Beginning Farmer News & Updates
The 2017 field day season is well underway. If you have never attended one of these on-farm events, this is your year. Field days are a mainstay of Practical Farmers, bringing farmers and the public together to learn, share knowledge and build a vibrant community of farmers and non-farmers working to strengthen farms and communities throughout Iowa.

At Practical Farmers, we take pride in our big tent that includes farms of all sizes and production practices, as well as many non-farmers who support our work, values and the sense of community that membership brings.  You don’t need to be a member to attend! We welcome and invite anyone to attend and learn from our field days.

Field days aren’t the only way to increase your farming knowledge and network with other farmers.
On July 15 Jack Davis will be hosting a beginning farmer social on his All Trades Farm in Adel. Feeling like a trip to Ohio? Then sign-up for the bus trip to Dave Brandt’s farm to learn about diverse cover crop varieties, crop rotation, seed production, seed cleaning and soil health. August 17 we will host our first ever small grains half-day conference in Ames. These are just a sampling of the great events happening this summer. Check out our calendar to see them all. 

If you didn't get a copy of the field day guide, contact Deb at (515) 232-5661 or email

I hope we will see you at one of these great on-farm events soon. 
SILT Announces Luzum Farm Opportunity
Applications are now open for farmers interested in long-term affordable land access in the vibrant local foods market of Decorah, IA. SILT is offering 70 acres of pasture, small grain and timber land plus a 4-bedroom energy-efficient home and outbuildings for less than $20,000 the first year to the sustainable food farmer who shows the best potential for success. 
June 281:00-2:00pm 
Discover the power of the balance sheet in this live webinar. The Land Connection in collaboration with the Land Stewardship Project, we will walk participants through the various components of a balance sheet, how to interpret each line, and ways that a balance sheet is useful to your farm business.

Food Animal Concerns Trust has published Get Your Farm Funded, a free, 20-page guide that offers tips
and insights to farmers looking for grant funding. The guide, available online in PDF, covers strategies for
finding funding opportunities, discusses how to systematize the writing process to save time, and offers
tips for creating a more successful proposal.

Iowa Women in Agriculture Annual Conference 
August 1, 7:15 am - 4:30 pm
Iowa Women in Agriculture will be hosting thier 11th annual Conference at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The 2017 Conference will deliver a full menu of decision-making ingredients for success in today’s difficult economic climate: the latest outlook for ag trade, marketing strategies for low commodity prices, financial risk management tactics, transition and estate-planning tips, and ideas for generating new income and adding value.
Are you registered to receive the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture questionnaire? If not, you have until late June to sign up.

Responding to the Census benefits your operation, your community, and your future by:
  • Strengthening farm and conservation programs.
  • Improving infrastructure in your area.
  • Helping create beginning farmer programs to protect the future of agriculture.

FIELD DAY: Ridge-Till, Weed Management and Oat Production

June 28  - Minburn - hosted by Craig Fleishman  

FIELD DAY: Two New Grains and Their Uses: Hybrid Rye and Kernza
June 29 New Hampton - hosted by Tom and Irene Frantzen; James Frantzen and Amanda Luna 

July 11 - Ida Grove - hosted by Jack, Linda and Scott Ausborn

Central Iowa Beginning Farmer Social

July 15 - hosted by Jack Davis  

Field Day: Vegetables: Growing Giants for the Fair...and "Regular" Ones, Too
July 15 - Mt Pleasant - hosted by  Marty and Mary Schnicker • Schnicker Specialties

July 19 - hosted by Fred Abels

Dave Brandt Bus Trip

August 3-6 - Carroll, OH

Making Small Grains Work

August 17 - Ames

Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort.

Check out more and see open positions
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. Applications for the next class will open in the fall. 
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.
Contact Us
Greg Van Den Berghe
Beginning Farmer Manager
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Beginning Farmer and Program Associate
(515) 232-5661