Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
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.

Natasha Hegmann and Pete Kerns operate Turkey River Farm near Elkport, where they raise pigs, feeder- to- finish on rotational pasture; pastured turkeys; vegetables for their 60-member CSA; and mushrooms for market.

Natasha and Pete are one of the 2021 trainer farmers seeking a farm employee.
We’ve all shared in the past year’s long, strange and challenging journey of isolation, distance and sacrifice, with gatherings postponed, rituals upended and connection confined to screens.

But as winter thaws give way to the warmth of spring – and with it, the dappled green of new growth, the cheerful chatter of birds bustling in trees and hedgerows and the promise of abundance from fields and gardens – our thoughts turn to journeys of a more joyous kind.

We’ve had plenty of time away. Now, it’s time to get out of our homes and catch up with friends and neighbors, farm fellows and family near and far. This year, PFI is planning a series of small, energizing, in-person gatherings on farms across Iowa.

We’re starting the planning now, but the line-up will expand on a rolling basis throughout the summer as more pop-up, local events are organized.

Missed the conference or want to revisit some of the sessions from the virtual annual conference?

All of the session recordings are now online and available to view!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, check the video archive on our website or head to our annual conference page to watch.
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking an outgoing and dedicated professional to join our staff as livestock coordinator.

The livestock coordinator will work closely with many types of farmers, enterprises and systems, including conventional and organic, medium- and small-scale livestock farmers and graziers comprising beef, swine, sheep, goat, poultry and dairy farmers.

En la comunidad latina el interés por la agricultura es fuerte, pero las vías para empezar no son claros. Como entrenador agrícola del Latino Economic Development Center en Minnesota, escuha Rodrigo compartirá su experiencia operando una granja de vegetales orgánicos de 46 acres en Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. Únase con Rodrigo en este seminario mientras él comparte cómo planifica sus temporadas de producción, cómo accedió a la tierra y comercializa sus cultivos con una cooperativa.
Join fellow horticultural farmers on Fridays in March from 4-5 p.m. CST for a series of virtual meet-ups to close out the winter!

These events are FREE and open to all growers. You don’t have to be a PFI member to attend. If you grow annual vegetables, perennial fruits, nuts or cut flowers – or if you direct-market other products (meat, cheese, etc.), and these topics look interesting – please join us!
Attend weekly meet-ups to learn from others and share your spring field crop management expertise. Discussion topics will vary from week to week, but may include: cover crops, small grains, legume cover crops, herbicide or tillage termination, organic cover crops, grazing cover crops, summer silage, nitrogen placement, manure application and how these aspects affect corn or soybean production.
 
Farmers, bring your thoughts and questions; we’ll work together to try to address as many as we can. For those with cows that are calving, wear your headset in the barn and dial in to join us – no need to be in front of the computer!
BEGINNING FARMER RESOURCES
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.
Cornell Small Farms Program has launched a new self-paced online course for On-Farm Poultry Processing, with detailed videos and lessons on food safety and humane techniques for dispatching and processing chickens and turkeys on-farm under the 1000-bird exemption. The course will take 3-4 hrs to complete, and if you pass all of the quizzes, a Certificate of Completion will be automatically issued to you. This certificate may be accepted by your insurer to underwrite your poultry operation, but they cannot guarantee that it will result in coverage. Course pricing is tiered based on household income from $49 - $99. Learn more and register.
Are you a farmer or rancher who would benefit from a conservation mentor? Sand County Foundation is beginning a two-year pilot project to promote conservation outreach by its Leopold Conservation Award recipients to underserved farmers and ranchers. Potential participants in the Land Ethic Mentorship can learn more and sign up for the free program online.
The Organic Growers School’s mission is to provide down-to-earth, practical advice while remaining affordable and accessible. Their new online format offers a unique opportunity to view ALL 33 recorded Track Workshops, 3 Live Keynote sessions, and to interact with all of their speakers in Live Q&A sessions.
Your ticket guarantees access to all conference recordings and materials for 3 months after the event!
Register Now, click here!
Rodale Institute, in partnership with Organic Farmers Association, offers a micro-grant program to support small-scale Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) farmers, whether organic, transitioning to organic, or aspiring to organic. Funding should have the potential to positively impact a farmer's transition to organic, allow them to better market their products, or solve a particular problem that is typically un-fundable through normal operational or lending strategies. Project budgets should be between $500 and $2,000. Applications are due by March 31, 2021.
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service has amended its Solicitation of Applications to offer approximately $76 million in matching funds through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. This USDA program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. The grant program awards up to $250,000 for working capital and $75,000 for planning. Electronic applications must be received by April 29, 2021; paper applications must be postmarked by May 4, 2021.
March 16: Farminar - Pollinators & Climate Change
7-8:30 p.m. | Online

6:30-8 p.m. | Online

March 19: Virtual Hort Meet-Up- Apple Grower Meet-Up
4-5 p.m. | Online

6:30-8 p.m. | Online
March 26: Virtual Hort Meet-Up- Cut-Flower Farmer Meet-Up
4-5 p.m. | Online

6:30-8 p.m. | Online

6:30-8 p.m. | Online
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.
 
Labor4Learning
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.

Looking for more?
Greg Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661
Celize Christy
Next Generation Coordinator
(515) 232-5661