CULTIVATING CONNECTIONS
As farmers, we connect with our communities to sell our products and find the tools we need to raise our crops and livestock. We nurture our soil to encourage mycorrhizal filaments that connect plants and fungi, thus improving water and nutrient uptake. We find solace in friends who support us and empathize when things are tough. We create habitat that provides food and homes for wildlife. Connections at scales both large and small shape us and the world around us. Sometimes it feels like our world is losing these vital connections, that we are quick to seek out differences among our friends and neighbors. 
At Practical Farmers of Iowa, we cultivate a different ethos. We welcome everyone, and strive to build a community where we highlight what we have in common; where we listen respectfully to each other and learn from our differences. We hope you will attend this year’s annual conference and cultivate connections that you can bring back to your farm. Below you will find some activities you will want to add to your itinerary that are geared towards beginning farmers.
Conference pre-registration deadline is approaching.

Pre-registration for our annual conference closes at midnight on Thursday, Jan. 10. You are still able to attend the conference as a walk-in, but prices go up $10 per day. 
Potluck Party
Catch up with old friends and meet new. Please bring a side dish and beverages to share. We provide a main dish, water and tableware. Party starts at 7pm Friday, January 19.
Beginning Farmer Social
Join your peers after the conference for some FREE dinner and conversation before hitting the road. 
email  steve@practicalfarmers.org  to RSVP
Choose from more than 50 sessions
Profitable Meat
Marketing
In this workshop led by Matt Leroux, an agriculture marketing specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension in New York , you will learn how to build sales projections based on the farm’s income goals and market research, select a target market and develop a simple marketing plan to make your job easier.
Using Finances to Make Farming Decisions
In this workshop, Laura will help you understand how to use your financial statements to make sound business decisions. You’ll find that using these records will aid you in deciding what you want to grow and sell the next year, what parts of your business to expand or scale back on, which farm investments to prioritize and if you are running an overall efficient operation.
Starting a Cover Crop Seed Business
Mac Ehrhardt of Albert Lea Seed will first discuss seed laws and intellectual property considerations, including licensing and plant variety protection. Dean Sponheim will share how he started a “one-stop shop” for cover crop seeding, including paperwork, contracting seed, equipment and logistics.

Get ready for 2019 winter f arminars!
Farminars are our version of a webinar. They feature practical knowledge shared by farmers and experts on a wide range of topics for row crop, livestock and fruit and vegetable growers. Held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. CST , each farminar focuses on a unique production or business management topic. The presentations are free for anyone with an internet connection. Check out the 2019 winter farminar lineup!
PFI EVENTS
Jan. 17-18 :   Pre-Conference Short Courses:  Silvopasture & Orcharding
1 - 6:30 p.m. | Ames, Iowa

Jan 18-19:   Annual Conference:   Cultivating Connections
2:30 - 6:30 p.m. | Ames, Iowa

7 p.m. |  Tune in here

7 p.m. |  Tune in here

Jan. 29: Farminar - Regenerative Grazing Technology
7 p.m. |  Tune in here

Feb 2: Workshop: Chestnut Growers Workshop
9 a.m - 5 p.m. | Madrid, Iowa | Register here

Feb. 5: Farminar - No-Till Vegetable Production
7 p.m. |  Tune in here

10 a.m - 5:30 p.m. | Newton, Iowa | Register here

Feb. 12: Farminar - Ridge-Till Vegetable Production
7 p.m. |  Tune in here
The Farmland Access Bootcamp will provide beginning farmers with a comprehensive overview of land access strategies, tools and resources and help them plan their next steps towards land tenure. Practical Farmers of Iowa can register for the discounted price of $10/person. Register today!
Labor4Learning 
Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort.

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. 

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