served on the board since 2013.





John Whitaker – John is the Iowa State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. John serves on the board Veteran in Agriculture board as an ex-officio member.  John currently farms with his brother Bruce and son Daniel in Van Buren and Henry counties.  John has served on the board since 2014.



 nathan katzer

Nathan Katzer – Nathan is the Assistant to the Secretary at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Nathan has served on the board for three years.  First, Nathan was a liaison from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and now for the Secretary of Agriculture.




Ashley Klopfenstein – Ashley is the Marketing Coordinator for P&K Midwest, a premier John Deere dealership in NE Iowa. Ashley is the newest Veterans in Agriculture board member.  Ashley was nominated and selected to be on the board in June 2016.



Previous Board Members:

Ed Cox, Chair, Jan. 2013 – May 2016

Steve Ferguson, Jan. 2013 – May 2016

Mike Bobst, Treasurer, Jan. 2013 – Mar. 2016

Abby Cline, Vice-Chair, Jan. 2013 – June 2014

Beth Grabau, Jan. 2013 – Mar. 2014



Visit Us At The Iowa State Fair – August 13, 2018

We are only at the fair one day, so make sure you visit us then!   


Location: Farm Bureau Park, east of the Varied Industry Building


Hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm


Join us throughout the day as we answer questions and share information to connect veterans with resources in agriculture.

We also have scheduled in our booth:


10 am to 2 pm: Visit with farmer veterans and learn about their operation and how they got started in farming.


2 pm to 4 pm: Learn about making accommodations on the farm with Easter Seals Rural Solutions.


Iowa Finance Authority will be at our booth to answer questions about Financing for Beginning Farmers.


Also at the VIA booth:

  • Sign-up for the organizations newsletter.
  • Information is available about current programs that are being offered.
  • Pick up your Veterans In Agriculture Proudly Produced window cling.
  • Make a donation to help support our mission.
Get Your Window Clings, hats and more at the Fair

Stop by our Iowa State Fair booth on August 13, 2018 to say hi and get a free window cling.    Available for a donation, we will have a small supply of hats, t-shirts, and polo shirts with our Veterans In Agriculture logo.  Hope to see you at the fair!