Beginning Farmer News & Updates
Beginning Farmer Retreat - December 1-2
The  2017 Beginning Farmer Retreat is intended for aspiring and beginning farmers who are motivated to improve their financial and business knowledge for their existing or future farm. The weekend will feature plenty of social time, small group discussions, group activities and individual work time.

Aspiring farmers will capture their farming visions while creating an action plan to make that vision a reality. Beginning farmers that have been farming for more than a year will have time to focus on their farm’s strategic goals and leave with some financial and marketing plans to move towards a viable farming operation.

As always, good food and fellowship will be shared throughout the weekend. Beginning farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend.

December 1-2
Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center, Indianola, IA
$20 for PFI members or $40 for non-PFI members

Attendance is very limited! Sign up before Monday, November 27th.
OPPORTUNITIES 
December 7-8
Wisconsin Dells, WI
This conference is designed to give you some time to recharge your batteries after a long growing season, to talk and share and learn from other CSA farmers. You will also be able to talk with people working for organizations, agencies, and institutions (like universities) that are working to support CSA farmers. Register here .

Welding Workshop
Saturday, December 16
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (lunch provided)
Iowa Western Community College
The workshop will be held at Kinney Hall on IWCC's campus in Council Bluffs; Steve Nelson, a welding instructor at IWCC, will lead the workshop. By the end of the workshop, he plans to have people on the machines, so the day will be part instruction, part hands-on, and adaptable based on the attendees. 
This FREE workshop is open to PFI members only. Attendance is capped at 15, so registration is required. Please reply to liz@practicalfarmers.org to register, or with questions. 
National Farmers Union's Beginning Farmer Online Conference
Register today for Growing for the Future, a FREE online conference focused on beginning farmers and ranchers! 

Through farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A sessions, and an online resource center, the conference provides the tools and information you need to run a successful operation. 

RESOURCES 
If you are a farmer whose market channels are requesting a GAP audit or are confused about whether or not your farm needs to comply with the new national food safety standards, the video series "Farm-Based Approaches to Food Safety: The Internal GAP Audit" is a good place to start. 

A new documentary called Farmers For America traces the extraordinary changes coming to America's food system as more and more consumers flock to farmers markets, embrace farm-to-table lifestyles, and insist on knowing where their food is coming from. This film reveals the people waiting to take the place of aging farmers, the practices they're championing, and the obstacles they must overcome. Plans are for the film to be shown in more than 200 locations nationwide over the next two years.
PFI EVENTS
December 1-2 | Indianola

January 19-20 | Ames
Labor4Learning 
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 Padget
Beginning Farmer Manager
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Beginning Farmer and Program Associate
(515) 232-5661