Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Sarah Foltz Jordan, a biologist with Xerces Society, speaks to attendees at the field day on Tuesday at Scattergood Friends School Farm near West Branch. The event, hosted by Scattergood farm manager Mark Quee (at far right), explored ways to add pollinator and beneficial insect habitat into farmland.
Despite the rise in cover crop acres in Iowa, most of Iowa’s cover crop seed is sourced from out of state. Resourceful Iowa farmers have started growing cover crop seed for themselves, neighbors and beyond.

If you’re used to procuring your cover crop seed, here are the six key factors to think about when considering harvesting your rye as a seed crop.
Our autumn magazine is now available online! If you are a Practical Farmers of Iowa member, you will soon receive your print copy in the mail. If you're not member, we invite you to explore what the magazine has to offer -- and join PFI today to automatically receive all future issues.

On the cover of this issue, 12-year-old Ernie Hall of Forktail Farm near Avoca, coaxes the pullets into their training pasture on the farm. Read more about how Ernie's family and another PFI farm family juggle farming while raising a family and working to build fulfilling lives.
Lee Tesdell works closely with his farm tenants to protect soil, water and wildlife. Lee was the recipient of the 2019 Farmland Owner Legacy Award.
Unique grazing businesses benefit beginning farmers and the land.
(Adam Ledvina, who is featured in this article, is hosting an upcoming field day)
Starting a farm requires a mix of production and business knowledge -- you need to know how to raise crops, and you also need to successfully manage a business.

Trying to learn both skills can be a challenge for beginning farmers. After participating in the Savings Incentive Program, Donna Warhover said, “I think the biggest barrier was having the confidence to market my farm and my products. I grow specialty crops, and they need to be priced accordingly.”

Donna has found it has taken a community of mentors and peers as well as sound business planning to ensure her farm's success. Learn more about Donna’s story “Careful Planning Helps Build Confidence,” on page 30 of the winter 2018 issue of "the Practical Farmer."

SIP applications will be accepted through Oct. 11, 2019, and selected applicants will start the program in January 2020. 
Saturday, Sept. 21 | 2-4 p.m. | Iowa City, IA
Hosted by: Susan Young

Sunday, Sept. 22 | 4-7 p.m. | Glenwood, IA
Hosted by: Carol Fassbinder-Orth

Saturday, Sept. 28 | 1-5 p.m. | Chelsea
Hosted by: Adam Ledvina
Sept. 21: Field Day - Rotationally Raised Poultry
2-4 p.m. | Iowa City

Sept. 22: Field Day - Beekeeping in Iowa
4-7 p.m. | Glenwood
Sept. 28: Field Day - Goats for Ecological Restoration
1-5 p.m. | Chelsea

Oct. 6: Field Day - Extending the Vegetable Season
3-5 p.m. | Mt. Vernon
During September, we’re cultivating this curiosity and asking you to contribute to our momentum by joining as a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Farmers like Jeremy Gustafson of Boone testify to the impact Practical Farmers of Iowa and founding members like Dick Thompson have had on his farm: “I’m a better farmer by following Dick Thompson’s path of curiosity and on-farm research. As a result of my on-farm research with PFI, I now use cereal rye as a cover crop across my entire farm.”

“Being part of Practical Farmers gives me the chance to pursue my curiosity and learn from others who do the same.”
Mark and Connie Tjelmeland of McCallsburg were featured on Center for Rural Affairs' blog: Iowa farmer shows conservation and economics go hand in hand

Audrey Tran Lam of Cedar Falls wrote a guest column in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier: Celebrate innovation by farmers
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.