Ron Rosmann, of Shelby County, is considered a state and national leader in sustainable and organic agriculture issues. Ron is a founding board member and past president of Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI). He has been an on-farm research cooperator with PFI, Iowa State University and the USDA since 1987. Ron served on the national board of directors and was board president of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. He helped create the Iowa Organic Association. He has also been invited to testify before the U.S. House and Senate Agricultural committees on several occasions.
Ron is very active in his local community. He is the vice-chair of the Shelby County Extension Council. He is a past Shelby County Farm Bureau director. He was a 4-H leader for more than 10 years. Ron, a lifelong member of St. Boniface Church in Westphalia, served as project co-chair for the church’s recently completed parish and community center. He has been a church musician for 40 years.
Ron graduated from Harlan High School and from Iowa State University with a degree in biology in 1973. He and his wife, Maria Vakulskas Rosmann, have been married 30 years. They have three grown sons: David, Daniel and Mark. David is an ISU graduate in public service and administration in agriculture. Daniel, an ISU graduate in agronomy, is farming with his parents. Mark will graduate from ISU in 2008 with degrees in agronomy and history.
The Rosmanns operate Rosmann Family Farms, a 600-acre certified organic grain and livestock farm west of Harlan. It is the farm where Ron was raised and where he learned invaluable lessons from his late father about care and respect for the land. The family raises corn, soybeans, oats, barley, hay, pasture and popcorn. Their livestock includes 90 beef cows utilizing intensive grazing management practices and a 50 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation. They operate their own private label organic meat business selling under the name of “Rosmann Family Farms.” Their meats are featured in stores in Ames and Des Moines.
Because of their unique farming operation, Ron has been asked to host many farm tours with more than 1,500 in attendance from all over the world. This includes representatives in the business and financial industries, government officials, educators, researchers and farmers. The Rosmann family was the 2007 recipient of the Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture given by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.