Applications are now OPEN for the SIP class of 2023! Getting a start in farming can be difficult, and sometimes you need a little guidance to keep you on track. The Savings Incentive Program was created to help beginners establish viable, sustainable farm businesses. The program was structured with input from beginning farmers and direction from established farmers.
What will you get over the next two years?
Business Planning
Receive guidance with creating your own business plan
Network Building
Connect to a network of peers and mentors
Capital Investing
Savings investments will be matched up to $2,400
To be eligible, applicants must:
  1. Applicants must either be farming on their own now and have farmed for seven or fewer years, or have experience working for a farm business.
  2. Must reside in Iowa or farm in the state of Iowa or bordering counties in adjoining states.
  3. Must be a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 12.
Practical Farmers and Farm Commons are teaming up to offer a legal workshop just for farmers and ranchers starting Oct. 19.

Because of our partnership with Farm Commons, we are able to offer the workshop at a discounted rate of $49, which includes a one-year membership and access to Farm Commons’ guides, webinars, resource library and more!

Oct. 19: Farm Law as Your Creative Power
Oct. 26: Organize Your Farm Business for Legal Success
Nov. 2: Growing a Legally Resilient Workforce
Nov. 9: Access Farmland with Legal Confidence
Nov. 16: Diversify Farm Enterprises Without Adding Legal Risk

¿Tienes una visión para comenzar una granja o un jardín?

El taller le ayudará a tomar su visión y a cultivar un camino para convertir las metas de su granja o jardín en una realidad. Las cuatro sesiones del taller serán gratis y alojado virtualmente por Zoom.

Sesión 1: Propósito 
Jueves, 7 de Octubre | 6-7:30 pm 

Sesión 2: Personas 
Jueves, 14 de Octubre | 6-7:30 pm 

Sesión 3: Planificación 
Jueves, 21 de Octubre | 6-7:30 pm 

 Sesión 4: Producto 
Jueves, 28 de Octubre | 6-7:30 pm 
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
Check out these resources for beginning farmers
New Farmer U | MOSES & Renewing the Countryside
New Farmer U covers farm financial and business management for intermediate beginning farmers—3-6 years of farming experience—or anyone who is ready to plan for future success. New Farmer U will take place on Oct. 29th and 30th at Camp One Heartland in Willow River, Minnesota. The $50.00 registration fee covers workshops, meals, and lodging. Language interpretation and scholarships are available.
Models of Native Cooperative Ownership Series | Center for Rural Affairs 
Join this online series to learn about farming and art-based Native American-owned cooperatives from around the country. Co-ops will present their businesses, aiming to inspire other individuals to start their own co-ops or quasi-cooperatives. Workshops will be hosted online from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the following dates.
Sept. 23: Fond du Lac Farming Cooperative
Sept. 28: Soul Fire Farms
Sept. 30: San Xavier Farms
Beginning Farmer Online Courses | Cornell Small Farms Program
Are you looking to improve your technical or business skills to benefit your farming operation? Consider joining one of our more than two dozen online courses during live instruction this upcoming online course season.
The 3D series is a multilingual and multidimensional workshop series designed to center B.I.P.O.C. (Black, Indigenous, &/or People or Color), to deepen skills in specific farming and homesteading practices in a culturally relevant, supportive, and joyful environment. In the next 3D workshop, on Thursday, September 23, at 2 p.m., explore soil, soil health, and how building soil health relates to soil carbon sequestration. > Learn more and register.
FACT will offer a new financial training program for livestock and poultry farmers to help their farm businesses thrive. In partnership with the Food Finance Institute, we will provide three levels of programming: free webinars (see below!), subscriptions for on-demand online courses, and a virtual 4-day boot camp intensive workshop.
The Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)’s new report, Financial Benchmarks for Direct-Market Vegetable Farms, offers the most comprehensive review of direct-market vegetable farm businesses to date, sharing detailed financial benchmarks from 39 farms collected over three years.
Funding Opportunities
USDA is investing up to $50 million to support historically underserved farmers and ranchers with climate-smart agriculture and forestry. Racial Justice and Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements are available to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veterans. Applications must be received by October 25, 2021.
FACT will award scholarships of up to $400 for livestock and poultry farmers to attend educational events - including virtual events - to learn knowledge, skills and best practices related to humane animal management, business and farm finance, and/or value-added production processes.
Organic producers and handlers can now apply for funds to assist with the cost of receiving or maintaining organic certification. This program provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program.
Farmer Rancher Grant | North Central SARE
North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals is now open. Farmer Rancher grants are for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers and are offered as individual grants ($15,000 maximum) or team grants for two or more farmers/ranchers who are working together ($30,000 maximum). NCR-SARE expects to fund about 40 projects in the twelve-state North Central Region with this call. Proposals are due on December 2, 2021, at 4 p.m. CST.
Join Practical Farmers of Iowa for free outdoor screenings and panel discussions of “Livestock on the Land,” our feature-length documentary that tells the story of regenerative grazing and its promise for the Iowa landscape.
Following the film, the audience can ask questions and hear from a panel of farmers featured in the film.
Screening dates and locations:

  • Sept. 25 – Des Moines – Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park (2251 George Flagg Parkway)
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.
Going to Town: Opening a Local Foods Store for the Farm
Friday, September 24 | 2-4 p.m.
Host: Danelle Myer, One Farm & One Farm Market | Harrison County

Organic Cropping Systems: Rotations with Small Grains, Weed Management
Wednesday, September 29 | 10 a.m. – noon
Hosts: Daniel and David Rosmann | Shelby County
Winter Greens Production in Heated High Tunnels
Friday, November 12 | 1-3 p.m.
Host: Lee Matteson, Lee’s Greens | Story County
4-6 pm | Milo, IA

Sept. 25: Livestock on the Land Film Screening- Des Moines Water Works Park
7:30 pm | Des Moines, IA
4-7 pm | Clarion, IA

Oct. 7: Explorando la Agricultura- Sesión 1: Propósito
6-7:30 pm | Online
Looking for more?
Greg Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661
Celize Christy
Next Generation Coordinator
(515) 232-5661