Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
"Map of My Kingdom" is a play commissioned by Practical Farmers of Iowa that explores issues surrounding farmland transition. Practical Farmers and Center for Rural Affairs are partnering to bring several performances of “Map of My Kingdom” to communities across Iowa in March and April.

Three performances are taking place this weekend across the state, including Iowa City on Friday night, Jefferson on Saturday and Ames on Sunday.

Admission is FREE, and all performances will feature an open discussion with the audience afterwards led by either playwright Mary Swander or PFI staff. View the rest of the 2019 performance locations in the "Upcoming Events" section below, or on our website!
ON THE BLOG
Were you bummed that you didn’t get to sign up for PFI’s small grains cost-share before we ran out of acres for 2019? Are you worried there are no other ways to access financial assistance for your small grains? Fear not!

With a few tips and tricks, it is possible to secure Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for extending your corn-bean rotation with a small grains crop followed by a cover crop. If you’re planning to plant a winter small-grain in the fall, like winter wheat or rye, you’ll need to act quickly and submit your application by Friday, March 15 in order to be included in the next batch for priority consideration.
NEWS
We have a series of spring field days planned that will focus on cover crops and how they can be used in crop and livestock systems. The series starts on March 26 in Fort Dodge and runs through June, with events planned for locations across Iowa.

Farmers and community members are invited to learn about a variety of cover crop issues, from varieties and planting strategies to equipment, grazing and harvest options, as well as various practices farmers use to maximize the financial return from cover crops.

All field days in the series run from 4 to 7 p.m., and are free and open to everyone.

March 26 – Fort Dodge

March 27 – Prairie City

April 2 – Osage

April 3 – Orange City

April 4 – Epworth

June 4 – La Porte City
Over the past few years, more farmers have started seeing the benefits of diversifying their crop rotations and are trying to figure out how to bring small grains back to their farm.

To help bridge the knowledge gap, we've been creating a range of resources to arm farmers with the information they need. O ur new podcast, “Rotationally Raised,” continues this effort. In the series, you'll hear from a broad range of PFI farmers from across the state who represent different production systems and ages.

In the first episode, “Small Grains: A Revival,” PFI members discuss the benefits of adding diversity to crop rotations and share their experience growing, harvesting and marketing the small-grains crops.

Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, OR listen on our website!
Are you considering a career in farming? Do you hope to get paid, on-farm training before you dive in on your own? Our Labor4Learning program is intended to help you find on-farm employment with an experienced farmer who will provide additional training on what it takes to run a farm business.

Echollective Farm is one of 16 trainer farms hiring in 2019. "I love growing food for the community, but even more than that I love working with new farmers," says farmer Derek Roller. "Over the years, Echollective Farm has been a part of growing many young farmers, and I'm looking forward to continuing the tradition."
Practical Farmers of Iowa wants to provide effective programming for beginning and aspiring farmers, but in order to do that, we need to hear from you!

  • What are your enterprises?
  • What are the barriers you’re facing?
  • How do you prefer to learn?

We only ask you to do this every few years, and it is a critical part of our process for planning and improving what we do. Please take a few minutes to share with us!
UPCOMING EVENTS
Join fellow farmers to discuss the upcoming season, challenges, opportunities and ideas, and to network with other farmers over a cup of coffee and some breakfast.

Both meet-ups run from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and are FREE and open to all fruit and vegetable growers. You don’t have to be a PFI member to attend. RSVPs are not necessary. Just show up!

Two fruit and vegetable meet-ups remain!:
Tuesday, March 12 – Des Moines
Hosted by: Jenny Quiner (Dogpatch Urban Gardens) and Angela Tedesco (retired farmer)
HoQ: 303 E 5th St.

Thursday, March 14 – Algona
Hosted by: Joanne Roepke Bode (Bode's Moonlight Gardens)
The Chocolate Season: 16 E. State St.
Practical Farmers of Iowa and Center for Rural Affairs are partnering to bring several performances of “ Map of My Kingdom,” a play that explores some of the thorny issues surrounding farmland transfer decisions, to communities across Iowa in March and April.

Admission is FREE, and all performances will feature a talk-back with the audience afterwards led by either playwright Mary Swander or PFI staff. RSVPs are requested for some locations.

Planned performances include:
Friday, March 8 – Iowa City
7 p.m. - Johnson County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall A
RSVP by March 5.

Saturday, March 9 – Jefferson
7 p.m. - History Boy Theatre
RSVP by March 6

Sunday, March 10 – Ames
2 p.m . - Ames Public Library

Thursday, April 11 – Okoboji
7 p.m. - Pearson Lakes Art Center

  • Note: A free farmland legacy letter workshop will be held on Friday, April 12, at 11 a.m., at the nearby Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Attendance at both events is encouraged, but not required.


Saturday, April 13 – Waterloo
2 p.m. - Grout Museum of History and Science
RSVP by April 9.
7 - 8:30 p.m. | Iowa City

7 - 8:30 p.m. | Jefferson

2 -3:30 p.m. | Ames

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Des Moines
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Algona

March 26: Field Day - Cover Crops
4 - 7 p.m. | Fort Dodge

March 27: Field Day - Cover Crops
4 - 7 p.m. | Prairie City

April 2: Field Day - Cover Crops
4 - 7 p.m. | Osage

April 3: Field Day - Cover Crops
4 - 7 p.m. | Orange City

April 4: Field Day - Cover Crops
4 - 7 p.m. | Epworth
MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
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.