Project ID



A one-year planning grant was used by a Des Moines (IA) area group to plot the most effective ways to encourage and support refugees and immigrants interested in starting farm enterprises in the region around Des Moines.

Key Question

How does a group develop a model for training refugee and immigrant growers to utilize their existing farming experience to establish successful small farm businesses in the Des Moines area?


The planning team identified necessary resources (financial and other) needed for training related to land, curriculum, education and outreach.

Principal Investigator(s)

Nicholas Wuertz

Principal Investigator(s) Bio

Nicholas Wuertz is director of refugee services for Lutheran Services of Iowa, a nationally accredited, nonprofit human services agency affiliated with three Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wuertz oversees LSI’s Refugee Community Services program including Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines. He began working with LSI’s refugee resettlement program in 2006 as a community outreach specialist and has served as director since 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College.


Linda Gooberdiel

Year of Grant Completion