CEO, Certified Forester
Luke is the owner of Prudenterra and is a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters (SAF). He created Prudenterra after graduating from Iowa State University (B.S. Forestry, 2008). While working Prudenterra part-time, Luke also worked at Practical Farmers of Iowa and grew vegetables with TableTop Farm. In 2014, he went full-time with Prudenterra. Luke grew up in Newton, Iowa and serves on the board of directors of the Iowa Prairie Network. He lives outside of Nevada, Iowa.
Michael Gourd was born and raised in Des Moines. He discovered a passion for ecological restoration after becoming a crew member with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa. During a year and a half of chainsawing, brush cutting, spraying invasive species, and building a bridge, he discovered that he didn’t mind the sweat and insects. In his free time, Michael loves reading about and experimenting with new hobbies.
Crystal came to Prudenterra with over 22 years of bookkeeping experience. When she isn’t keeping our numbers in check, she’s out on the Riggins Family Farm teaching her family and local community about the importance of sustainable farming. Crystal lived in Arizona and Colorado before moving back to the family farm in central Iowa, where she lives with her husband Steve and their daughters, along with horses, goats, and a donkey.
Crew members utilize chainsaws, prescribed fire, and other tools to implement woodland and prairie restoration work at Prudenterra. Many crew members are students or graduates of the Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) department at Iowa State University. Connect with us if you wish to be added to our Crew Members list – please include your skills, interests, and availability.
Taylor discovered she had a love of prairies and an interest in restoration ecology while studying GIS at the University of Iowa. Since then she has worked doing prairie restorations through AmeriCorps, co-owned Remnant Hills Farm, and gained 4 years experience in the GIS field. She now lives in Ames with her husband Tom Wilson and their 3 kids.