Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
In a spirit of food festivity (and friendly competition) celebrating a Midwestern culinary tradition, Practical Farmers of Iowa staff had a bit of fun on Monday with a staff-wide fluff salad contest to see who could excel in one of several categories: best in show, fluffiest and most creative.

Contest organizer Nick Ohde, PFI's communications and marketing director, along with an independent panel of PFI member judges -- including past staffer Henry Corbin, Bobbi Gustafson of Story City Locker and Mary Holmes -- were charged with the challenging task of tasting, and rating, an array of tantalizing and unique creations.

Pictured in the bottom right photo are the winners of the competition, from left to right: Lydia English, Ryan Hansen, Suzi Howk and Sally Worley
Do you know a farmland owner who has made a positive impact?

Nominate that person for PFI's 2022 Farmland Owner Legacy Award (view past award recipients here). We created the 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.

Moving a farm business from production to profitability can be challenging.

Practical Farmers' new Farm Business Coaching Assistance program helps you focus on only the most important things in your business. You’ll identify the most pressing issues you need to address and get help working through them with individual consulting and coaching.

As the time to plant small grains nears, hear tips and insights from PFI farmers in our video "Timing of Oat Planting" about deciding the best times to plant oats in Iowa.

And if you are planting small grains this year, be sure to check out our small grains cost-share program, which offers financial assistance that can help offset risks of adding another crop to your rotation.
New research from PFI's Cooperators' Program
Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our farminar on Feb. 15 to hear Aaron Wills share his experience and tips on how to grow strawberries at unique times of the year.

March 12 | 9 a.m. | Ames, IA

Have you ever tapped trees and made maple syrup? Ever wanted to learn? 

Ben Hoksch of Front Yard Sugar is going to discuss and demonstrate tapping and processing maple syrup, from timing to equipment to cooking. He'll also explain his unique model of working with landowners and marketing his syrup. 

Watch "Livestock on the Land" on Thursday, Feb. 24., at 6 p.m. at Luther College campus in Decorah, Iowa.

Following the film, the audience can ask questions and hear from a panel including Allen Williams and farmers Seth Watkins, Wendy Johnson and Martha McFarland, who were featured in the film.
Feb. 22 | 7-8:30 p.m.

In this farminar, Paul Mugge and Tim Youngquist will share their passion for integrating conservation practices into their family farms, in this case through prairie strips.

You'll hear their experience with the practice, including their discovery that strategically adding prairie strips can help protect the land while benefitting native wildlife.

Friday, Feb. 25 | 9-11 a.m. | Atlantic, IA

Denise O'Brien, of Rolling Acres Farm, will host the meet-up at Elixir Downtown in Atlantic, Iowa.

These gatherings offer a chance to meet other fruit and vegetable farmers in your area, discuss plans and build community.
Monday, Feb. 21 | 6:30-8 p.m.

Join us for our second virtual field crop farmer meet-up.

At this gathering, we'll discuss nitrogen management in a soil health system and ways to reduce inputs.

Organic grain farmer Paul Hoffman, of Earlville, Illinois, is one of four new lifetime members this month.

After attending our 2022 annual conference, Paul said: “Knowing that PFI is actively serving the interests of beginning farmers and farmers from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups, instead of only established farmers, is what motivated me to commit to lifetime membership in the organization.”

Anyone can become a PFI "lifer!" A one-time $1,000 payment retains the benefits of a Farm & Household membership for life, while supporting PFI's mission for the long-term.
Members in the News
Ron Mardesen of Elliott, IA, was featured in the Des Moines Register: 'War on breakfast': Will California proposition improve care of pigs, or just raise ham and bacon prices?

Sondra Feldstein of Bondurant, IA, wrote an article that was featured on the blog Bleeding Heartland: Governor's tax plan would harm rural Iowa, young farmers

Hannah Breckbill, Emily Fagan and Carly Matthew of Decorah, IA, and Ethan Zierke of Dubuque, IA, were featured in Driftless Journal: New way to buy at Farmer's Market, support farmers

Kevin Dietzel of Jewell, IA, was featured in Agri-pulse: Stigma around mental health slightly reduced after years of farm group efforts
PFI in the News
Practical Farmers of Iowa was mentioned in The Storm Lake Times: Editorial: Could we get a hand here?

PFI was mentioned in Iowa Farmer Today: New farmers need finance help, digital touch

PFI was mentioned on Land Stewardship Project's website: Billboard Campaign Highlights the Power of Healthy Soil in Southern MN
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.