Latest Beginning Farmer News & Updates
We are ready for field day season, are you?

Join beginning farmers Jordan Clasen and Whitney Brewer, of Grade A Gardens in Johnston, on Thursday, May 31, for the first field day of our main 2018 field day season. Jordan and Whitney have 8 acres of certified organic fruits and vegetables - including 2 acres of garlic; 300 egg-laying chickens; and bees. Gourmet garlic production has always been a farm specialty, since Jordan started the operation in 2009. 

He and Whitney will explain what's involved with raising garlic from seed to market, and discuss their broader farm marketing strategy. A meal will follow the field day, this is a great way to meet other beginning and expert farmers in your area. Please RSVP for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661, by Friday, May 25. 

Our 2018 field day guide is still in production. In the meantime, learn about some other early-season events in this late-spring field day flyer.  
May 25, 12 pm.
This webinar will discuss how you can use social media to grow your customer base and market your farm products. Lauren Manning, Partner at Ozark Pasture Beef in Fayetteville, AR, and NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Luke Freeman will provide an overview of the most popular social media platforms for farms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and will discuss strategies for creating content and engaging with customers. The webinar will serve as a good introduction to getting started on social media for your farm and improving your social media skills.

The series starts on May 31 with a workshop at the McNay farm near Chariton,Iowa. Greenhorn Grazing is an introduction to management and rotational grazing practices for producers who want to optimize forage and livestock production, control production costs, and conserve natural resources. Register by May 29 by calling either the Lucas County Extension Office at (641) 774-2016 or Joe Sellers at (641) 203-1270, or email

June 27 - Wayne, NE
June 28 - Aurelia, IA
This day-long workshop is designed to help agricultural producers in the dairy and grain sectors who have been farming for less than 10 years. Producers considering a transition from conventional to organic are encouraged to attend. Several of the day's sessions apply to both conventional and organic producers. Register today and receive a $200 farm and travel expense allowance.
The Harold Darner Charitable Trust is seeking a young married couple to farm 150 tillable acres m/l located in Mahaska and Wapello Counties, Iowa. The trust was set up by Harold Darner in 1998 to give a farmer early in his/her career an opportunity to farm at discounted land and input costs to save capital for future farming expansion. The farm located in Wapello County also includes a three bedroom home recently updated on a 1.5 acre building site with barn and outbuildings. There are also 12 acres m/l fenced and ready to use as pasture. The acreage is included in the contract. All inquiries can be addressed to the Trust’s Land Manager, Mollie Aronowitz, at or (319) 504-8182.

Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is selling 53 acres just 10 minutes from downtown Omaha and Council Bluffs Attend the open house on May 29, 3-5 pm to learn more. RSVP by May 27.

Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is seeking a beginning farmer to lease 63 acres on a long-term, inheritable land lease and option to purchase buildings. Learn more by attending their SILT Showcase on June 8, 1-4 pm. RSVP by June 6. (This event geared toward landowners but information for prospective farmers will be available.) RSVP by June 6.

Land Available for Rent near Cambridge
Seven acres of organic certifiable land will be available for lease near Cambridge, previously in vegetable production. Adjacent to this plot is twenty acres of pasture that could be available, up to roughly 30 acres could be available for appropriate use.. This pasture is chemical-free and has a barn that could be leased. For more information contact Andy Boettger at or (515) 290-7888.

Floyd County farmstead - 22.73 acres includes productive, tillable farmland, pasture/hay land, a good set of outbuildings and an excellent home. Outbuildings include storage and livestock buildings, a heated machine shop, livestock barns (80' x 24' and 96' x 24") with concrete feedlot and two Morton buildings (72' x 60' and 42' x 54'). The farmstead's ranch-style home offers a double attached garage, finished breezeway, 1,576 sq ft of main level living space plus finished basement living space. Check out the realty listing for more details.
Get Paid on-Farm Experience With Labor4Learning
Are you looking for paid, on-farm work and additional training on how to run a farm business? PFI's Labor4Learning program has positions open for the 2018 season with experienced PFI farmers around the state. 

Labor4Learning Trainer Spotlight

Scott Shriver (pictured at right) is seeking a trainee for his farm near Jefferson this season, saying: "I would enjoy working with and helping a person who has similar interests in organic farming. It will be a chance to help grow the ranks of organic farmers. I have trained numerous employees over the years and always believe in explaining why we do things, not just how we do things." 

Scott has 2,000 acres of certified organic crop production, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, field peas and alfalfa. He uses modern equipment and cutting-edge organic farming practices. 

See the details for Scott's job opening - as well as a dozen others - on our Labor4Learning webpage.

(Note: Scott Shriver will also host a PFI field day on Aug. 7 exploring weed control in organic systems. Stay tuned for details!) 
11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Johnston | Hosted by Jordan Clasen and Whitney Brewer 

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Weldon | Hosted by Arlyn and Sue Kauffman

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

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 Padget
Next Generation Director
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Next Generation Coordinator
(515) 232-5661