16-Year-Old Grows 7,000 Pounds of Vegetables to Feed the Needy

At just 16, Lauren Schroeder from Iowa is making a big difference in her community.

student turned farmer lauren schroeder

The high school junior at Calamus-Wheatland High School has donated a staggering 7,000 pounds of produce from her garden to help those in need in the Quad Cities area.

Lauren’s journey began amidst the challenges of the Covid pandemic, during a food drive. She observed the scarcity of fresh produce and decided to act. With her family’s support, Lauren began with a half-acre of land. A grant from Future Farmers of America helped her expand her garden to a full acre, complete with a protective fence. This garden now produces over 20 types of produce including tomatoes, potatoes, and various herbs.

Her dedication has been immense. Lauren remarks, “I wanted to have something that would impact people and not just go show cattle. I want to impact community members.” She adds, “Many people help you out, but it makes more difference when you help other people out. That’s what makes me most happy.”

The impact of her efforts is widespread. Lauren has donated to several organizations, including the Carroll Assistance Center and Wheatland Nursing Home. Her commitment doesn’t stop here; she plans to continue her donations through her first year of college, aiming to donate 20,000 pounds of produce by her high school graduation in 2025.

Lauren’s mother, Katie Schroeder, shares her pride, saying, “How could you not be proud? She really chose to focus on learning about agronomy and helping people out with it.”

This young girl’s dedication to nourishing her community serves as a powerful reminder of the impact one person can make.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9