If you have over five years of business operations you qualify for this program. There are many reasons why you might need a little extra help. This program is for you if: 

  • Your production is in place and you want to take your business performance to the next level.
  • Your business’ market position and profitability are eroding and you know you need to adapt.
  • Your farm is established and hasn’t reached profitability, and you know things need to change.
  • You need to raise money and know you need to get prepared to be successful.
These gatherings offer farmers who grow vegetables, fruit, flowers, and orchard crops a chance to gather together in locations around the state to meet one another, build relationships, share plans and ideas with others in their regions, and learn as they all prepare for the coming season. 
March 11: Hosted by John & Janna Wesselius in Sioux Center from 9-11 a.m 
March 18: Hosted by Kate Solko in Ames from 4-6 p.m. 
March 25: Hosted by Shaffer Ridgeway in Waterloo from 9-11 a.m .
Are you looking to get paid, on-the-job training with experienced farmers in Iowa?
The Labor4Learning program is designed for beginning farmers seeking employment and additional training in farm management and production skills.
Practical Farmers of Iowa “trainer” farmers will be hiring during the next couple of months for the upcoming growing season. Browse the list for training opportunities near you!
These free, online webinar-style events run weekly on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. CST through March 29.
Each focuses on a unique production or business management topic and is led by a farmer or subject-matter expert.

Tune in to one of our remaining winter farminars listed below:
Upcoming PFI events
Mar. 11: Meet-Up - Horticulture Farmers
9-11 a.m. | Sioux Center, IA

9 a.m. | Ames, IA

Mar. 14: Meet-Up - Field Crop Farmers
6:30-8 p.m. | Online
7-8:30 p.m. | Online

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Pella, IA

7-8:30 p.m. | Online
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 Celize Christy at celize@practicalfarmers.org.
Check out these resources for beginning farmers
Introducing the Regenerator’s Atlas of America | National Center for Appropriate Technology
Soil for Water’s Regenerator’s Atlas of America is now live! With producers and consumers in mind, NCAT has developed a platform where regenerative farmers and ranchers across the country can create a profile for their operation to be placed on the Atlas. By planting a flag on the map, producers can let people know who they are and where they’re located, and how they are regenerating their soils to hold more water. If you are a producer, help NACT grow the Regenerator’s Atlas of America by planting your farm or ranch on the map today.
Looking for an opportunity to gain more experience working on a farm? Kate Edwards of Wild Woods Farm is looking for farm workers this season. Wild Woods is a CSA-centered vegetable farm following organic practices serving around 300 families in the Iowa City area. Interested?
Farmer Veteran Informational Workshops | Veterans in Agriculture 
March 18 | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wildwood Hills Ranch Retreat Center
This workshop will cover the topics of loans for beginning farmers and rural businesses, bookkeeping, taxes, business planning, ag entrepreneur assistance, and conservation programs. 
For more information, contact Beth Grabau at beth@veteransinagriculture.org.
Forest Farming In Focus | Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition
Online | Biweekly, February 24 through April 14, 2022
In this webinar, Dr. Erik Burkhart of Penn State University will provide the latest research updates on ramp forest farming site selection, nutritional/medicinal properties, and sustainable husbandry and harvest methods. He will also be joined for the second half of the webinar by forest farmer Steve Schwartz of Delaware Valley Ramps for a lively discussion.
Whole Farm Resiliency Planning | Land Stewardship Project 
Online | March 10 
Land Stewardship Project and the University of Minnesota Extension will be holding their last "Resiliency Forum for Specialty Crop Farmers" on March 10, from 7 - 8:30 p.m., online. The topic for this particular workshop will be whole farm resiliency planning. For details and to register, click here.
Developing Successful Farmers | Penn State University Extension 
Developing Successful Farmers podcast series focuses on starting farming, production, and topics to help make beginning farmers more successful. Join the Penn State Extension New and Beginning Farmer Team for informal educational conversations with educators, industry experts and Penn State faculty and research. Each week we will cover topics that will help new and beginning farmers become more aware of the resources to assist their journey to enter farming. > Stream + Listen Online
Online | March 11, 12 - 1 p.m. 
Local farmers are looking for alternative ways to generate income on their farms. In response, local planning and zoning officials are seeking regulations that serve the public good and also support new income-generating activities on the farm. Officials, farmers, and interested residents are invited to join Michigan State University Extension educators to learn more about the intersection of the Michigan Right to Farm Act, local planning and zoning, and policy best practices. > Learn more and register
Label Claims on Meat and Poultry Products | Michigan State University Extension
Online | March 11, 12 - 1 p.m.
This session will focus on label requirements and label claims. Certain aspects are required to be on a meat or poultry product label. Other claims, including animal diet, raising claims, or other practices require approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Learn what various label claims (e.g., raised without antibiotics, free grange, grass-fed, Organic, and more) mean and what is necessary to include them on a package label.
Online | February 9 - May 4, 2022
USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Cornell University are presenting a free, bi-monthly webinar series on hemp research. The webinars will occur every other Wednesday from 1 - 2 pm CT and include Q&A. The research team believes that by broadening the scope of training, education, and connectivity within the developing hemp community, they can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for new hemp and empower hemp research by bringing diverse voices into the larger conversation. > Learn more and register
Getting Started with Rotation Grazing | Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario 
Online | March 14 12 - 1 p.m.
Join Jim Johnston from Pasture Hill Farm for an interactive Q&A on his approach to rotational grazing. Jim and Wanda Johnston have been raising 100% grass-fed beef and pastured lamb at Pasture Hill Farm in New Liskeard for the past 28 years.  Jim will start the session off by talking about how he manages rotational grazing on his farm and raising pastured beef year-round in northern Ontario. The session will then open up for questions and discussion, so bring your queries and ideas! > Learn more and register
Exploring the Small Farm Dream | Penn State University Extension 
Online | March 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.
If you are considering launching a small farm enterprise, but not sure where to start? This series will give you the tools to determine if farming is right for you. This four-session course includes exploratory discussion, curated research tools, and self-assessment activities provided by the instructors as well as a workbook for hands-on application both during class and at home. Registration is required and has a cost of $75. > Learn more and register
Funding Opportunities
American Farmland Trust administers this fund to help farmers: 1) Improve farm viability; 2) Access, transfer, or permanently protect farmland; or 3) Adopt regenerative agricultural practices. The fund will focus on farmers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. Applications will be reviewed and awarded in the order received, based on eligibility.
The program offers grants from $1,000 to $150,000 to help Minnesota processors add value to Minnesota agricultural products by investing in the purchase of equipment, production capacity, market diversification, and market access for value-added products. Applications must be received by March 24, 2022. > Learn more and apply here
Looking for more?
Greg Padget
Beginning Farmer Viability Manager
(515) 232-5661
Celize Christy
Beginning Farmer Education Coordinator
(515) 232-5661