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Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.

Get next year’s weed control planted today! Learn how cover crops can control weeds in PFI’s newest animated video.

Cover crops, like winter cereal rye, are rapidly becoming an important tool for farmers to control weeds. While cover crops have been used for years to protect water quality and improve soil health, more farmers are designing cover cropping systems that smother weeds and improve their overall weed management system.

Need to get your cover crops lined up for this fall? Try our Find Cover Crops app to connect with dozens of cover crop businesses across the state.

Need help paying for cover crops? Sign up for our cover crop cost-share program today!


PFI's 2021 Cooperators' Program Report is now online

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Since 1987, PFI’s Cooperators’ Program has empowered curious farmers to conduct on-farm experiments that answer their questions and guide their decision-making.

Our program is unique in that farmers have always been at the helm they are the ones brainstorming projects, setting on-farm research priorities and gathering the data on their farms.

Summer magazine article: "Broadening Our Big Tent"

PFI’s mission is to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities.

We believe that a rich tapestry of farm types, sizes, practices and philosophies creates a more resilient and inclusive agricultural landscape.

We also believe that a “big tent” filled with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives enriches our understanding and broadens our impact. Read more about how PFI is broadening its big tent. 

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Review of: "The Forager Chef's Book of Flora"

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In Minnesota chef Alan Bergo's "The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora," you’ll find the exotic to the familiar  from ramp leaf dumplings to spruce tip panna cotta to crisp fiddlehead pickles with Chef Bergo’s unique blend of easy-to-follow instruction and out-of-this-world inspiration.

Read PFI member Ben Hoksch's review of this book for more insights (and some additional culinary ideas).

Sign up for PFI's cover crop cost-share

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PFI is in its seventh year offering cost-share and technical assistance for those who are seeding fall cover crops.

You can receive $10 per acre on up to 200 acres or 10% of your farmed acres (whichever is larger), and $5 per acre on everything above that.

There are no requirements on the species or seeding method used. 

New this year – eligibility has expanded! Click here for program requirements.

PFI is hiring a field crops viability coordinator

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PFI is seeking a diligent, respectful and passionate person to serve as a field crops viability coordinator within our expanding farm viability department and field crops team. 

The farm viability department is tasked with driving institutional changes and providing personal, direct support to assist farmers and farmland owners in achieving their goals.

Seeking nominations for our Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award

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Do you know someone making a difference in our food and farming system? Nominate them for our Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award!

PFI gives this award annually to a person or couple who has been influential in creating healthy soil, healthy food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. PFI board members will choose the recipient based on the nominations you submit.

The recipient will be recognized at our annual conference next January in Ames, Iowa. 

To nominate someone, please fill out this simple nomination form.

Please submit your nomination(s) by Sunday, Sept. 4.

View past recipients here.


Field day: Establishing and Grazing Legume Covers and Small Grains in an Organic System

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Saturday, Aug. 20 | Noon-3 p.m. | McGregor, IA

Scott and Shannon Koether raise and rotationally graze cattle on cover crops and forages like sorghum. The Koethers also raise organic corn, winter wheat, oats, peas and medium red clover on their 400 organic acres.

Take advantage of this chance to view organic field crops and established cover crops.

Field day: Making Cover Crops Work From Popcorn to Water Quality

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Tuesday, Aug. 23 | 10 a.m.-Noon | Lake City, IA

M & M Farms is a 5,000-acre diversified operation that includes corn, soybeans, popcorn, hogs and a cow-calf operation, custom farming and custom cover crop seeding.

Join PFI and Mark Schleisman to see conservation practices at the farm scale, and learn about Mark's ongoing water quality projects, how he integrates cover crops with his popcorn business and more.

Field day: Bus Trip to Northfield, Minnesota Raising Regenerative Tree-Range Poultry

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Saturday, Aug. 27 | 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. | Northfield, MN

Hop on the bus with other poultry enthusiasts to learn from Reginaldo “Regi” Haslett-Marroquín and Wil Crombie of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance in Northfield, Minnesota.

Regi and Wil will share how chickens in the “Tree-Range” system are raised in a coop and paddock system that integrates trees and perennial crops, like hazelnuts and elderberries.

Content will be delivered in Spanish and English during this event, and interpretation will be provided. Registration is required – save your seat!

Join PFI at the Farm Progress Show

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Tuesday, Aug. 30-Thursday, Sept. 1| 8 a.m.-4 p.m. | Boone, IA

Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of farmers from across the country gather at the Farm Progress Show to learn about the latest agricultural equipment, supplies, services and information.

PFI staff and farmers will be at a booth in the Varied Industries tent for the duration of the event.

Find our booth to join conversations, ask questions and share practical advice on topics such as cover crops, small grains, grazing and more.

August 27: Bringing Back the Edges With Precision Conservation

Hosted by: Nathan & Sarah Anderson

10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Cherokee, IA

More upcoming events

Host a social for other Practical Farmers

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If you want to help build connections and community in your local area while sharing your farming operation with others, we'd love for you to host a PFI social.

These informal events are flexible. They might involve a meal or snack and include a walk, tour or other activity but they always involve space for networking.

Our goal is to enlist PFI members in each of our five districts within Iowa, plus surrounding states, to host an event this fall, winter or spring.

To find out more details, please email Debra at or call the office: (515) 232-5661.

Members in the News

Cathy Linker of Donahue, IA, was featured on KWQC's Paula Sands Live: Miss Effie’s Country Flowers is also a camp site

PFI in the News

Practical Farmers of Iowa was mentioned in The Gazette: Reaching the next generation of Black farmers in Iowa

Jorgen Rose, PFI's habitat and policy viability manager, was featured in The Gazette: Iowa waterways receive nearly $2M for water quality projects

Jorgen was also quoted in Quad-City Times: NATURE AND FARMING

Have you been featured in the media? If you're a PFI member, tell us when and where to find a link to the article, and we'll feature you in a future issue of Practical News.

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