Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
For more than 30 years, Practical Farmers of Iowa members have been opening their farms to share their production strategies and challenges with fellow farmers -- always with the goal of sharing knowledge, supporting one another and fostering farms that are economically and environmentally resilient.

The tradition of farmer-led learning continues: Our 2019 field day season starts on Tuesday, with field days exploring ryelage for cattle feed (in LaPorte City) and heirloom tomato production (in Missouri Valley). We look forward to seeing you there, and sharing in the spirit of farmer-to-farmer education!

Look for the whole slate of field days we've planned this season in our 2019 Field Day Guide, which should be arriving any day in your mailbox if you're a member. (If you're not a member, you should join today!)

By the way, do any of you recognize the family on the cover of the 1989 guide above? (Hint: They farm in western Iowa and are among our earliest members).

Ron and Maria Rosmann and their family -- sons Mark, David and Daniel -- have been hosting PFI field days since the very beginning. More than 30 years later, they're still sharing their knowledge and constantly evolving experiences.

The Rosmanns will host another PFI field day in August, exploring ways to cultivate farm resilience amid a changing climate. If you're new to Practical Farmers -- or haven't yet had a chance to meet the Rosmanns -- this event is a must-attend!
Prevented Planting and Cover Crops with USDA-RMA
Wet spring kept you out of the field? Confused by the rules for receiving a prevented planting crop insurance payment? So is everyone else.

Please join us for a Q&A with Duane Voy and Mark Gutierrez from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) about prevented planting and cover crop options on Wednesday, June 5 from 8-9 a.m.

More information is also available in RMA's Prevented Planted Standards Handbook for 2019.

To join the call, dial (605) 313-5071 and enter passcode 357330# on June 5 at 8 a.m.

If you can't make the call, check Practical News next week for more information on prevented planting and cover crops.
Meet our new membership manager!
We're excited to announce our new membership manager, Steve Carlson. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Steve has worked as Practical Farmers' next generation coordinator since 2014, where he has done a little bit of everything, primarily focused on beginning farmers. If you've tuned into a farminar over the past five years, you've probably heard his voice.
We're lucky to have Steve's passion, energy and dedication to farmer-led solutions in this new role. As membership manager, he will:

  • lead efforts to recruit and retain a dynamic community of members

  • lead our survey and data management efforts, which help us to gather member feedback and ensure we stay focused on member priorities

  • oversee event and office management

  • assist with fundraising efforts

If you have questions or ideas about membership (or you simply want to congratulate Steve on his new job), feel free to reach out to him at steve@practicalfarmers.org.

We also want to congratulate outgoing membership manager Maggie Cannon, who has accepted a position as a regional manager with Iowa Farm Bureau. Maggie was instrumental in moving our membership plans forward as we look for innovative ways to engage with our growing membership, and we know she will bring the same skills and enthusiasm to her new position.
Spring Fundraiser Update: Almost There!
We've almost reached our goal! Thanks to your generous support, we're at $28,840 for our spring fundraising drive, just $1,160 away from our goal. We know how important PFI is to you, and we want to be able to better tailor our work to your needs. Will you be the one to push us over the finish line?
Join us by telephone on Friday, June 7, to learn about feeding small grains to livestock
If you have livestock, incorporating small grains into rations is an excellent way to support an extended rotation on your farm. But there are some equipment and animal health considerations to be aware of before taking the plunge.

Cindy McCollough, of Blue Stem Organic Feed, will join our shared learning call on Friday, June 7, from noon to 1 p.m.. She'll review on- and off-farm milling equipment, and discuss what kinds of grain milling or processing are most suited to different livestock and their production phases.  

We'll start the call with a focus on pigs and cattle, but bring your questions about other livestock for the Q&A.

To join, dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# on Friday, June 7 at noon.
Sign up to receive our new quarterly
farm transfer e-newsletter
Practical Farmers is starting a new quarterly e-newsletter dedicated to sharing events, resources and information related specifically to farmland transition.


Tuesday, June 4 | La Porte City, Iowa | 4 – 7 p.m.
4:30 - 7 p.m. | La Porte City
Hosted by: Terry Ward

Tuesday, June 4 | 4 – 6 p.m. | Missouri Valley, IA
Hosted by: Terra and Matthew Hall

Wednesday, June 5 | 5:30 – 8 p.m. | Ames, IA
Hosted by: Dr. Matthew Brewer

Thursday, June 6 | 4 – 7 p.m. | Kewanee, IL
Hosted by: Brian Corkill
Sunday, June 9 | Charles City
Hosts: Wendy Johnson & Johnny Rafkin

There is one more grazing group getting together this spring! Head to Charles City and join Wendy Johnson and Johnny Rafkin for a pasture walk and a chance to discuss grazing with fellow livestock farmers! This event runs from 4:30-7 p.m. and will have a meal provided.
June 4: Field Day - Cover Crops
4:30-7 p.m. | La Porte City

June 4: Field Day - Heirloom Tomatoes, Food Forest
4-6 p.m. | Missouri Valley

June 5: Workshop - Livestock Parasites
5:30-8 p.m. | Ames

June 6: Field Day - Cover Crops
4-7 p.m. | Kewanee, IL

June 9: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30-7 p.m. | Charles City

June 11: Field Day - Organic Dairy Cattle
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Bloomfield

June 13: Field Day - Hybrid Rye
3-5:30 p.m. | West Union
June 14: Field Day - Pastured Pig Health
10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Elliott

June 18: Field Day - Small Grains
10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Dyersville

June 18: Field Day - On-Farm Habitat
5-8 p.m. | Lewis

June 19: Field Day - Grazing Native Perennials
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Peterson

June 20: Field Day - Diverse Rotations
5-8 p.m. | Keota

June 21: Field Day - Pumpkins and Produce
1-3 p.m. | Algona
Kevin and Ranae Dietzel of Jewell were featured on Iowa Public Radio: Greenhouse Gas Scientist Questions How To Cut Emissions On Her Own Farm
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.