Ash Grove Farm
Margaret Smith and her husband Doug Alert co-manage an 1,100 acre certified organic grain and livestock farm near Hampton in North Central Iowa. Margaret is in charge of agronomic decisions, including seed selection, soil fertility management, soil conservation practices, personnel recruitment, and marketing.
Doug and Margaret began their organic transition in 1994. Most recently, they transitioned an additional 180 acres that was fully certified in 2017. On the farm, they grow and market certified organic feed and food-grade corn, soybeans, and oats; seed soybeans, oats, barley, wheat, triticale, rye, and hairy vetch; forages; beef calves; and lambs. Margaret maintains a small, family-sized laying flock and began beekeeping in 2017.
They have one full-time employee and occasional part-time seasonal help. Their current employee is gaining experience to return home this winter and begin his transition to farming organically with his grandfather.