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Eastern Iowa farmer makes Forbes 30 under 30 list for improvements to soil health

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Mitchell Hora, a seventh generation farmer from Ainsworth in Washington County, has made the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Since age 21, while still a student at Iowa State, he’s been using his knowledge on soil to help farmers across the world.

”I was helping these guys in South Africa to manage some soil health data, working them through some Excel files and some data tools that I had built. They said send me an invoice, and I had a company,” Hora said.

His business, Continuum Ag was born in 2015. The company created a software called TopSoil which is a soil health data tool farmers can use to improve their soil health. Hora told us using cover crops, always keeping living roots, and not disturbing the soil with tilling, are all important. It’s something he says makes an impact far beyond increased profit, like drawing down carbon, improving nutrient density and water quality.

”We’ve got to be profitable as family farms but we need to look at doing it in a manner that can be more sustainable, that can lead to a lot of other positive benefits. And now the tax payer, the consumer, a lot of massive companies, they’re wanting to put in the money to make this happen. And it brings some real opportunity for family farms,” Hora explained.

At 27, his business of 21 employees is helping farmers in 36 states and 14 countries. Now, he’s been named to Forbes 30 under 30 list in the social impact category for 2022.

”To be able to show hey, you know innovation is not just coming from you know it’s not just coming from San Francisco, it’s not coming from Silicon Valley, it’ not just coming from New York but hey we’re doing cool things here in Iowa too,” Hora said.

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