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Grinnell Farms

Navigating complex issues such as sustainability, chemical input, food justice, and land consolidation, Grinnellian farmers are a thoughtful, passionate presence in the American agriculture sector. Meet just a few:

  • Suzanne Castello ’87 runs B&B Farms, a livestock operation in Grinnell, with her husband, Barney Bahrenfuse.
  • Corey McIntosh ’00 is a sixth-generation farmer on a corn and soybean operation in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
  • Jim Riddle ’78 and his wife, Joyce Ford, run an award-winning organic fruit farm in Winona, Minn.
  • Jordan Scheibel ’10 is in his first year running Middle Way Farm in Grinnell.
  • On campus, Ellie Honan ’14 and Eva Metz ’14 are summer apprentices with the College’s student-run garden.

To learn more about how Grinnellians are making an impact in agriculture, see “Grinnell Farms” from The Grinnell Magazine Summer 2013 (PDF).

Communication Services

Media Relations

The media relations team acts as a direct liaison between Grinnell College and both print and broadcast media. Staff issue news releases, communicate Grinnell news and information to media outlets, and facilitate student/faculty interaction with the press.

For students, faculty, and staff

Contact Media Relations to:

  • publicize an event, accomplishment, or other initiative
  • suggest interesting Grinnell-related stories for coverage

If a reporter contacts you:

Grinnell celebrates freeing of Dorje Gurung '94 from Qatar detention

Dorje GurungNOTE: This story was updated at 4:05 PM on Monday, May 13, 2013, to reflect the fact that Dorje Gurung arrived in Nepal. 

Last week Dorje Gurung, a Grinnell College graduate from the Class of 1994, was arraigned in Doha, Qatar, on charges of insulting Islam and jailed. Grinnell alumni came together to organize support by creating petitions, building advocacy networks on Facebook, arranging legal counsel and creating a legal defense fund. Within 48 hours more than 13,000 individuals had signed the Change.org petition calling for Dorje's release.

On Sunday, May 12 (in U.S. time zones), the authorities in Doha released Dorje Gurung from jail. Today he was permitted to leave the country, and he is now safely back in his native Nepal.

Grinnell applauds the decision by the Qatar government to release Dorje and allow him to return home. Believing that free speech rights and religious freedoms are entirely compatible in a civil society, we celebrate his freedom while remembering the many others who still face repression in Qatar and elsewhere for their work on behalf of social justice. The College stands with Dorje and all those who work around the world to advance religious tolerance and respect for civil liberties.

Grinnell is also extremely proud of our alumni, whose initiative and leadership sparked the worldwide effort to free Dorje Gurung '94. You are the living embodiment of the Grinnellian commitment to justice.

Originally published as an online web extra for The Grinnell Magazine Summer 2013 (PDF).

Fire and Ice

Two courses of students and faculty participated in international field trips during winter break 2013. 

Kathy Jacobson and Peter Jacobson, associate professors of biology, traveled with students from their Namib Desert Ecology course. 

Students in Korea's Economic Development course traveled with Jack Mutti, Sidney Meyer Professor in International EconomicsKeith Brouhle ’96, associate professor of economics; and Man-Ching Chan, assistant professor of economics. 

For more about the courses, see "Fire & Ice" from The Grinnell Magazine Spring 2013.

Brus Sets NCAA D-III Record

On Feb. 17, Grinnell Pioneer Michael Brus ’14 swam his way into the national record book, setting an NCAA Division III record in the 200-yard backstroke with a clocking time of 1:45.94.  Brus was competing at the 2013 Midwest Conference (MWC) Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by Grinnell.  The mark is pending certification.

Brus is no stranger to awards. He has been named the MWC Men's Swimmer of the Year three times, earned multiple All-America honors the past two seasons, and was a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200-meter backstroke.  Going into the conference, he already held the MWC D-III records in six individual events and three relays.  At this year’s MWC championship, Brus won seven events and helped the Pioneers earn their 12th team title in a row. He also set meet and school records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, 200 and 500 freestyles, and as part of the 200, 400 and 800 medley relays and 400 free relay.

Brus will be competing in the NCAA D-III Championship on March 20-23 in Shenandoah, Texas. He currently has the fastest NCAA D-III times in both backstrokes.

Yarn Bombing the Peace Grove

A guerilla art project knits together a group of students, townspeople, and local alumni

“I was working on my calculus homework in the math lab, and one of the tutors got sidetracked and started to tell me about an article that she had read about ‘yarn bombing’  — people knitting sweaters for trees to decorate public places — and I was seriously intrigued. I’d never knit anything before, but women in a knitting group in town [including Joan Baker ’51 and Dorothy Palmer ’62] welcomed us into their Sit ’n’ Knit group and taught us how. They have us over to their houses every Thursday night for knitting sessions! Almost half of the students in my tutorial joined the project, and we set up a knitting station in Burling so anyone could take a break and knit on one of the sweaters.” —Cassie Miller ’16

“At first people were hesitant about the project, sometimes thinking that we were trying to keep the trees warm. After we explained it was more of a public art installation that we were initiating as part of our tutorial [anthropology professor Jon Andelson ’70’s Our Prairie Town: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives], they were much more enthusiastic. At the public knitting station in Burling, people were knitting like crazy. That sweater turned out to be much longer than the rest and was full of different knitting styles and patterns, representing, however cheesy this may sound, all the different people who worked on the project. I like thinking about people walking up to the library feeling stressed about school or life in general and smiling when they see our tree sweaters. —Sophie Neems ’16

Katherine Kraft Harris '38

Sun, 2013-02-03 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Katherine Kraft Harris ’39 died at Westminster Canterbury Richmond (Va.) on April 23 at the age of 93. Katie, as she was called, was born in Des Moines, Iowa and educated in the public schools there. She attended Grinnell College for her freshman year and then transferred to the University of Iowa, where she was chosen Pep Queen for 1936. She was a member of the Beta Zeta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and earned a B.A., with a certificate in journalism, in 1938. She continued her studies in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where one of her professors was Douglas Southall Freeman, the well-known editor of the now-defunct Richmond (Va.) News Leader, who traveled by train to New York City once a week to teach a rigorous course that covered world history since the end of World War I. Quite fortuitously, Katie would meet and marry Dr. Freeman's wife's young cousin, Dr. William H. Harris Jr. of Richmond, within a year of graduating from Columbia. After graduation, Katie did research and publicity for Carl Byoir & Associates, the New York City public relations firm that had developed the March of Dimes campaign for President Franklin Roosevelt. She married Dr. Harris in June of 1940, and when his service in the Army Medical Corps took him to the Aleutians and then the Philippines during World War II, Katie returned home to Des Moines. She soon obtained a position with the Des Moines Register & Tribune newspapers, doing research for the Iowa Poll. After the war Katie and William settled in Richmond, where they raised three sons--Tyler, Harry, and John. Katie was an active member of numerous cultural, social, and service organizations in Richmond. She also was a successful artist, working in the media of watercolor and acrylic. In 1964 she served as the interim society editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She was buried in Richmond's historic Hollywood Cemetery. She is survived by her three sons, all residents of Richmond; two daughters-in-law; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Communication Project Job Request

Please fill out this form to start a publication project. Once you complete the form, a publications team member will schedule a meeting with you. At that meeting, you and the publications team will discuss the project in detail. Following that meeting, the publications team will create a workflow and production schedule that outlines the projects steps and deadlines and the roles and responsibilities of all involved.
We look forward to working with you!