Meet the Board

2017 Iowa Farmers Union Board of Directors

Aaron Heley Lehman, President (Polk County)

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., (515) 291-2656

Jana Linderman, Vice President (Linn County)
Jana grew up on a family farm in North Dakota and is the 4th generation to work in her family’s farming operation. As a beginning farmer, she works with her parents raising spring wheat, small grains and non-GMO food-grade soybeans that are direct marketed to processors in Japan. Her long-term goal for the farm is to transition to organic production and start a farm-to-table craft distillery using grains grown on the farm. Jana has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Iowa State University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a licensed attorney in Iowa and North Dakota and has previously worked in private practice and as an environmental attorney with a nonprofit law center. Jana lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Phillip and son Samuel., (319) 651-2250
John Gilbert, Northeast District (Hardin County)
Sally Gran, Northwest District (Story County)
SallySally is a farmer in rural Story County, where she grows organic row crops. She is a part of the Farmers Union because she believes that by working together, farmers who are passionate about building thriving rural communities can make their voices heard.


Suzan Erem, Southeast District (Cedar County)
Untitled Suzan is a co-founder and president of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (, dedicated to protecting land to grow healthy food.  She is a University of Iowa Journalism graduate who has written for newspapers, magazines and nonprofits and authored several books. Her dedication to family farmers began in the 1980’s when she found herself neck-deep in the fight to save the family farm. In 2011, she and her husband returned to their Cedar County land where they grow healthy fruits and vegetables and use native plants to restore degraded soil. She hopes her writing and organizing skills, and her new experiences in farming, can contribute to the fight to build true political and economic power for Iowa’s family farmers.
Julia McGuire, Southwest District (Polk County)
Chris Petersen, Northeast District (Cerro Gordo County)

2013-07-15 18.39.20Chris has been an independent family farmer all his life raising row crops, livestock, and local foods. He is concerned that 91% of independent pig farmers are gone but there are the same number of pigs in Iowa. Being a part of a farm family, he has always practiced true animal husbandry with all of our livestock. He is a past President of Iowa Farmers Union,  is involved with many organizations, and has been advocating for traditional Rural America for over 30 years.  He farms near Clear Lake IA with wife Kristi, has two married children, and two grandkids.

Jerry Rosman, Southwest District (Shelby County)
jerryJerry was born and raised in Harlan, Iowa where he lives with his wife and raised four daughters. Jerry’s family farmed in the Harlan area for three generations. In the early 2000s, unexplained reproductive failure rose in the pigs he raised on the farm he ran. He appeared in numerous newspapers and on Iowa television as a call to action for government officials to investigate GMO safety. He works to support a sustainable agricultural system in Iowa that listens to independent farmers so that the problems he faced on his farm does not hurt family farmers across the fence or other farmers across Iowa.
Matt Russell, Southeast District (Marion County)
Ron Tigner, Northwest District (Webster County)
Donna Winburn, Southeast District (Grinnell)
Donna grew up on a farm in southern Iowa and then married a farmer.  They lived in central Poweshiek County for 35 years and raised three children there.  Currently, she and her husband live in Grinnell.  They are working to pass management of the family farm to the children.  Donna became involved with political issues during the farm crisis years in the 1980s.  She became a member of the Iowa Farmers Union and became President of a local chapter when it was formed by Gary Lamb.  She has served on the Board ever since, except for a two year break.  She believes that the Farmers Union is the only farm organization working to improve the opportunities for family farms not tied to an outside corporation.
D'Quinton Robertson, Student Representative (Polk County)

Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 1883 Ames, IA 50010-1883