Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Applications are now OPEN for the SIP class of 2022! 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.
This year we have changed the eligibility requirements.

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.
Aug 27 | 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Take a quick break from farm work throughout the summer to virtually gather and socialize with other beginning and aspiring farmers.

Katrina (Katie) Pille, the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinator for the state of Iowa will be hosting this week's call! She will break down the eligibility of farm bill programs for beginning farmers, emergency haying CRP, and other hot topics. 

Check out these resources for beginning farmers
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 Greg Padget at greg@practicalfarmers.org.

Governor Reynolds allocated federal CARES Act Funds to assist Iowa farmers, producers and biofuel producers impacted by COVID-19. The Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund and the Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund will provide short-term relief to eligible Iowa farmers. The Iowa Biofuels Relief Program provides relief funding to eligible biofuel producers located in Iowa. Learn more and apply here.

PFI is partnering with Farm Aid and the Iowa Farmers Union to provide one-time $500 emergency relief payment to farm families. Awards are intended as emergency relief for farmers and their families. Use of the funds is restricted to household expenses, such as groceries, home utilities, medical bills, counseling, or other household expenses not directly related to the commercial operation of the farm or ranch. Learn more and apply here.

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) has recently updated its library of archived webinars related to agroforestry practices and related issues, including webinars presented by NAC staff. The expanded library now contains more than 160 archived webinars and can be filtered by agroforestry practice or by year. Additionally, NAC’s index of SARE grants related to agroforestry has also been updated to include reports on 15 new projects related to alley cropping, forest farming, windbreaks, and silvopasture.

During this four-part online series participants will begin to think through small scale farming as a business (rather than a hobby), learn what it takes to start and manage a farm business and decide whether that is something they want to pursue. Through a weekly online zoom meeting, peer support and self-study participants will finish the series being to answer whether farming is for them, and move onto working through a business plan. The cost to attend this workshop is $50/farm or family (2 registrations included). This includes a padfolio and a workbook to walk through the four-part decision making phase. Pre-registration is required. Veterans engaged in agriculture can attend for free.

Energy is not always the first thing a new farmer or rancher thinks about when getting started, but it is a critical component of any successful farm. To help get folks off on the right foot, USDA has sponsored the development of a new series of extension materials designed specifically with new farmers in mind. These videos utilize farm energy experts from university extension programs across the country to answer hot-topic energy questions
Upcoming PFI Events
Aug. 27: Virtual Meet-Up - Beginning Farmer
6:30-7:30 p.m. | Online

Aug. 29: Virtual Field Day - Edge-of-Field Conservation
5-5:30 p.m. | Online

Sept. 4: Shared Learning Call - Small-Grain Crop Insurance
12:15-1:15 p.m. | Online
Sept. 5: Virtual Field Day - The Art of Grass-Finishing Cattle
2:15-3:15 p.m. | Online

Sept 11: Virtual Field Day - Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day (1/3)
12:30-1:10 p.m. | Online

Sept. 16: Virtual Field Day: Harvesting Fruit and Nut Crops
12:30 – 1:05 p.m. | Online
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.

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