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FarmHers’ Far-Reaching Influence


This week we meet two amazing FarmHers shaking up the ag world.


Stephanie Pharris never set out to be a FarmHer, but now that she’s here, she realizes she has found her calling. A background in food distribution led her to her role as the Equipment Fixed Asset Manager at Duncan Family Farms in Arizona. Now, over eight years later she is thriving along with the large farm.

The farm is 100% organic and grows baby leaf greens in multiple states around the country, year-round. Arizona is the home of the operation where they grow about 8000 acres of the tiny greens. The farm’s owners transitioned to organic in the mid-90’s. At the time they were operating as an agritourism operation and wanted to ensure the safest environment possible for the kids who were coming onto the farm.

It turns out they were well-positioned and as the organic industry grew, they grew with it. As Stephanie put it, if you buy organic lettuce at the store in a bag, there’s a pretty good chance it comes from their farms. Stephanie is supply chain management, meaning she works with crop scheduling and operations, procures assets, and inputs to make sure everyone at the farm has what they need to keep growing. In addition, her interest in ag has spilled over into her professional role where she now works in developing teams throughout the organization to get more people interested in agriculture.


When she was growing up, girls weren’t brought up to take over the farm. Instead, Sara went to college to pursue a Journalism career at Iowa State University. There she worked on various student publications including the Iowa Agriculturalist – a campus magazine. After college, she landed her first job, working for Wallace’s Farmer magazine. Fast forward a few years… Sara went back to the same company to oversee 28 magazines. That experience put a new idea in her head and she launched Agri-Pulse as a fully digital publication.

Today, with Sara at the helm, her team makes an effort to be bipartisan in their reporting and it’s given them access to both sides of the aisle. She has even had the opportunity to interview a sitting President!

Sara’s experience and knowledge from writing stories about farm policy gives her a different perspective on farming, which helps lead her decisions for the future of her farm. The land is rented to two tenants and while Sara lives and works states away, she is closely tied to the land. She works closely with the tenants as it’s important her family farm is in good hands.