David Andrews grew up on a diversified grain and livestock family farm operation near Melbourne, Iowa where he continues an active management role. He’s done agricultural consulting work in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Tanzania and has managed large agricultural projects in Romania and the Philippines.
Most recently, he retired as executive director of the nonprofit Michael Fields Agricultural Institute whose focus is education, research, and policy initiatives to promote organic agriculture in East Troy, Wisconsin.
David and his wife and daughter have moved back close to the family farm in Ames, Iowa. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from Iowa State University and is currently managing director of AgHound, LLC where he stays busy consulting with conventional and organic farmers.
What makes the mission Prairie Rivers of meaningful to you? I spent the first 25 years of my professional career as a grain and livestock farmer and I know from personal experience that economic development has to go hand in hand with conservation and restoration. Prairie Rivers of Iowa, as a local Story County-based nonprofit, plays a prominent role in preserving Iowa’s conservation heritage.
What are some of your prior board leadership experiences? In my previous position as executive director of a Wisconsin based nonprofit, I was always impressed with the dedication of its board members. I find the same to be even more so true of the Prairie Rivers board. As a board member of a nonprofit tied to agriculture in Iowa, you have a responsibility to the staff, stakeholders, farmers, and the citizens of Iowa. We need to be good stewards and get it right when it comes to water quality and soil health speaking up when called to do so pointing out the importance to all Iowans that we must preserve and conserve our soil and water resources, our bees and butterflies, and our heritage byways.
What skills, connections, resources, and expertise do you bring to the board? First and foremost, a broad agricultural background, second, a desire to learn from the current board members and staff, and third, having led a similar nonprofit, I understand the role while sharing experience in financial management and fundraising initiatives necessary to prosper and grow.
What motivates you to serve? I have three daughters and several grandchildren who will have to live in the world we’ve left them. I’ve seen firsthand what it means to protect the soil and water resources. It’s not easy and always a challenge, but we need to work together with our friends and neighbors to improve how we take care of the land and the environment. Also, having a great Prairie Rivers staff and dedicated board members makes it fun!