Our mission is to preserve and capture the past, present and future of farms across the United States. Family farm members, both past and present, will now have the means to save and store this information easily and economically. We are non-partisan with the goal to preserve the stories, pictures, genealogy, videos plus provide a platform for a community to collaborate and to assist us in this mission. We welcome your input and support.

Present Update and Plans

The pages here are a sampling of what can be done and plans are in development for expansion of this website. This of course takes funding to do so we would appreciate any help we can get from private individuals, businesses and non-profits that share out desire to remember the past, document the present and provide a future for more family farmers to carry on the tradition.

Some donors thus far are the ET Meredith Foundation, Iowa Property Exchange, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance, Brian Sansgaard, Mark & Margaret Gannon, Kent Zimmerman, Cheryl Tevis, Dennis Keeney, Robert and Roberta Johnson, CG Lee Joint Venture, Gordon Bivens, Legacy Preservation, LLC, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Teresa Opheim, Bud Drake family and Gannon Real Estate & Consulting plus others. We hope you or your organization will like to associate with us any way you think possible.

Beginnings of FFHF

The family farm is synonymous with the founding and settling of America as well as deep traditions around the world. The Family Farm History Foundation was formed as a 501c3 non-profit corporation in Des Moines, Iowa in December 2013 to offer families a means to preserve and save these histories so that future generations can benefit. For many generations farming in the United States was how families survived by settling and taming the rich land that drew them to go west. These experiences were both successful and tragic with lessons to be learned from each. It is estimated that as many as 90% of all families have a US family farm in their background and close to 100% would be that way if you considered the roots of these families before they immigrated to the US.

The beginnings of this project began in 2000 when Mark Gannon visited with Tom Morain, Director of the Iowa Historical Society about a way to preserve the important documents, genealogical information, stories and pictures of Iowa farm families. At that time and the situation is still the same that the State did not have the platform, storage space or resources to handle the volume of possible materials accumulated by Iowa family farms. This project moved slowly until 2012 when the idea was reinvigorated to lead the way to where we are today. Even though much emphasis is on preserving the past we want to include all present and future farms in the database also since they will be the history for their family as time moves on. The first large project was to scan and catalogue the Century and Heritage farms applications in Iowa. This was done in 2016 through a grant from the ET Meredith Foundation and Iowa Humanities. These files were only paper copies before and stored at the Iowa Department of Agriculture offices in DM. The applications from 1977 to 2016 were scanned then and the original ones from 1975 that were feared lost were found at the State Historical Society archives and added to the others. These original applications include all that was submitted by the applicants so they are a special collection. The others are only the front and back of the application

The present Board of Directors are Mark Gannon of Ames, Iowa, Doug Cooper of Cambridge, Dennis Keeney of Ames, Cheryl Tevis of Pilot Mound, Brain Sansgaard of Story City.

Inputting your farm information

Inputting your farm information is a one step process so you need to be ready to create and attach your pictures, videos, links or documents at one time since this site doesn’t allow you to go back in an edit your farm. This will change as we better develop the site. You can send us an e-mail with changes you’d like to make or make a new site better to your liking then ask us to delete the old one. Sorry for the inconvenience but we are working to make the experience better.

Contact Us

Phone: (515) 291-5942

Email: familyfarmhistory@gmail.com

Box 271
122 Main Street
Ames, Iowa 50010