Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Watch the recording of Tuesday's debut episode of "Live From the Farm" on YouTube and our website. Jake Kundert and Sarah Nizzi discussed the decisions Jake and his colleagues have made on the Grow: Johnson County farm to benefit native beneficial insects and other wildlife.

Don't miss the next one! We're going live most Tuesdays this summer. Subscribe to our YouTube channel or sign up to receive email reminders a day prior to each event with a link to watch.
We launched our new Spanish email newsletter, "Sembrando Resiliencia" last week! Sembrando Resiliencia, es nuestro nuevo boletín electrónico en español.

Once every other month – una vez cada dos meses – we will keep you informed and updated on all things PFI, plus other farming related information, pero en español!

¿Quieres estar conectado con Agricultores Prácticos de Iowa (PFI) y otros recursos agrícolas?

¡No te pierdas nuestro próximo boletín! Don’t miss out on our next newsletter!
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.
Martha McFarland operates Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch in Fredericksburg on 250 acres of pasture and timber where bison and cattle graze. Martha is eager to hire a ranch assistant who is motivated to learn about grazing, fencing systems, bison and cattle management..

"I am passionate about mentoring beginning farmers. I am excited to share opportunities and can offer on-farm experience in fencing, agritourism, grazing, bison and cattle management and laying water lines." - Martha McFarland
June 15 | 2-2:45 p.m.

Tom Frantzen has used many styles of pasture farrowing huts over the years, and he keeps experimenting. Last winter, Tom built a new style of farrowing hut that combines all the best elements from huts of his past, dubbing it the “practical farrowing box.”

In this virtual tour, Tom will describe the process of building the box, the materials required and the cost, and we’ll see a completed box from all angles. As a bonus, viewers will also get to see sows on pasture. Building blueprints and a materials list will accompany this virtual experience.
This year, we’ve planned a series called “Catching Up,” an ever-growing line-up of small, energizing, in-person gatherings on farms across Iowa. To keep our farmers, staff and attendees safe, each “Catching Up” event is limited to 15 attendees.

How does it work?
  • To get on the invitation list for “Catching Up” events, register here.
  • When we have an event that suits your interests and location, we’ll get in touch via email or phone. You might not hear from us right away, but you will receive an invitation at least two weeks ahead of the event.
  • “Catching Up” events are two hours long, and because of their limited attendance, will be more conversation-based than large field days can accommodate. Come ready to engage!
With our new strategic plan for 2021-2023, we have a detailed map for building on our strengths and exploring new areas of growth. This month, we’re asking you to help us raise $30,000 to invest in our bold plans working toward an Iowa with resilient farms, healthy food and vibrant communities.

Part of our practical vision in this plan includes:

  • Many voices driving Iowa’s agriculture narrative
  • Effective leaders creating positive change for our food and farming systems
  • Robust markets for a diversity of farm products
  • A diverse and inclusive PFI network

We have a long way to go to fully reach our vision, but we have a strong roadmap in our new strategic plan to get us there. Please make a donation today to help us take bold action for Iowa’s future.
The communications manager will join a dynamic team that together manages an impressive portfolio of work including several major print and digital publications; content for videos, blogs and more; graphic design and branding services; an extensive photo and video archive; robust media relations and farmer outreach work; and more.

This position is a unique opportunity for someone with strong management, writing and critical thinking skills who thrives in a fast-paced and mission-driven work environment and wants to be part of an organization where staff support one another and are dedicated to building resilient farms and communities, and an equitable food and farming system in Iowa.

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.
The Census of Agriculture is taken once every five years to count U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land count if $1,000 of farm products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year. If you did not receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire and should have, or if you are operating a new farm, sign up to be included in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. Learn more.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is committed to promoting a more equitable farming system, one that includes everyone. To understand how we can better serve livestock producers who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), we are conducting a brief survey. The survey deadline is June 18. We estimate that it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete it. Please share this survey link with anyone in your network who might be interested in participating.
How do you know whether you’re in a good position to buy your first farm or whether you’d be better off leasing a little longer? Paul Dietmann of Compeer Financial will be introducing you to the basic tools of farm business finance – your balance sheet, cash flow analysis, and business plan. He’ll also share the financial pros and cons of buying vs. leasing so you have a good general framework for making your decision. You’ll learn, too, about different farm purchase mortgage options, like FSA loans, and their advantages and disadvantages. Workshop is free, register here
The 2021 North American Agroforestry Conference, “Scaling Up Agroforestry for Carbon Drawdown,” will bring together farmers, landowners, researchers, climate scientists, investors, philanthropists, policymakers, and global leaders on climate change, carbon drawdown, and agroforestry. Learn more and register
What do banks look for in providing loans and other services? Patrick Mulherin, Vice President and Business Banking Senior Relationship Manager Agribusiness Specialist at M&T Bank will be with us to explain what makes someone "bankable". Workshop is free, register here.
The Heritage Livestock Microgrant Program is now open and accepting applications. Applications for the National Microgrant and Youth Microgants are due by August 15, 2021. Review considerations for eligibility and the application here
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! 
In this episode, Maura Henn, a community food system specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Western Regional Office in Butte, Montana, talks with representatives of the Oregon Farmers Market Association (OFMA). The discussion centers on OFMA’s beginning vendor support network and the ways OFMA aids beginning vendors. Listen here.
The webinar series (each Tuesday in May and June, 2021) will cover several topics for farms open to visitors through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Webinars occur every Tuesday, at varying times, during May and June, 2021. The next webinars will be June 15th at 1:00pm on “Farm Tours and Overnight Stays.” Register here for the individual webinars.
Bloomberg Businessweek notes that the market for premium eggs is growing. Consumers have demonstrated willingness to pay considerably more for organic eggs and free-range eggs. Now, some companies are seeking to market premium eggs based on use of regenerative agriculture on the farms where the eggs were produced.  
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) launched a new web page that compiles resources available to Spanish speakers seeking information about organic certification. The resource repository includes Spanish translations of the Organic Foods Production Act, organic regulations, the NOP Handbook, and a variety of other fact sheets, videos, and training resources. Learn more.
USDA reopened the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) and announced the Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP) program, which will distribute pandemic assistance and resources to farmers impacted by COVID-19 disruptions. USDA will issue automatic payments under CFAP 2 of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops. Learn more and apply.
The Center for Rural Affairs announced that Nebraska and Iowa lawmakers unanimously approved bills to assist small meat processors and livestock producers as they work to clear obstacles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Nebraska Legislative Bill 324 and Iowa House File 857 received final-round approval, and each awaits the governor's signature.
June 15: Live From the Farm - "Practical Farrowing Box"
2-2:45 p.m. | Online

June 22: Live From the Farm - Extended Rotations With Red Clover
2-2:45 p.m. | Online
June 29: Live From the Butcher - Clarion Locker Tour
9-9:45 a.m. | Online

July 13: Live From the Farm- Sheep Production
5:30-6:15 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 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