Meet the Board

2021 Iowa Farmers Union Board of Directors

Aaron Heley Lehman, President
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Aaron is a fifth-generation family farmer from rural Polk County, where he and his family raise corn, soybeans, oats, and hay in both organic and conventional rotations. Aaron was elected to serve as the IFU president in 2016 and had served as the IFU vice president immediately prior to his election. He also has served as the executive director and legislative director for IFU and on the National Farmers Union Policy Committee. Aaron’s father Phil is a past IFU vice president and board member, and Aaron was active in Farmers Union youth programs growing up. Aaron is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and Treasurer of the North Polk School Foundation. He is a graduate of North Polk High School in Alleman, Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in physcis from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Aaron has previously served on the North Polk School District Board of Directors, the Iowa Citizen Action Network Board of Directors, and various school and church communities. He is a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Iowa chapter of the National Farmers Organization. Aaron and his wife Nicole have two children, Jordan and Benjamin. [email protected], (515) 291-2656

Julia McGuire, Vice President

Julia McGuire grew up on an acreage in unincorporated Des Moines, graduated from Dowling Catholic High School, and holds an engineering degree from Iowa State University. She is a small honey producer, the grant administrator for a local non-profit organization involved in urban agriculture, and program coordinator for a state-wide non-profit organization focused on responsible land use. The creator of BeeLaws.org, she is known for being very active in and responsive to her local beekeeping community. Her previous involvement in the Iowa Farmers Union includes participation in state Lobby Days, National Fly-In, and serving on the Board of Directors for Southwest Iowa and Convention Committee. Seeing her four children “leave the nest” and make good decisions independently has caused Julia to see more value in IFU’s grassroots work through education, legislation and cooperation to provide Iowans with sustainable production, safe food, a clean environment, and healthy communities.

[email protected], 515-988-1828

Don Wiviott, Treasurer

Don got his start in agriculture running an Ag products manufacturing company. Over the last 5 years he has been finding investors for organic grain production and partners for monetizing carbon sequestration.  Don lives near Des Moines and has presented to international agricultural investment conferences.

[email protected]

Emily Miller, Secretary

Emily Miller is the Policy and Research Manager for Family Farm Action Alliance. She previously worked at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Missouri Science and Technology Policy Initiative, and the Iowa House of Representatives. She holds a M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, and a B.S. from Iowa State University where she double majored in Animal Science and Agriculture & Society. [email protected]

Mike Carberry, Southeast District

Mike CarberryMike Carberry of Iowa City was elected to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in 2014.

Mike was raised in Newhall, Iowa, in a large, fifth generation Iowa family. His family moved to Johnson County in 1976, and Mike graduated from Iowa City Regina High School, then earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa in 1983.
He held several positions in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, including as the Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Energy Association; Midwestern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth; Senior Regional Field Director with the Iowa Global Warming Campaign; Campaign Manager for Citizens for Public Power; and Director of Green State Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in advocacy, outreach and campaign organizing around environmental issues. Mike also worked as the Benefit Director at Iowa City’s Englert Theatre.

Mike’s volunteer efforts also reflect his interest in the environment. He has served many roles with the Sierra Club, including Chairperson for the Iowa City Area Group, and member of the State of Iowa Chapter Executive Committee. He was awarded the 2013 Environmental Activist of the Year award from the State Chapter of the Sierra Club. Mike currently serves on the boards of the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Iowa Wind Energy Association and 1000 Friends of Iowa
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[email protected]

John Gilbert, Northeast District

J. GilbertJohn and his wife, Beverly, farm with one of their sons, and one of his brothers and their wives in north central Iowa’s Hardin County.  They are the county’s last dairy, and have been selling their pigs to Niman Ranch since 1998.  John has been a long time Iowa Farmers Union member, and is in his second term as a board member.  His late parents, William and Mary, were also members for most of their lives.  John and Beverly have two sons and one daughter, and two grandchildren.

