The Present

Throughout the years, the Johnson County Supervisors have maintained the farmstead. It is one of the few remaining Poor Farms with existing buildings in the state of Iowa. Through a Master Planning process, the Supervisors have chosen to further preserve the buildings on the site and propel its farming into the present by setting the foundation for a farm incubator model – The New Century Farm.

The Johnson County Historical Society hosts tours of the historic buildings and surrounding areas. To schedule a tour, please contact: Alexandra McKendree; Executive Director; (319) 351-5738;


Aerial view of the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm


The Land Access Program

The Land Access Program (LAP) provides land use agreements to area farmers of varying farming experience and scale. Currently, the use agreements include land, irrigation water, and dry storage. LAP is public land located at the Historic Poor Farm which is owned by Johnson County and is developing under a 10-year master plan that includes improvements to the historic, recreation, local food production, and land conservation elements on site. To apply, download the application below, complete it, and submit it to


GROW: Johnson County

GROW: Johnson County is a hunger-relief and educational farm initiative focused on reducing food insecurity and empowering a new wave of local growers. Roughly four acres is cultivated at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm to grow organic fruits and vegetables that are donated to local hunger-relief agencies and provide hands-on gardening and farming experience for community members of all ages and backgrounds.


The Global Food Project of Iowa City

The Global Food Project of Iowa City (GFPIC) is a program of IC Compassion. It connects newly arrived and established Iowa City and Johnson County residents through sustainable local food production, educational events, and community gatherings. We provide a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment for sharing life experiences, building trust between cultures, and embracing the diversity of our fellow Iowans.

We are not currently accepting Land Access Program (LAP) Applications
English LAP Application
English Farm Protocols
Arabic LAP Application
Arabic Farm Protocols
Spanish LAP Application
Spanish Farm Protocols
French LAP Application
French Farm Protocols