Latest Beginning Farmer News & Updates
Will you be at the Next Generation Summit?
Are you an aspiring farmer looking for land to begin your farming dream? Then we invite you to join Practical Farmers’ for the first Next Generation Summit, August 23, at the Maytag Event Complex in Newton. This event will bring together aspiring farmers and farmland owners in a way that allows for education and networking help to overcome the challenge of farmland access. 

The summit with begin at 2:00 pm with two workshops aimed at helping farmland owners and aspiring farmers develop a plan to fulfill their farm visions. Farmland owners will work on setting goals to work toward a farmland legacy that reflects their values. They will also learn about how to take next steps to begin the transition period when the time is right. Aspiring farmers will walk through the process of determining their farming purpose and planning the next steps. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to begin engaging in the planning process and network with other aspiring farmers and farmland owners.

The evening will conclude with a free reception open to everyone beginning at 5:30 pm. Farming takes a community of many individuals. All are invited to come and learn about the issues facing transitioning farmers and land. Let's celebrate together all the generations that make farming possible and support those coming into the next generation. 

We hope you will join us for all or some of this Next Generation Summit at the Maytag Event Complex, 403 W 4th St N, Newton, Iowa. This summit is free to everyone thanks to the support of Presenting sponsor: Robert and Susan Fleming, Danamere Farms. You can RSVP to the workshop and/or the evening reception below.
July 20 | 3 - 7 pm | Cherry Glen Learning Farm | Ankeny
Veterans in Agriculture will host this workshop to learn tips on marketing your farm/brand. Following the workshop will be a chance to socialize and network with other veterans from 5-7 pm.  In Iowa travel for veterans has been made available to help off-set travel expenses. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at

July 26 | Humble Hands Harvest | Decorah
The MOSES In Her Boots workshops connect women farmers with resources and practical information to improve their farms or pursue their farm dreams. These women-led, on-farm sessions run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include a detailed farm tour with the host farmer, presentations on specific farming-related topics, and time to network with other women farmers and resource agents. This year's sessions will include a special focus on the ergonomics of tools and machinery for women. Click on the links below for details and registration.

The Stockmanship sessions will be held in in three Iowa locations from July 30 and 31. This session will teach cattle handling methods that improve animal movement and cattle performance by reducing the stress on livestock. Dr. Tom Noffsinger bases his presentation on four simple principles of cattle behavior; cattle want to see you, go around you, be with other cattle, and can only process one thought at a time. He will also demonstrate low stress cattle handling methods that can be used whether gathering from the pasture or processing through corrals. For more information on these workshops, contact Denise Schwab at or (319) 721-9624, or Russ Euken at or (641) 923-2856.

August 2 | 7-8 pm | Jones County Fairgrounds | 800 N Maple St. Monticello
This workshop will provide many resources for small non-conventional farmer or niche producer. There will be information on programs and funds available to help your business. Hosted by your the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Jackson, Jones, Linn, Delaware and Dubuque counties.
Dinner will be served and time will be given to network and ask questions. We look forward to seeing you there. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by July 27, by calling Abigail Hansen, Soil Conservationist, NRCS at (319) 531-3801 or by email at
Beginning Farmer Social
Sunday, August 12 | 5-7pm
Hosts | Jenny and Eric Quiner
Dogpatch Urban Gardens
5 085 Meredith Drive , D es Moines, IA 50310

Take time from your busy growing season to gather with other beginning farmers and share a good meal. Catch up with your old farmer friends and make new ones while talking about this year’s successes and challenges.

Practical Farmers and the hosts will provide a main dish, condiments, and water. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share, a beverage for yourself, and a lawn chair.
RSVP’s appreciated to Steve Carlson at  or
(515) 232-5661 
Small Grains Conference
Join us for our second annual small grains conference in  Mankato, Minnesota, on July 30!  After kicking things off, we’ll have three breakout sessions, lunch, a plenary and a buyers and sellers reception to conclude the day. Breakout sessions include: small grains agronomy, integrating small grains and livestock, and small grains markets.

View the full list of topics for the breakout sessions on our   small grains conference webpage Registration is free for PFI members and $40 for non-members.  To register for the small grains conference,   visit our registration page .
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is offering $7.8 million through the state conservation cost share program to help farmers and landowners install conservation practices. Farmers can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices to apply for assistance with up to 50% of the project cost. Conservation practices eligible for assistance through this program include terraces, waterways, ponds, buffers, cover crops, and several others.
Contact local offices for application details.

The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture is offering a year-long series of monthly one-hour webinars for direct farm marketers. Free webinars will be held the fourth Tuesday of each month and will help direct farm marketers learn about online tools and strategies to improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

The Calculator allows farmers to enter farm and channel-specific data and profit goals, then price their meat with the assurance of meeting those goals. New features include an improved cost of production calculation and the ability to split marketing labor and profit for more accurate cost accounting. These improvements mean that farmers can easily break down various costs and come up with an accurate pricing structure to fit the profit they desire.
July 20: Field Day -   Improving Organic Crop Production
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Paullina |  The Wilson Family  |  RSVP by July 13

July 25: Volunteer -  Hand out Produce at RAGBRAI
12 - 5 pm | Will Cannon farm | Newton |  Sign up

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Iowana Farm | Crescent |  RSVP by July 23

North Mankato, MN | Sign-up by July 23rd

5 - 8 pm | Red Oak | RSVP by July 27

August 7: Field Day: Weed Control For Organic Row Crops
5 - 8 pm | Shiver Farms | Jefferson

August 9: Field Day: Raising Prairie: Seeds, Plants and Restoration
9 - 11 am | The Prairie Flower | Spencer

August 10: Field Day: Planning and Installing Beneficial Insect Habitat
12 - 3 pm | Grinnell Heritage Farm | Grinnell

2 - 7:30 pm | Newton | RSVP before August 20
Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort. New positions are posted now.

Saving Incentive Program
Savings Incentive Program is a 2 - year program that pairs beginning and aspiring farmers with experienced farmer mentors; provides targeted learning and peer networking opportunities; offers business planning support and guidance. All this while you save money and then we match is dollar for dollar up to $2,400, to use toward the purchase of a farm asset. Applications will open on August 15 for the next class.

Find A Farmer
Find A Farmer allows for a comfortable place to start anonymous conversations with land-seekers or landowners. Search for users in a particular area that fit your specifications and begin the discussion.

Find A Farmer is FREE and available for anyone with internet access? No membership is required.
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Greg Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Next Generation Coordinator
(515) 232-5661