Young Farmer is Hands On Conservation and Community

404955_327839143924557_852253412_nFarming, conservation, community service.

Jacob Handsaker is a young farmer with passion for community and the future of rural Iowa. If he sees an opportunity to contribute to making things better for future generations, he doesn’t hesitate to “dig in”.

Jacob started farming full-time in 2008 after graduating from Iowa State University. He now resides on the family-farm with his wife Mindy and four children Myles, Ellie, Will and Kimber. The family raises corn, soybeans, sweet corn, sweet peas, cover crops and hogs. Mindy enjoys being a stay at home Mom but also spends time in the classroom teaching about agriculture as an Ag in the Classroom coordinator through the Iowa Farm Bureau.

1510437_10208207299719093_464634496807355881_nIn addition to farming, Jacob owns and operates an excavating business with family members Brett and Brian Handsaker. The Handsaker’s grew up doing their own farm improvement work and decided to start doing custom work for other farmers as a way to incorporate more family members into the family farm. As they started gaining experience and exposure in the area, the business continued to grow and Hands On Excavating was born. Today they specialize in farm drainage and excavating, demolition, hauling, site preparation and most recently conservation work including bioreactors. (A bioreactor is a strategically-placed woodchip-based filtration system designed to remove nitrates from water before it enters streams and rivers. These innovative systems are part of a state-wide effort to implement new practices to improve water quality.)

While two family businesses and four kids certainly keep Jacob and Mindy busy, both agree that its important to make time to give back to their community. For the past 12 years Jacob has been involved with the local EMS as an EMT, and is a member of the Radcliffe Fire Department. As part of these teams, Jacob participates in regular meetings, trainings and certifications to make sure both equipment and crew are ready to answer calls at a moment’s notice. Another part of the volunteer role Jacob enjoys is interacting with the community to help them learn more about the role of their local fire and emergency services departments and ways they can stay safe in their own home.