Now is the Time to Reflect and Plan for a New Year
When we’ve reached the end of the year we tend to take time to reflect. It’s a time to think about what we’ve done this last year and make plans for the incoming year. Many beginning farmers do just this with their farming operation. When evaluating and planning they tend to ask questions like:
What lessons did I learn?
What things do I want to do again?
What do I not want to do again?
How can I plan to be better and brighter the next season?
Reflecting and planning take time and it’s not always the fun part of farming. Some people need to schedule time away from the farm or home to dedicate to this task. You may find a few Practical Farmers of Iowa events that might be perfect for this planning time.

Each year Practical Farmers holds a Beginning Farmer Retreat to provide a place to focus on business planning and networking with peers. At the end of November, 24 aspiring and beginning farmers gathered at the 11 th annual Beginning Farmer Retreat in Montour, Iowa. Read the event recap to learn more and watch for the save the date on next year’s retreat.
Back in August we had 19 aspiring farmers join the first Next Generation Summit . Here they immersed themselves into setting goals based on their values and farming visions. Throughout the summit they had a chance to meet landowners in attendance who were setting goals towards their land transition. Learn more about what happened on the event recap and plan to attend the next summit coming in 2019.

Everyone finds their own way to reflect and set plans. What helps you be the best at farm planning? Please share your tips and ideas with others, over on our Facebook page. Hear from what other farmers are doing to stay on top of planning, maybe you’ll find a new idea that will work for you.
OPPORTUNITIES 
Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT) will award scholarships up to cover registration fees for livestock and poultry farmers to attend Practical Farmers of Iowa annual conference . Scholarships are awarded on a first come-first served basis, so don’t delay! Check out the full guidelines and complete the short application here .

Land for rent in Story County
Black Cat Acres is down sizing their operations and have approximately 1.7 acres enclosed in a deer fence to rent. It has been organic certified for a couple of years through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship . There is a well close by which has also been included in the organic certification. Additionally there is a 30 x 64 foot high tunnel in the field which could be available. Rent will depend on your needs. Please contact Ken Blackledge at kablackledge@gmail.com if interested.
RESOURCES
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) partnered with the farm business management staff of Western Technical College to create a series of free online webinars designed to help farmers develop the systems and knowledge they need to understand and manage their farms' finances. The Fearless Farm Finances webinars cover subjects ranging from goal-setting and recordkeeping systems to developing statements of income and cash flow for bankers and tax purposes. Watch the videos and complete the companion worksheets at your own pace.
PFI EVENTS
Jan. 17-18 :   Pre-Conference Short Courses:  Silvopasture & Orcharding
1 - 6:30 p.m. | Ames, Iowa

Jan 18-19:   Annual Conference:   Cultivating Connections
2:30 - 6:30 p.m. | Ames, Iowa

Feb 2: Workshop: Chestnut Growers Workshop
9 a.m - 5 p.m. | Madrid, Iowa | Register here
Labor4Learning 
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? Contact us today!
Greg Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Next Generation Coordinator
(515) 232-5661