Jody and Jim Kerns have full day-planners. As parents of six children ranging in ages from 7 to 23, Jim and Jody have several full-time jobs in addition to their farming operation. Jody works as a radiologic technologist and is director of religious education at her church. Jim owns and operates Edgewood Locker.
Living in rural Edgewood, the Kerns have been farming since 1986 with 40 acres of crop, pasture and timber lands and have grown from there. They practice no-till, have installed contour strips, buffer strips and streambank riparian buffers. They have CRP ground and various grasses for grouse habitat. They also manage woodlands and a tree farm.
They are very conservation-minded and feel they owe it to future generations. Jody is fulfilled when completing conservation projects with her children. “Not only does it give us the opportunity to protect the land and, in the words of Jim, we are building a legacy for our children, with our children,” said Jody. They love planting trees with their children and watching them grow together.
Jody believes in giving back to society as well as the land. She serves on several boards and committees including the Northeast Iowa Forestry Advisory Committee, the Iowa Tree Farm committee, and the State Soil Conservation Committee. The Kerns are also members of Iowa Woodland Owners Association. The help locally with Boy and Girl Scouts, 4-H, their church and school.
When there is a spare moment Jody enjoys gardening, crafts and mushroom hunting, hiking in her woods with the kids and SCUBA diving. Jody holds a degree from St. Luke’s/Mount Mercy School of Medical Technology in Cedar Rapids.
For more information about Jody and Jim’s woodlands, download the PDF file from an Iowa DNR feature: Building a Legacy With Trees
The Kerns annually host the Edgewood-Colesburg 2nd grade students on their farm for a day of outdoor exploring, and have been for over 20 years. This year, the Water Rocks! team were part of the day, teaching the students conservation-themed songs and teaching about soil and water quality.