Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
We're in the home stretch of the 2019 winter fruit and vegetable farmer meet-ups! 40 farmers gathered for breakfast on Tuesday in Solon at Salt Fork Kitchen to share their thoughts, concerns and plans for the upcoming growing season.

If you haven't had a chance to make it to one yet, there's still time! Meet-ups are planned for March 12 in Des Moines and March 14 in Algona. We hope you can come to exchange experiences and ideas for the coming season while enjoying some camaraderie with fellow farmers!
Looking for upcoming Practical Farmers events?

We've moved this list down below into one consolidated "Upcoming Events" section so it's easier for you to see both featured events and other upcoming events in one place.
Jorgen joined us Monday to take the helm of our newly created habitat and farm transfer coordinator position. He will work with PFI staff, farmers, landowners and external partners to coordinate and execute farmer-led events and research related to on-farm prairie, edge-of-field conservation practices and habitat management.

A native of Newton, Jorgen attended the University of Northern Iowa and Indiana University, receiving master’s degrees in natural resource management and applied ecology. We are excited to have Jorgen join our team! Read more about Jorgen here.
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!
Practical Farmers of Iowa created the Farmland Owner Legacy Award to call attention to the need for improved landowner partnerships with farmers, and of the vital – but often unacknowledged – role non-operator landowners play in shaping the agricultural landscape, rural communities and opportunities for beginning farmers.

**Please submit your nomination(s) by end of day on Sunday, March 3. **
Practical Farmers of Iowa's land-matching website,  Find A Farmer, connects landowners and land seekers to help preserve family farms. Whether you're looking for farmland to lease or own, or you're a farmland owner hoping to find a new tenant or buyer, this website provides a comfortable place to connect.

Did you receive the first issue of our newest email newsletter, "The Practical Cover Cropper?" The first issue went out on Tuesday!

If you've considered adding cover crops to your farm and are wondering how to get started, or are looking to take cover crops to the next level, subscribe and receive timely information and updates on cover crop management, questions, research, events and more.

You'll receive cover crop content straight from farmers’ observations and on-farm research trials, plus peer-reviewed scientific articles to help you best answer your most pressing cover crop questions. We will also share events and updates about cover crop happenings in Iowa and beyond.

The newsletter will come out once or twice a month, depending on what's timely and relevant. Check out the first issue to get a feel for what these emails will look like!
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 designed for aspiring farmers seeking employment and additional training in farm management and production skills.

Bridgewater Farm is  one of 16 trainer farms hiring in 2019. Farmer Dale Raasch says, "We feel we could offer a complete picture of organic vegetable farming with hands-on, day-to-day activities involved in its operation. We'd like to share what we've learned to make it easier for the next farmer."
Every couple of years we survey those who want to farm, and those who have been farming on their own for 10 or fewer years. This feedback helps us understand your challenges and goals so we can offer programming to help you succeed. Please take a few minutes to share with us!
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.

All 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 1 – Fairfield
7:30 p.m. - Fairfield Arts and Convention Center

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.
7:30 - 9 p.m. | Fairfield

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
Sarah Carlson of Pleasant Hill, Grain Millers of Eden Prairie, MN, and Matt Liebman of Ames were featured in The Organic & Non-GMO Report: Oatly makes a splash in non-dairy milk market—and heartland farmers could reap rewards

Rob Stout of Washington was featured in The Corn+Soybean Digest: A touch of prairie: Iowa farmer protects soil and manages nutrients with prairie-friendly projects
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.