Press & Recognition

 Some of Iowa's queer farmers are taking a different approach to agriculture

Featured on Iowa Public Radio, WBUR Here & Now, National Public Radio, and Harvest Public Media June & July 2022

"Shae Pesek and Anna Hankins’s farm is off a gravel road in Coggon, north of Cedar Rapids. Pens for chickens, ducks, and turkeys are woven through yard space, in between a farmhouse, buildings, and sheds. After a rainy morning, the chickens are coming out of the greenhouse and starting to sunbathe in the yard."

Good Meat Breakdown Feature 

August 2022

"Over the Moon Farm and Flowers, located in Eastern, Iowa, is co-owned by Anna Hankins (she/her) & Shae Pesek (she/her), queer farmers who are partners in both business and life. In 2019, Over the Moon Farm & Flowers began as a cut-flower enterprise, and later expanded into livestock with Over the Moon Meats. Anna and Shae currently pasture-raise turkey, chicken, duck, laying hens, and heritage pork, in addition to marketing beef that’s raised by their brother/brother-in-law. Over the Moon is committed to serving their rural neighbors by keeping livestock on the land, supporting the local economy, and offering their community (and beyond) access to delicious, high-quality, humanely raised meats."

Something Fresh in Delaware County 

Telegraph Herald, July 2020

“It really feels great to come back and reconnect with the community and people I did not know prior,” Pesek said. “It feels good to be making a connection and making an impact in my hometown.”

Shae Pesek and Anna Hankins are Bringing Good Food and Flowers to Their Rural Iowa Community 

“We have focused deeply on the people around us,” Anna explains. More than 50% of the farm’s sales are to the local, rural small towns around them. “The range of customers we have in our CSA is amazing. They are rural, they are in-town, they are people who have bought shares as gifts for grandmothers, they are local businesses—insurance agencies, hair salons, auto repair shops, yoga studios, you name it.” Anna declares, “People who live in rural areas and smaller towns also deserve this luxury and beauty.”

Queer Farmers Are Changing the Landscape 

"However, for other queer farmers, the pursuit of farming was about chasing a dream that didn’t necessarily have to do with queerness, but was influenced by it all the same. Shae Pesek and Anna Hankins own and operate Over the Moon farm in northeast Iowa, which produces everything from eggs to meat to a flower CSA, and which is attached to Pesek’s family’s more conventional farm. She had always had a love for agriculture, participating in 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), but went to college in San Diego because, she figured, that’s what you did if you were gay. “I came out [in San Diego] and I really didn’t realize that there was necessarily a place for queer adults in agriculture,” she said. “It was just not something that I had seen. Most people that were queer that I knew moved to cities and I thought that that would be the path for me as well. 

But she missed her parents’ farm, so she moved back, which is where she met Hankins. Hankins studied agriculture in college and worked in food and agriculture activism networks, and she too did not see a future in city life. “I wanted to be somewhere rural and where I wanted to actually pursue growing for people and for the community,” she said. Over the Moon came out of that shared desire to lead a rural life and to bring a more holistic approach to farming, which in many ways, is a queer desire — the drive to pursue what fulfills you, even if it’s not considered the norm."

Awards and Recognition 

2021 Second Place Winner of the Iowa Farm Bureau's Grow Your Future Award, recognizing innovative ag. businesses throughout the state

2022 Brighter Future Fund Award Winners through the American Farmland Trust 

2022 Competition of Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentives Program

2022 Participated in the Food Animal Concerns Trust Financial Training Program 

2022 FruitGuys Community Fund Recipients 

2022-2023 Participating in the Practical Farmers of Iowa Business Training Program 

2022 Business is working with students at the University of Iowa Business Consulting Course 

Leadership 

Practical Farmers of Iowa Livestock Steering Committee Members

Practical Farmers of Iowa Welcoming Committee Members 

Manchester Chamber of Commerce Members

On Farm Research 

2021 Snapdragon Variety Trial with Practical Farmers of Iowa

 

If you are a media outlet interested in contacting Over the Moon, please email overthemoonfarmandflowers@gmail.com