Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Beginning farmers have been coming to Practical Farmers to get help starting their farming journey for over 10 years. In 2009, the rapid influx of beginners looking for support spurred the creation of programming to support their needs. The very next year, the first Savings Incentive Program class was enrolled. Since then, supporting beginning farmers has ranked as one of the top priorities for PFI members.

An essential part of maintaining Practical Farmers’ farmer-led focus and providing effective programming involves listening to our network. PFI staff do this regularly by interacting with attendees at our events, paying attention to our email discussion lists and consistently asking for feedback about our activities. We also ask our member and beginning farmer networks to complete more in-depth surveys every few years.

Check out "Identifying and Supporting Beginning Farmers" article in the Winter issue of the Practical Farmer to learn more about what obstacles beginning farmers are facing.
Winter is a time for learning and networking
Below you will find a number of opportunities to continue this conversation and dig deeper into your farming operation. You will not want to miss the workshops, meet-ups and farminars that will help the winter pass by.
This three-day workshop, taught by North Dakota ranchers  Joshua and Tara Dukart,  will take a deep-dive into the holistic management planning process used to make every day decisions.

Holistic management is the belief in understanding our ecosystem as interconnected cycles to allow us to more effectively work with nature to improve the health of our land, animals, people, environment and finances.

This goal-setting and decision-making process provides farmers interested in more regenerative farming methods with the tools you need to improve the land, your business and your quality of life.
Meet-ups are a time for farmers to discuss the upcoming season, challenges, opportunities and ideas, and to network with other farmers over a cup of coffee and some breakfast. These events are free and open to all fruit, vegetable and flower growers. You don’t have to be a PFI member to attend.

All meet-ups are 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Feb. 4 – Waverly
The Wild Carrot

Feb. 6 – Logan
Logan Flours

Feb. 11 – Des Moines
Feb. 13 – Algona
Feed Mill Coffee Co.

Feb. 25 – Solon
Salt Fork Kitchen
Bonus: Flower meet-up

Feb. 27 – Ames
PFI office
Winter farminar s are live
These free online events run weekly on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. CST through March 17. Each focuses on a unique production or business management topic, and is led by a farmer or subject-matter expert.

Feb. 4 – Organic Weed Management in Vegetable Crops

Feb. 11 – Cereal Rye for Weed Management: A New Tool in the Toolbox?

Feb. 18 – Creating Habitat with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Feb. 25 – A Quicker Return! Switching from Cows to Pigs

March 3 – Livestock and Cover Crops as a Solution to a Changing Climate

March 10 – Trusts: Keep the Family a Family and the Farm the Farm

March 17 – Pork Marketing: Relationships and Regenerative Agriculture
Check out these resources for beginning farmers
We have recently updated our collection of business, financial, production and technical assistance resources to help aspiring and beginning farmers further their business goals. You can access them by clicking on the icons below.

We will continue to build this list and add new resources as they are available. If you see any resources missing that you find helpful, please share them with us. You can send them to Greg Padget at greg@practicalfarmers.org .
Upcoming PFI Events
Jan. 28:   Farminar -   Customer Relationships
7 p.m. | Online

Feb. 4:   Meet-up -   Vegetable Farmer
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Waverly

Feb. 4:   Farminar -   Weed Management
7 p.m. | Online

Feb. 6:   Meet-up -   Vegetable Farmer
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Logan
Feb. 11:  Meet-up -   Vegetable Farmer
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Des Moines

Feb. 11:   Farminar -   Cereal Rye
7 p.m. | Online

Feb. 11-13:   Workshop -  Holistic Management

Feb. 13:   Meet-up -   Vegetable Farmer
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Algona
Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort.

Savings 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 that we match dollar for dollar, up to $2,400, to use toward the purchase of a farm asset.

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?
Greg Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661