[email protected]

 
Ryan Marquardt, Southwest District

Ryan Marquardt is a fifth-generation Madison County Farmer. He owns and operates Wild Rose Pastures, LLC with his wife and high school sweetheart Janice and their two children. They have raised and direct marketed grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken and turkeys and free-range eggs for over a decade in Central Iowa.  In addition to the serving on the Iowa Farmers Union Board, Ryan also serves on the Iowa Food Cooperative Board, Madison County Development Foundation Board, and the Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentive Program Selection Committee. In the past, Ryan has run for the Iowa House, and served as president of the Iowa Network for Community Agriculture, church council president, and township trustee. Ryan graduated from Iowa State University with MA in Sustainable Agriculture, a BS in Community and Regional Planning, and a certificate in Public Administration. Ryan is an ardent supporter of open markets and transparency for farms of all sizes, streamlining regulation for small and medium producers, and opposing monopolies in the agricultural supply chain.

[email protected]

Mike Henning, Northeast District

Mike was an Engineer for Caterpillar Tractor and then Waterloo John Deere Tractor Factory and Product engineering Center for over 35 years.  Those positions kept him in contact with the needs of farmers and new technology as it developed.  Mike also still helps on the family farm in Greene county in the spring and fall.  

Mike retired from Deere a decade ago and now does a lot of volunteer work related to Conservation and Education.  Mike serves as an assistant Conservation Commissioner in Black Hawk County and coordinates several of their education programs.  He also volunteers several days a week in the Waterloo School System (before Covid19 restrictions).

Barbara and Mike are lifetime members of the Practical Farmers of Iowa and are active members of the Iowa Environmental Council, ICCI, Food and Water Watch, and other organizations where they work to reduce the impact of pollution of all types on Iowa’s Air, Land, and Water.  That includes supporting Clean solar/ wind energy and working to reduce climate change.

Barbara and Mike have installed several Conservation practices on farmland land we own in Buena Vista county and on farmland we own in Buchanan county.  Prairie strips, pollinator habitat, grassed waterways, general CRP, and buffers are some of the practices installed. 

They enjoy family activities, summer baseball, tractor ride events, and a little travel, especially on trains.

[email protected]

Beth Hoffman, Southeast District
Joshua Manske, Northwest District
Matthew Nowatazke, Beginning Farmer

Matt is a PhD student at Iowa State University in agronomy and environmental science, and grew up on a farm near Panama, IA. Upon graduating, Matt and his wife plan on obtaining land near Ames to start an orchard and mushroom operation.

mnowatz@iastate.edu

Chris Petersen, Northeast District
Jerry Rosman, Southwest District
Haleigh Summers, Student Representative

Haleigh Summers is a second-year PhD student in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. She grew up near Champaign, IL, where she fell in love with agriculture and agronomy. She completed her B.S. at Iowa State in Agronomy and Seed Science, then did her Master’s in Agronomy at Penn State studying non-chemical ways to control herbicide-resistant weeds. Her PhD research focuses on geospatial modeling of conservation practices across the state of Iowa to make water quality improvement effective and efficient.

hsummers@iastate.edu 

Ron Tigner, Northwest District
Bonnie Winslow-Garvin, Southeast District

Bonnie was born and raised on a farm in Poweshiek County.  It is a small farm by today’s standards but it had a little of everything and plenty of room to roam; to chase butterflies and watch goldfinches on a thistle, catch a fish for breakfast, wade in the cool mud of the creek, play crack the whip skating on the farm pond or contemplate the clouds above from resting in the middle of a hayfield.  On this farm, she fell in love with farming and the natural world. Bonnie has a deep desire to help preserve soil, air and water quality and the abundance and possibilities of farm life for those who want it.

bwinslow@southslope.net

Iowa Farmers Union Staff

Deborah Bunka, Membership & Fundraising Director

Debo42104345_10212513322815121_1038531304150269952_nrah comes to Iowa via Canada where she worked for various non-profits including serving as Executive Director of the Tamarack Foundation for learning disabled children in Saskatchewan, and editing an arts newspaper in Hamilton, Ontario. Relocating to Ames in 1996 with her family, she wrote a monthly column on food history and availability of seasonal local foods for the Ames Tribune, while also writing a regular food column for the regional ‘Facets’ magazine.  For five years, Deborah ran a farmers market in Ames, opening Iowa’s first year-round, indoor market and launching a CSA. Coinciding with her life-long interest in social, political and economic justice,  she travelled Iowa for several months, talking with people about clean water issues and volunteered for two years with Iowa CCI as a citizen-lobbyist. These experiences have made Deborah a good fit for her work with Iowa Farmers Union.

dbunka@iowafarmersunion.org

Christina Dexter, Communications and Outreach Director

Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 1883 Ames, IA 50010-1883
info@iowafarmersunion.org