Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
As vaccination rates climb and COVID-19 cases have fallen, we have worked with farmers to build this additional line-up of field days.

These field days do not require pre-registration or RSVPs, and there are no caps on attendance – but some event hosts have requested RSVPs to help with meal planning, and all events have an option to RSVP if you want to let us know you’ll be attending.

The field days listed on this page are in addition to our two on-going summer events series, "Catching Up" and "Live From the Farm"
The next generation coordinator will be pivotal to using the resources and network of PFI to support aspiring and beginning farmers of color.

Our members have indicated their top priority is getting beginning farmers on the land so Iowa farms will continue generation after generation, providing healthful food, profits to families, healthy ecosystems and vibrant communities.

As we expand this work, supporting farmers of color in their efforts to get started farming will be a central part of our focus as we seek to amplify our efforts to create inclusive and equitable farming opportunities.

Thinking about ways to reduce tillage in your vegetable operation? Have you heard about “no-till” or “low-till” methods and are curious to see them in action? Join fellow low-till (and low-till-curious) growers for this summer web series!

Presented in four sessions over four weeks, this series includes virtual tours, demonstrations and presentations from researchers and farmers in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Learn what they do (and don’t do anymore!), how they do it and how they are increasing their implementation of reduced-tillage practices at their vegetable farms.
Week 1: Reduced-Tillage Research at the University of Wisconsin 
Wednesday, Aug. 4 | 6-7 p.m.
Presenters: Rue Genger & Claire Strader
Week 2: Cover Crop-Based Reduced-Tillage Practices in Wisconsin 
Tuesday, Aug. 10 | 6-7 p.m.
Presenter: Dylan Bruce

Week 3: Mulch-Based No-Till Practices 
Thursday, Aug. 19 | 4-5 p.m.
Presenters: Mark Quee & Jon Yagla

Week 4: Reduced-Tillage Practices at Humble Hands Harvest and Middle Way Farm
Thursday, Aug. 26 | 6-7 p.m.
Presenters: Hannah Breckbill, Emily Fagan & Jordan Scheibel
In this "Live From the Farm," Ortrude Dial shared what it was like getting started as a woman with no prior farming background.

We saw how she uses rotationally grazed sheep to improve soil health and production. She also discussed pasture management, water access and sheep breeds.
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.
Barn2Door surveyed and analyzed data gathered from the Top 100 Farm websites based on sales volume to assemble the insights and best practices outlined in this ebook. Whether your farm has an existing website or is considering building one from scratch, this ebook aims to provide you with the insights needed to help your farm implement the tactics employed by many of the top farmers in the country.
Exploring Agritourism for Your Farm | August 3, 10, 17, and 27
If you are interested in inviting the public to the farm to purchase farm products, participate in educational activities, enjoy farm fun or other agritourism opportunities, this workshop is for you. This free online workshop in four two-hour sessions will help farmers understand what it takes to evaluate, develop, and market an agritourism operation.
Funding Opportunities

Iowa Pollinators, LLC is a local investment Club that offers low-interest loans to local food producers and businesses so they may expand their operations. How it works for borrowers: Loan candidates operate in Johnson and contiguous counties. Loans range from $5,000 to $20,000 and are repaid with a 3% interest, over a 3 to 5-year period.

Visit their website at www.iowapollinators.com to review the founding principles of Slow Money, learn more about the organization and find the application documents.
The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition for startups addressing challenges facing America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. The competition aims to identify the top entrepreneurs who are addressing challenges farmers face on their operation.

The Farm Bureau will award $165,000 in startup funds to ten businesses for their pitches. > Learn more and apply by August 20.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) offers scholarships of up to $400 for livestock and poultry farmers to attend conferences, workshops and training events - including virtual events. If you have an event in mind, propose it on your application.

Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to eligible farmers until funding is depleted. > Learn more and apply online
Heritage Livestock Microgrants | The Livestock Conservancy
Applications for $500 to $2,000 grants may be submitted no later than Sunday, August. 15th for one of three categories:
  • National Microgrants
  • Youth Microgrants 
  • Emergency Microgrants

Tuesday, July 20 | 6-6:45 p.m. 
Having the right equipment and systems to get your vegetable crops started, planted, ahead of the weeds and cleaned up for customers makes the job more enjoyable from start to finish.
During this event, T.D. will demo a few of his favorite and newest tools and equipment, and how he came to find his best uses for each of them for a variety of crops (and eggs!).
Friday, July 23 | 3-5 p.m. 

Nathan and Emily Paulsen combine a spirit of innovation, passion for local food and pride in their Danish heritage and Iowa roots. . For this field day, we will tour their farm to see how their livestock and horticulture systems interact.
Manure and garden waste contribute to compost that is eventually formed into production beds (using a bed shaper of Nathan’s own creation!) that are interplanted with vegetables to maximize productivity and keep living roots in the soil as often as possible. This event will highlight the rhythm of these on-farm processes for a family that values their land and community.
RSVPs are required for all "Catching Up" events to ensure we maintain the small, conversational environment these events are designed for.

Anyone is welcome to RSVP for a "Catching Up" event! To learn more about a specific event or to RSVP, email the PFI staffer indicated, or call the PFI office at (515) 232-5661.
Infrastructure, Equipment and Regulations for Wine Making and Alcohol Sales
Wednesday, July 28 | 3-5 p.m.
Host: Preston & Amber Gable, Backcountry Winery
Equipment and Infrastructure for High Density Apple Production
Thursday, July 29 | 2-4 p.m.
Host: Mike Malik, Long Lane Orchard

Investigating Reduced-Till Vegetable Production at Middle Way Farm
Friday, July 30 | 3-5 p.m.
Host: Jordan Scheibel, Middle Way Farm
July 27: Live From the Farm - Small-Grain Harvest
6:30-7:15 p.m. | Online

Aug 1: Field Day - Benefits of Companion Planting
10 a.m. - noon | Iowa City, IA

Aug. 3: Live From the Farm - Expanding Agrotourism
5:30-6:15 p.m. | Online
4-6 p.m. | Latimer, IA

Aug 7: Field Day - Silvopasture by Subtraction
10 a.m.-noon | Spring Grove, MN

Aug. 10: Live From the Farm - Packhouse Set-Up
11:30 a.m.-12:15 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