Rosemary Partridge grew up on a farm near Iowa City. She remembers her dad reading farm magazines to look for practices that would work on his land. Their worst nightmare was doing something wrong and losing their good topsoil. Conservation was a point of pride with the people that she knew – people had pride in passing on their land to their children.
Rosemary and her husband, D.G., have lived at their present location for 32 years. In addition to farming, they are the founders of a transportation company based in Breda. The company headquarters has a constructed wetland in the back and a reconstructed prairie in the front, with many energy-saving features and recycled materials in the building.
They have 100 acres of native plantings at the home site and another 150 acres on the Raccoon River. They rent 37 acres for field crops presently, but that will soon be planted into prairie through the CRP or CREP program. Rosemary and D.G. have planted filter strips along Carnavon Creek, which empties into the Raccoon River.
The Partridges helped host an event at Black Hawk Lake in 2010 that featured the ILF Conservation Station. Rosemary felt that it was an excellent way to educate farmers and townspeople on the importance of working together on watershed management. They are on the steering committee for the local watershed management group. She feels that people are interested in doing the right thing for the environment, but that they need to better understand the impact of their actions on the watershed.
Rosemary and D.G. are dedicated to making their corner of the Earth a better place, both by educational events and by example. One of their big projects was to restore an oxbow on the Raccoon River. The oxbow is the perfect habitat for the Topeka shiner, an endangered fish. They also endowed the library in the new Sac County Conservation Center. Both of these projects honor their son, David, a fisheries biologist who was killed in a car accident. Son Todd and daughter Liz Partridge Blessington run the family business, Computer Transportation Services, in Breda.
Rosemary is a political and environmental activist as well as a farmer. Her list of organizations includes Iowa Environmental Council, Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Native Plant Society, among many others. Her advice is “Do what you can for your place.”
Rosemary was featured in the ILF film "Troubled Waters." She is collecting water samples from Carnovan Creek while videographer Jon Anderson films.