Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Join the 2021 SIP Class, Applications are Open Today
Getting a start in farming can be difficult, and sometimes you need a little guidance to keep you on track. The Savings Incentive Program (SIP) was created as part of an effort to help beginners establish viable, sustainable farm businesses. The program was structured with input from beginning farmers, and direction from established farmers.
Who is Eligible?
  1. Applicants must either be farming on their own now and have farmed for five or fewer years, or have some experience working for a farm business.
  2. Must reside in Iowa or farm in the state.
  3. Must be a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa.
How do I Apply?

Savings Incentive Program Applications are NOW OPEN for the 2020-2021 class. Submit your application by October 11, 2019.
SIP Application Tips

Application period is open from August 21 - October 11, 2019. A selection committee of experienced PFI members determine those accepted into the program. To build a strong application, consider the following:
  1. If you are not already a Practical Farmers of Iowa member, sign up today!
  2. Get involved in PFI by attending field days, our Beginning Farmer Retreat, the annual conference or one of our many other events. A complete listing of PFI events is included on our calendar.
  3. Start recording your farm’s mission, values, goals and financials for a draft business plan. Submitting a started business plan scores points in the selection process.
  4. Sign up for our Beginning Farmer e-mail updates.
Hosted by: Alfonso Valenzuela Gumucio and Douglas Rooney
September 15 | 5-7 p.m. | Carlisle
Gleann Daire Farm | 14586 Scotch Ridge Road Carlisle, IA 50047
Alfonso and Douglas started Gleann Daire Farm in 2018. They are currently raising laying hens and are building a mobile chicken coop to move the flock out onto the pasture. The newest residents at the farm include 10 Romeldale/CVM sheep and their llama guardians. Future plans include a high tunnel structure for cut flower and vegetable production, as well as 3 acres of vineyards. Join Alfonso and Douglas to hear about their first year establishing a diversified farm.
Pop-up Farminar: Iowa Farm Lease Law
Tuesday, September 3 - 7 p.m.
As of 2017, Iowa had 86,214 farms. Of those, almost 38% were farmed under a cash rent lease, and 5.6% were farmed pursuant to a crop share lease. Given these numbers, it is crucial that Iowa landowners and producers understand the legal implications and requirements of their farmland leases.

Kitt Tovar is the Staff Attorney at the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation.
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 .
On 5 acres you will find established perennial crops and pastures along with a home and outbuildings. You can find more details and contact information on FindAFarmer.net.

As part of their Slow Tools projects, the Stone Barns Center has made available plans for farmers to build their own mobile chicken coop. The coops are built with easily accessible materials and designed to be customizable for each farmer’s particular operation.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California at Davis Soil Resource Laboratory have released version 2.0 of the free SoilWeb app. SoilWeb provides users with information on soil types associated with their location, based on information from the National Cooperative Soil Survey. The new version has a cleaner and more modern interface, as well as detailed digital soil-survey data.

A study published in HortTechnology shared the results of an industry survey of North American specialty cut flower producers. The main perceived production problem was insect management, with crop timing second, and disease management third. The main postharvest problems were temperature management, hydration, and flower-food management. The article provides a guide for how to best address those challenges, using 31 major crop species as a template. 
Do you plan to Apply for SIP?
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Aug. 22: Field Day - Grazing Cover Crops
1-4 p.m. | Frederick, IL

Aug. 22: Play - "Map of My Kingdom"
7 p.m. | Okoboji

Aug, 24: Field Day - Managing an Organic Apple Orchard
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Adel
Sept. 15: Social - Beginning Farmer 5-7 p.m. | Carlisle

Sept. 17: Field Day - Establishing Pollinator Habitat
4-7 p.m. | West Branch

2-4 p.m. | Iowa City
Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort.

Saving 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 and then we match is 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