Beginning Farmer Update: June, 2016
Announcements, Opportunities and Resources

Now that summer is in full swing we can all feel like we are being pulled into multiple directions. The crops are growing, the livestock is grazing and the PFI field days have started. Another thing that you should not forget as you are in the thick of summer's excitement is RECORDKEEPING. With all sorts of activity happening you don't want to lose track of what's happening. Keep things simple, but make sure they are recorded. This might be jotting notes into the notepad nestled in your front shirt pocket or keeping notes in an app on your smart phone (Evernote is my friend). The key is to use whatever process works for you so when you slow down this winter you can review your records and start planning for the next year with solid data in hand.  
As I was digging through some of the farminar archives I stumbled upon some great recordings of some of our farmers and how they do their recordkeeping. Put in your ear buds and give them a listen to inspire your recordkeeping this summer.
Vegetable Production Recordkeeping
Livestock Production Recordkeeping
Vegetable Production Recordkeeping

The latest Field Day Guide is hitting the mail currently. Add these dates to your calendar and enjoy learning what other farmers are doing in your area. If you haven't received yours or you want to  become a member  e-mail Lauren at .
Keep cool and hydrated this summer and we will see you at a field day soon. 

Greg Van Den Berghe
Beginning Farmer Manager

Iowa's Beginning Farmer Loan and Tax Credit Programs
You are invited to attend the Iowa Agricultural Development (IADD) Division Regional Board Meeting. Whether you are wanting to learn more about IADD or you are a seasoned professional, this is a great opportunity to learn about Iowa's beginning farmer programs. A free lunch will be provided.  This regional meeting will be  at the Washington County Extension office on  Wednesday, June 22 at 9:15 a.m. 

Young Farmer Peer Group to Meet June 23
Washington County Extension will host a gathering of young farmers at 5:30 pm on June 23 at the Southeast Iowa Research Farm located east of Crawfordsville, IA. The meeting is a kick-off event for a young farmer peer group.   A light meal will be provided at 5:30 pm followed by presentations on the USDA EQIP program, financial management and needs of young farmers and available resources.  The meeting is open to all young farmers from Southeast Iowa.  There is no charge for the event.

NW Iowa Young Farmer to Gather July 7th
The NW Iowa Beginning Young Livestock Farmer Group has planned another great educational experience at the NW Iowa Research Farm in Sutherland on Thursday, July 7th starting at 2:00 p.m.  This meeting will feature a tour and drone demonstration of the research farm, FINPACK training, and mini educational sessions with ISU Extension and Outreach Specialists Beth Doran, Dave Stender, and Ryan Breuer.

Opportunities Opportunities

Farm for Rent near Cambridge 
52 acre farm with a little straw built house (1050 sq ft), two tractors, a large pole building, septic system, and a well. Most of the land is in prairie and timber. Two creeks, tons of fruit trees, wildlife, berries. It's for rent to the right person. Would consider everything from just living on it while in school vs actually doing some sustainable ag stuff there. Open to suggestions.

Contact Jay Brown at for more information.

Ploughshare Farm is Liquidating
This will be Ploughshare Farm's final year in Alexandria, MN. They  are planning to sell the farm and all the equipment. If anyone is at all interested in the business and farm please contact Gary ASAP. Otherwise, they will start to sell tractors, equipment and supplies as they no longer need them.

Contact Gary Brever at for more information. 

Orchard for sale in Marshalltown 
APPLEBERRY FARM in Marshalltown is available for purchase. This horticulture/agriculture business is on 19.5 acres with many types apples along with numerous vegetable gardens. Sales shop open summer/fall months. Thousands of people come through each year with local and out of town customers along with school and elderly tour groups.  Outbuildings include: 14 x 30 pole barn, 40 x 64 steel building with concrete floor & heated workshop plus a 14 x 64 lean-to.

Contact Bob and Donna Atha at

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SARE Offers Free Online Sustainable Agriculture Courses
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is offering three free, online, self-paced sustainable agriculture courses. These include Sustainable Agriculture Principles and Concept Overview, Strategic Farm/Ranch Planning and Marketing, and a new course on Agricultural Ecosystem Management. This program is open to farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural professionals nationwide.

Webinar: Recordkeeping for Organics
This webinar, produced by Oregon Tilth, helps producers understand what records are required to apply for organic certification. "Sound and Sensible" record-keeping practices that producers can implement to demonstrate organic compliance to inspectors and certifiers will also be covered. May 3 at 2pm

Online FAMACHA Certification
Use of the FAMACHA© system allows small ruminant producers to make deworming decisions based on an estimate of the the level of anemia in sheep and goats associated with barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) infection.

Free Webinars from eOrganic
Learn the latest in organic farming practices and research by attending or watching an eOrganic Webinar. Sign up for upcoming webinars to watch slides, listen to the presenter, and type in questions during the live events. Topics cover organic dairy, livestock, fruits, vegetables and grains.

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