Liz Garst grew up in Coon Rapids, Iowa, in a family of agricultural pioneers. Her grandfather Roswell helped convert Midwest farmers to technologies like hybrid seed, nitrogen fertilizer, and mechanization. Liz shares childhood memories from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to their farm and how the family legacy inspired her own career in international agriculture and global development. After jobs with the Peace Corps and the World Bank, she came home in the 1980s, at the height of the Farm Crisis. Now she helps manage the family land as Whiterock Conservancy, dedicated to transforming farming again by promoting ecological restoration, outdoor recreation, and sustainable agriculture.
To learn more, read Lauren Soth’s 1955 Des Moines Register editorial, which won the Pulitzer Prize for inviting Khrushchev to Iowa, and check out the paper’s historic photos of his visit with the Garsts.