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



2018 Friends of Veterans In Agriculture Awards Applications Now Being Taken

Do you know an Iowa individual or business that has provided exemplary support to farmer veterans?  Veterans In Agriculture is now taking applications for their 2018 awards.  Guidelines and applications forms are in the attached documents.  Applications are due on Friday, July 20, 2018.  Late applications will not be accepted.

Download (PDF, 43KB)


Download (PDF, 95KB)

SILT Farm Listing

The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is offering land in south central Iowa to a beginning farmer interested in growing food in a sustainable way.
This year they are offering to lease up for to 25 acres fruit and vegetable production, livestock such as poultry, goats, rabbits, sheep or a small number of hogs.

This opportunity exists on a 40-acre parcel 18 acres of which are timber. All SILT farmers are expected to choose one of 5 third-party certified sustainability standards available at silt.org.
Interested applicants should send a business plan and resume and references with proof of at least one year of recent on-farm experience to info@silt.org. For more information about this opportunity, email SILT at the email address above or by emailing info@veteransinagriculture.org