Corn for a Cause is is a nonprofit located in Western Iowa just a few miles off of Interstate 80.
Our mission is to: make fresh corn accessible in a socially-conscious way.
Corn for a Cause is run by Brigham Hoegh and Erin Lain.
Brigham’s family farm is located north of Atlantic. She and her siblings grew and sold sweetcorn growing up. Brigham manages Atlantic’s weekly farmers’ market, Produce in the Park, and fall sister market, Harvest Market. Brigham also serves as Cass County Wellness Coordinator.
Erin is an Associate Provost for Campus Equity and Inclusion at Drake University. Erin is a lawyer and loves a good project.
Meet our amazing board members:
Emily Bahnsen is the Philanthropy Manager for Kum & Go, leading the company’s charitable giving program. Prior to Kum & Go she ran the Wells Fargo Foundation for the state of Iowa and held a variety of positions at the Des Moines Arts Center, most recently Development Director. She has built her career in the world of relationship building, fundraising, and helping nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions. Bahnsen serves on the Young Women’s Resource Center Ambassador board, is a reading mentor for Everybody Wins Iowa, and a CASA Advocate for the Iowa Child Advocacy Board. Emily is, “so proud of the work Corn for a Cause accomplishes in the areas of food insecurity and social justice. Their approach to supplying healthy food, often at no charge to organizations who are serving some of our most marginalized communities, demonstrates their commitment to helping others in a meaningful way.”
Courtney (Blake) Brewer is an Atlantic native who was lucky enough to return to Southwest Iowa after attending Colorado College for her undergraduate degree, followed by veterinary school at Iowa State University. As a small row crop and beef cattle farmer, community member, veterinarian, and gardener, she is interested in working with others to better understand food systems and food security in rural Iowa.
Harrison Hoegh is a corn and soybean farmer and truck driver in southwest Iowa. He also works ski patrol in Utah during the winters. Harrison enjoys combining his occupation of farming with helping others in need.
Erin Schwarte grew up on a farm near Marshalltown, IA, attended Iowa State University for undergraduate and veterinary medicine education, and now owns a veterinary clinic in Atlantic, IA. Erin and her husband also raise cattle. Being a member of Corn for a Cause is important to Erin as it allows her to, “combine my passion for agriculture with serving my local community.”
Ardy Gillespie began her career as a nutritionist focused on communicating what we know about health and well-being of children and their families as an Extension Home Economist in Pottawattamie County Iowa. That motivated graduate work at Iowa State, followed by 37 years on the Cornell University faculty where she developed and co-led the Family and Community Food Decision-making Research and Education Program before retiring to her home farm in Cass County, Harrisdale. Ardy’s vision is for sustainable, just, and equitable community food systems that support the health and well-being of all. “I’m pleased for the opportunity to continue pursuing this vision through Corn for a Cause.”
Carli Milby joined the board for Corn 4 a Cause in spring of 2020. She is an Iowa native, born and raised in northwest Iowa. Carli attended Iowa State University and Simpson College and relocated to Indianola, IA in 2008 when she took a role working for Nationwide Insurance in downtown Des Moines. She is passionate about agriculture and the communities she lives and works in and making a difference. Carli graduated from the Warren County Leadership Institute in 2019 and has since joined the board. She is also a commission member for the Warren County Historic Preservation Society. She is a past 4-H leader, a member of the Indianola Little League Board, and a local travel baseball board, to name a few. Carli works professionally as a project manager for Nationwide Insurance and has three children in the Indianola Community Schools. When she is not busy with her children’s activities or her own passions, Carli enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, reading, and arranging social gatherings.