We are less than a week away from our 2019 annual conference, "Cultivating Connections." We're looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Whether it's grazing cover crops or cultivating community, the annual conference has something for everyone. Hear what PFI members Bill Frederick and Chris Deal of Jefferson like to dive into when they attend the conference.

Pre-registration for the conference has closed, but walk-in registrations are welcome!
7 p.m. |  Tune in here

Jan. 17-18: Pre-Conference Short Course: Silvopasture
Jan. 17, 1-6:30 p.m. | Jan. 18, 8-11:30 a.m.

Jan. 17-18: Pre-Conference Short Course: Commercial Apple Orcharding
Jan. 17, 1-6:30 p.m. | Jan. 18, 8-11:30 a.m.

Jan 18-19: Annual Conference: Cultivating Connections
Jan. 18, 12:30-6:30 p.m. | Jan. 19, 7:30 a.m. - 5:10 p.m.

7 p.m. |  Tune in here

Jan. 29: Farminar - Regenerative Grazing Technology
7 p.m. |  Tune in here

Feb. 2: Workshop - Chestnut Growers Workshop
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. | RSVP here

5:30-8 p.m. | Ames

9:30-11:30 a.m. | Waverly

Feb. 6: Meeting - Grazing Cover Crops for Profit
6:30-8:30 p.m. | Waverly

Feb 9: Workshop - Farmland Access Bootcamp
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Newton
Between 2014 and 2018, the Wallace Center’s Pasture Project initiative worked in partnership with  Practical Farmers of Iowa Sustainable Farming Association  and  Land Stewardship Project  to assess and promote the economic and soil health benefits of grazing diverse cover crops with cattle under adaptive, high-stock-density management.

The project worked with eight farms in Minnesota and Iowa -- including two PFI member farms -- to gather data, offer field days, and create farmer-focused resources on grazing cover crops. Read more about the research here
How can farmers reduce the amount of grain fed to their pigs? John Arbuckle conducted on-farm trials in northern Missouri that he hopes will show farmers the potential of reducing grain rations and grazing pigs on forage. During his trials, he fed pastured pigs different grain-rationed diets to evaluate their costs and benefits, and will share his findings in this farminar. Tune in Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.!
On Jan. 22, join us for "Electric Fence and Stock Water Systems for Permanent or Temporary Pasture” presented by Galen Gerrish. Read the full description here.
On Jan. 29, join us for "Regenerative Grazing Technology" presented by Erin Kiley and Andy Welch. Read the full description here.
In this full-day workshop, learn from a number of experts about all aspects of chestnut production and marketing. Topics will include site selection, planting and tree management, varietal recommendations, grafted versus seedling trees, harvesting and curing, marketing, and financial resources.

Cost to attend is $10 for PFI members and $60 for non-members.
Join us Monday, Feb. 4, at Gateway Hotel in Ames (2100 Green Hills Drive).

  • Reception begins at 5:30 p.m.
  • Dinner and program from 6-8 p.m.

Kirk Leeds , CEO of Iowa Soybean Association, will share insights on soybean exports and tariffs.

Ray Gaesser , farmer in southwest Iowa, will share his playbook for how he plants and manages 2,600 acres of cover crops.

Learn about changes to the supply chain cover crop support program for 2019. Bring a neighbor or invite another farmer to attend and learn more.

RSVP below, or register by emailing debra@practicalfarmers.org  or calling the PFI office at (515) 232-5661.
Cover crops have value as livestock feed – but how much value? On-farm research shows that cover crops offset winter feed and put money back into farmers’ pockets the same year of planting.

Hear from Mark Schleisman, Lake City cattle and crop farmer, and Meghan Filbert, PFI’s livestock program manager, on how to manage cover crops for grazing and maximize profits.

This is a public event. There is no need to RSVP.
Please join us for good food, camaraderie and an evening of celebration after the keynote address on Friday! Catch up with old friends and make new ones; continue good conversations and networking; and visit with some of the conference speakers. 

Please bring a side dish and beverages to share.  Practical Farmers will provide a main dish, water and tableware. You may drop off food at Scheman when you arrive for the conference, and we will transport it for you.

Questions?  Please contact Debra Boekholder at (515) 232-5661 or  debra@practicalfarmers.org.
Parking information for Saturday of annual conference
On Saturday, Jan. 19, Iowa State University will host two basketball games at Hilton Coliseum at noon and 5 p.m. But don't worry, there is plenty of parking for all! Use the designated areas on this map.

Parking staff will be on hand to direct you, and a PFI shuttle will be available to bring you from the southern parking lots (A3, A4, B5, B6) to the Scheman building. Shuttles will run during the following times:

  • 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
  • 11:15 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • 5 - 5:30 p.m.

Handicap parking will be available in lots B-1 and F. Look for the PFI field day signs to direct you.
Steve Berger of Daytonville and Sarah Carlson of Pleasant Hill were featured in the Christian Science Monitor: Millet anyone? Facing soil crisis, US farmers look beyond corn and soybeans.

Mark Peterson of Stanton was featured on KWBG radio, speaking about Practical Farmers' 2019 annual conference.
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.