Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Are you looking to get paid, on-the-job training with experienced farmers in Iowa?

Curious about raising cattle or bison on a pasture-based system? 
Apply to train at Sullivan Farm in Woodbine or Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch in Fredricksburg!

Wondering about what it takes to run an orchard? 
Join the team at Buffalo Ridge Orchard or Red Fern Farm to find out!

Want to get experience with a diverse farming operation? 
Check out the positions available at farms like Turkey River Farm and Bridgewater Farm.

Does fruit and vegetable production fit in your future farm plans? 
Choose from a handful of on-farm jobs across the state.

The Labor4Learning program is designed for beginning and aspiring farmers seeking employment and additional training in farm management and production skills. Don't miss out on this opportunity to expand your on-farm experience and build your farmer network while earning an income.
"Labor4Learning is a great program allowing us to find candidates that are really interested in the work that we do. The Labor4Learning program really helps me relax and spend time providing a learning experience with the trainee." - Mike Salama

Mike Salama owns and operates Salama Greenhouse in Boone, where he grows ornamentals, bedding plants, cut flowers, potted annuals, perennials, hydroponic tomatoes, basil and winter greens. 
As we start to see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, Practical Farmers is planning a series of small, energizing, in-person "Catching Up" gatherings on farms across Iowa this summer.

The line-up will expand on a rolling basis throughout the summer as more pop-up, local events are organized.

To keep these gatherings small (and safe, with COVID-19 still around!) – and to help connect people to the events and topics they’re most interested in – attendance is by invitation only.

Make sure you are on the invitation list by completing the form below. This will help us plan and connect people with the events they're most interested in. We've created a form where you can let us know your topic interests and availability.

Click below to access that form, and to read more about how our Catching Up event series will work.
Cooperators Kate Edwards, Bonnie Riggan, Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan wanted to determine which spinach variety (Bloomsdale, Kolibri or Space) grew the best on their farms.

Cooperators looked for the variety with the highest yield, least bolting, a good flavor and most loft or fill in the bag.

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.
Veterans in Agriculture, Iowa State University Extension, and Iowa Microloan will develop and offer integrated resources for apprenticeships including on-the-job training and required technical instruction, mentorship, and facilitated workshops. This grant allows for a broad range of multi-faceted learning opportunities, so each veteran can choose from career pathways in: local food production, commercial agriculture, and food systems industry. 

As part of the program development, grant partners are holding listening sessions in April for the following audiences:
  • Interested in becoming an apprentice? (Veterans and Beginning Farmers): Thursday, April 22, 1 to 2 p.m. Program overview and registered apprenticeship opportunities. Register here.
  • Interested in becoming a mentor farm? (Farmers and Food Businesses): Monday, April 19, 1 to 2 p.m. Program overview and mentorship opportunities. Register here.
  • Community College Representatives (connecting veterans to apprenticeships): Monday, April 19, 9 to 10 a.m. Program and apprenticeship overview. Register here.
Lincoln University is implementing an educational approach to enhance the Community Capacity Agribusiness Plan to Operate Farms and Ranches. Please be aware of this educational program and share it with those Latino farmers in your network who can potentially benefit from this opportunity to enhance skills and knowledge to implement a Community Capacity Agribusiness Plan to Operate (CCAPO) small farms and Ranches. Register to participate with this link.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on both livestock producers and processors, neither of whom could keep up with the demand for local meat. As a result, we worked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Livestock Program Work Team to offer a series of webinars to address some of the most common questions we were hearing from farmers and others. Recordings of the webinars are now available, covering the topics of starting a red meat slaughterhouse, alternate processing solutions, and meat cutting in a commercial kitchen. Learn more.
This new self-paced online course for On-Farm Poultry Processing includes detailed videos and lessons on food safety and humane techniques for dispatching and processing chickens and turkeys on-farm under the 1000-bird exemption. If you pass all of the quizzes, a Certificate of Completion will be automatically issued to you which may be accepted by your insurer to underwrite your poultry operation. Learn more and register.
Adaptive Grazing & Silvopasture Webinar | April 21 9-10:30 a.m
Dr. Sue Wika and Dr. Tom Prieve of Paradox Farm will be presenting this webinar on an overview of Adaptive Grazing Management and a look into its application to Silvopasture. The webinar is made possible by a grant from NCR-SARE's Professional Development Program. REGISTER.
U of MN Ext Goat Marketing Webinar | April 29 6:30 p.m.
The University of Minnesota Extension will host a goat marketing webinar on Thursday April 29th starting at 6:30pm CT. Dr. Frank Pinkerton is a world-renowned goat expert who will provide guidance and life lessons focusing on the marketing of meat-type goats. Pre-registration is required. Register online. The Zoom link will be emailed to you immediately after you register. If you are unable to attend the live session, you will receive the recording via email. Any questions please contact: Brenda Miller at nels4220@umn.edu.
Funding Opportunities

USDA Farm Service Agency announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Applications are due by May 5, 2021.
Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. released a free, online publication, Farmers' Guide to the 2021 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Guide explains important recent changes to PPP that affect farmers. The deadline to sign up for PPP is now May 31, 2021, so it is not too late to apply.
We have no upcoming events at this time. Be sure to check out the recorded farminars from this winter and recordings from the 2021 virtual annual conference.
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