Positively the Heartland: Trading the Big Apple for the family farm

A full-circle journey: one Iowa native grew up on her family farm, pursued a career in fashion, and then returned.
Posted at 6:59 AM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 10:59:08-04

RED OAK, Iowa (KMTV) - One Iowa native grew up on her family farm, pursued a career in fashion, and then returned.

Maggie McQuown's story often fascinates people.

"They say, how could you have gone from the farm? I grew up on the farm, my family farm, fourth-generation," McQuown said.

She's lived from one extreme to the next.

"Went to Iowa State University from a small town, then went to New York City, thought I'd stay for 2-3 years, then stayed for 14 years and absolutely loved living in the city," McQuown said.

She never left her Iowa roots completely behind.

"The farm never left me. I've always stayed very connected to the farm and visited regularly," McQuown said.

After working in the fashion and communications industries in New York, she and her husband moved their second acts to a familiar place. She inherited the farm after her mother passed away.

"We decided for retirement we would prefer to be someplace not so urban, and we decided the farm was a good place. It's also best when farmland has the owners local and taking care of the farmland," McQuown said.

It's been an easy adjustment for her husband, Steve Turman, to make.

"The last project of our lives is to live here and make this better and learn what we can with the resources that we have," Turman said.

That last project will be focused on producing food, taking care of the Earth, and doing things valuable for the long term.

"I miss the fashion world but a friend just gave me a subscription to a fashion magazine as a gift, and that's really great, but I would rather read about agriculture, publications about soil health, and research being done to preserve the Earth," McQuown said.

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