Beginning Farmer News & Updates
Are you looking to advance your farm business all while earning money to purchase a farm asset? Well then you should consider applying for the Savings Incentive Program . We have started to accept applications for the 2018/19 class. Will you be one of the farmers selected? Hurry, applications will be accepted until November 11th. 

The two-year program pairs beginning and aspiring farmers with experienced farmer mentors; provides targeted learning and peer networking opportunities; offers business planning support and guidance; and gives participants the chance to save money while learning how to build a profitable farm. Successful participants receive a one-to-one match on money saved during the program, up to $2,400, for a potential total of $4,800 that may be used to help purchase a farm asset. 

" PFI provides an opportunity for us to engage with a robust network of peers and mentors. Through our participation with PFI programs and events we have developed important relationships that will benefit our farm business for years to come. "
Peter Kerns and Natasha Hegmann, Savings Incentive Program class of 2017

Requirements: As part of the Savings Incentive Program, participants are paired with a mentor, with whom they must meet in-person at least three times in the first year.
Participants also:
  • Open and manage a savings account with Practical Farmers' partner bank
  • Meet at least one time in person with a business plan reviewer
  • Create or fine-tune a business or whole-farm plan
  • Attend at least four Practical Farmers events per year. PFI events include online trainings, field days, conferences, workshops and more
  • Conduct online quarterly reviews with Practical Farmers staff to check on progress toward goals and program requirements
  • Complete all forms and requested information on-time

Eligibility: Applicants must either be farming on their own now and have farmed for five or fewer years; or they must have some experience working for a farm business. This includes, but is not limited to: internships, apprenticeships, working as an hourly or salaried employee, or working on the family farm. Applicants must also be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa, and either reside or farm in Iowa. Those who are not members can join at or by calling (515) 232-5661.

For questions about the Savings Incentive Program or application process, contact Greg Van Den Berghe at or (515) 232-5661.

Applications must be filled out online at before November 11, 2017
Are you a beginning farmer looking for farmland to start or expand your operation? Are you a landowner interested in selling or leasing your land to someone who shares your vision for the future?
Find A Farmer was created by Practical Farmers of Iowa to help maintain family farms and vibrant rural communities by facilitating the transfer of land from one generation to the next.
Cornell Small Farms Program is offering Small Farm Online Courses building the technical and business skills of farmers. Expert farmers and extension educators guide you through the latest research-based information to help improve efficiency and increase profit on small farms. Connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection.

Institutional markets—such as cafeterias in state and local government buildings, schools, universities, prisons, hospitals, or similar organizations--are becoming more interested in buying local food, which provides a new marketing opportunity for a medium to large-scale farm. This tip sheet highlights the advantages, considerations, useful tips, and key questions you should ask yourself when considering institutions as a market for your farm products.
Jumpstart your farm business at the all-in-one beginning farmer conference! Are you dreaming of farming? Already have a couple of Schedule F's under your belt?

New Farmer U will help you learn the latest field and financial aspects of farm business. Plus, ask all your burning questions and network with farmers in a small and supportive setting.

Nov. 10-12
Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, IA
$125 for training, lodging & meals | $25 discount for farm partners
Add Fearless Farm Finances or Food Safety workshop to Friday for just $25!

Scholarships are available!  Apply here  through October 1.
Looking Back at the First Year of Farming With Experienced Eyes  
October 21 | Hancock | hosted by Jayme Fowler

Hand Tools and Implements for Small Vegetable Farms
November 5 |  Iowa City | hosted by Jason Grimm

November 10-12 | Montour | in partnership with MOSES

December 1-2 | Indianola

January 19-20 |  Ames
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 Van Den Berghe
Beginning Farmer Manager
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Beginning Farmer and Program Associate
(515) 232-5661