Practical News
October 19, 2018
Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Garrin Buttermore, of  Uncle G's Farm, discusses how he and his wife, Kristten, raise pigs on the farm. Garrin and Kristten hosted a beginning farmer potluck social on Oct. 13 that included a farm tour showcasing their outdoor-raised pigs, free-range laying hens and a few cows. The Buttermores started farming in 2016, and are participating in PFI's Savings Incentive Program.
2 - 4 p.m. | Council Bluffs | Potluck - RSVPs suggested

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (daily) | West Branch | Event Full - Join Waiting List

Nov. 8: Field Day - Root and Tuber Crop Production
3 - 5 p.m. | Sioux Center | RSVPs appreciated

Des Moines | Register here

Nov. 30 - Dec. 1: 2018 Beginning Farmer Retreat
Montour | Register Here
A brief glimmer of hope for early corn and soybean harvest in Iowa this year was doused in torrential rains through the end of September and early October. This weather affected corn and soybean quality, and prevented farmers from planting a winter small grain by the optimal seeding date of Oct. 1-10.

Farmers must now weigh the pros and cons of planting late versus substituting another crop altogether. This blog summarizes the yield loss expected from different late-planting dates and management practices to optimize small-grains performance under delayed planting conditions. Read more on the blog.
Veterinarians Kurt Van Hulzen and Trevor Schwartz of  Suidae Health and Production, and veterinary assistant Julie Wheelock, all of Lake City Veterinary Clinic, led a hands-on field day with 34 attendees on Sept. 14. Attendees came to brush up on their animal care skills. The two veterinarians gave an overview of different husbandry practices, including how to dehorn calves, castrate livestock and perform a necropsy (an animal autopsy). Read more on the blog.
Chastity Schonhorst Joins PFI as a Bookkeeper
Chastity will assist with a variety of tasks, including recording cash transactions and bank deposits; providing documentation for invoicing, reconciliations; booking travel for staff and farmers; and assisting in other areas as needed.

Chastity has spent the last five years as the grants manager at a non-profit agency, where she specialized in state and federal grants, reconciliations and oversaw many subcontractors in a variety of programs. She is excited to use her prior knowledge here at PFI. 
We Are Hiring a Habitat and Farm Transfer Coordinator
We are seeking applications for a new, full-time habitat and farm transfer position, based in our Ames office. The deadline to apply is this Sunday, Oct. 21! Key duties include: 

  • working with PFI staff, farmers, landowners and external partners on farmer-led events and research related to on-farm prairie, edge-of-field conservation practices and habitat management
  • creating a network of farmer and landowner leaders in on-farm prairie and habitat

  • building networks with farmland owners

  • organizing regional events to strengthen PFI’s farm transfer program

Upcoming Field Days and Events
Sunday, October 28
2 - 4 p.m. | Council Bluffs, IA
Potluck - bring a side dish to share

Enjoy an autumn break to gather with other beginning farmers at Hidden Hollow Farm . Visit with friends – and make new ones – while sharing this year’s successes and challenges. Heath Hoppes will share more about his farm and his farming vision. Weather depending, he will provide a hay-rack tour to those interested. Pack your lawn chair and join us! Visit the Facebook event for more details.
Thursday, Nov. 1 - Saturday, Nov. 3
West Branch, IA
Event is full - Join the waiting list
R esources will be available afterwards

Over the course of three days, we will dive into grass-fed beef production. We’ll cover cow-calf fattening and finishing windows, grass-finishing genetics, sequencing and managing forage chains, using supplements and stored feeds, and what we’ve learned about pasture-finishing over the last 20 years.

Monday, Nov. 26 - Tuesday, Nov. 27
Des Moines, IA
Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn

Practical Farmers of Iowa is pleased to sponsor this year's Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council annual conference. The two-day event will feature speakers Jim Gerrish, renowned grazing consultant, and Byron Shelton, senior program director of the Savory Institute -- as well as PFI members Paul Ackley, Kellie and A.J. Blair and Joe Sellers.

The event starts with a bus tour of central-Iowa farms that are grazing cover crops, and will include a producer panel, and breakout sessions on grazing, wildlife, conservation and other production topics. Learn more here.
J oin Us for the Beginning Farmer Retreat
Friday, Nov. 30 - Saturday, Dec. 1
Montour, Iowa
Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center

Registration is now open for our 2018 beginning farmer retreat. This year, we will gather at Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center in Montour, Iowa. This annual event brings beginning farmers together to network, plan and discuss ways to improve their farms while helping to build a sense of community among this fast-growing farming demographic. This popular event is beneficial for beginning and aspiring farmers in all enterprises. Register today!
Forget When Your Membership Expires? Just Look on Your Quarterly Magazine Address Label
If you are a Practical Farmers member, you should have received your autumn issue of our quarterly magazine in the mail by now. Take a closer look at the address label, and you'll notice a new feature: Your membership expiration date is now printed at the top of the address label.

We are always looking for ways to make the membership process easier, and hope this addition to your copy of the quarterly magazine will make it easier for you to keep track of your membership status. We will be including a membership expiration date on all of our printer-mailed publications - so you'll be able to see your membership status several times throughout the year. 

Do you have suggestions for how we can simplify the membership process? Email with your feedback.
Michael Rosmann of Harlan wrote a column that was featured in Farm & Livestock Directory - Hybrid Rye: An Alternative Crop Worth Consideration
Have you been featured in the media? Tell us when and where to find a link to the article, and we'll feature you in a future issue of Practical News.