How the Faaborg Family Is Changing the Future of Farming in Iowa

Nestled on a small hill about 45 minutes north of Des Moines, surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans and a large network of hog and turkey barns, is a farm family devoted to transfarming their hog facility into an innovative specialty-mushroom operation providing fresh produce and value-added products across the state.

Tammy and Rand Faaborg began hog farming gradually as a side business after receiving a few pigs to raise from a family member. Over the years, their operation expanded until they eventually found themselves entering a contract with an integrator. It wasn’t long before the family began to see issues with the industry. After a year of working with Transfarmation, the family made the bold decision to end their 30-year tenure as pig farmers and pursue a full farm conversion.

Their son, Tanner, who grew up on the farm with his four siblings, enjoyed many aspects of farm life but always dreaded chores in the hog barns. He left the farm to attend college and travel the world but has since returned to Iowa, determined to plant roots and work with his family to transition their farm.

Tammy and Rand are no strangers to Tanner’s ideas for modifying and improving their farm to make it more environmentally sustainable. From planting trees on the property to installing a solar array that powers the entire farm, Tanner has long been imagining ways to improve his family’s land. And he has big plans for how that change can happen.

We aim to create low-carbon farming practices that make an immediate impact on mitigating climate change while also providing a model for other farmers to replicate.

The Faaborgs dream of creating an operation that will be an example in their community, showing other farmers that transfarmation is possible. “We feel change is coming, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Tanner said. Deeply involved in the Des Moines and Ames communities, the family is committed to making Iowa a better place.

With 1100 Farm, they are eager to supply these communities with fresh produce, and as their business grows, they hope to provide stable, enriching jobs year-round. Their story has been featured in the Guardian.

From the ancestor who took on managing the farm at age 13 after a family tragedy to the restoration of a barn damaged by a tornado, the Faaborgs embody resilience in the face of challenges. They care deeply for their land and community, and they’re making the leap to change their farm and set an example for other hog farmers.

As Tanner explained, “It’s time to stop contributing to the problem and become part of the solution.”