Wendy Johnson joined IOA back in July as a part-time Education and Outreach Coordinator to help fill a much needed role for the Iowa Organic Association. Wendy has been instrumental in coordinating the Growing Organic Expertise workshops delivering in October 2019 and in providing direction and support for expanding organic opportunities in Iowa since she started! Wendy and her husband Johnny, live and farm in Floyd County outside of Charles City.
Wendy, along with her father, manages their family farm raising conventional corn, soybeans, small grains for seed and hay. Wendy and Johnny transitioned 25 acres to organic starting in 2015 and continue to transition a little more each year. They integrate livestock into their diverse certified organic crop rotations by grazing a growing flock of sheep and cows and practice management intensive grazing/holistic grazing, moving the “flerd” daily. They also raise pigs, ducks, turkeys and chickens. Their farm is aptly named Jóia Food Farm (jóia means “jewel” in Portuguese) and they sell their meats and eggs direct-to-consumer through different marketing channels. Wendy is working with other like-minded farmers on a collaborative and cooperative marketplace for consumers to purchase local, regenerative and organic food all in one place. You can learn more about their farm business at www.joiafoodfarm.com.
In addition to farming, Wendy stays active within her community. She is founder, chair, and a violinist in the Charles City Community Chamber Orchestra. She is founder and chair of the Clark Street Garden Corridor Project, a group of volunteers dedicated to offering Charles City community members edible outdoor landscapes, pollinator habitats, rain gardens and community garden spaces in Charles City. She is a former board member of Healthy Harvest of North Iowa and she is currently board president of Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Regenerative, organic agriculture is a passion of hers and she wants to see a growing number of organic farms and regenerative graziers in Iowa. She also wants to see cleaner water, air, and healthier soils growing nutrient-dense food and fiber for more Iowans.