Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
From the PFI staff, to all of our hardworking members and supporters:

Thank you for your labors to put healthy and delicious food on our table this Thanksgiving and throughout the year.

Thank you for the dedication you have to learning how to make a living while caring for your land and contributing to your surrounding community.

Thank you for providing us all such fulfilling jobs -- it is a privilege to work with you every day! We hope you all feel appreciated and get some time to relax and reap the benefits of your hard work this weekend.

Above, in true Practical Farmers spirit, farmers and friends of farmers share a meal and build community during the field day at Dave and Meg Schmidt's farm in September. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family and the joy of breaking bread together!
Des Moines | Register here

7 p.m. | Tune in here

Nov. 30 - Dec. 1: 2018 Beginning Farmer Retreat
Montour | Register Here

Dec. 4: Farminar - Grazing Cover Crops With Sheep
7 p.m. | Tune in here

Dec. 11: Farminar - Organic Seedling Production
7 p.m. | Tune in here
Wanting to farm is easy, but getting started can be a little more challenging. Each year we offer our beginning farmer retreat to help make it easier for you to start the planning process.

At this year's retreat, we will work through the steps to putting together your business plan. By the end, you will have completed the first steps towards crafting your business plan, and will leave with feedback from fellow beginning farmers. Don't miss this year's event -- the deadline is approaching and attendance is very limited!
In this full-day workshop, learn from several experts about all aspects of chestnut production and marketing. Topics will include site selection, planting and tree management, varietal recommendations, grafted versus seedling trees, harvesting and curing, marketing, and financial resources.

The cost to attend is $10 for PFI members and $60 for non-members.
We're now less than two months away from our 2019 annual conference, "Cultivating Connections," which takes place Jan. 17-19 in Ames.

If you are interested in soil health, you won't want to miss our keynote speaker, Michael Phillips. Michael raises apples and medicinal herbs with his wife, Nancy, at Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs and Lost Nation Orchard in New Hampshire. He helped found the community orchard movement, and is renowned for helping people grow healthy fruit using herbal protocols.

With Nancy, Michael co-authored “The Herbalist’s Way,” and he is author of “The Apple Grower,” “The Holistic Orchard” and, most recently, “Mycorrhizal Planet: How Fungi and Plants Work Together to Create Dynamic Soils.”

In his keynote – “Soil Redemption Song” – Michael will:

  • take you on a deep dive into the microscopic communities beneath our feet and crops

  • help you understand the vital connection between mycorrhizal fungi and crop health

  • explain how this fungal network can help foster resilience in ecosystems
Do you know any farmers who deserve to be recognized for their efforts to steward the land and foster resilient farms and communities? We are now accepting nominations for our 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award! The deadline to submit your nomination is Nov. 30.

We grant this award annually to the person who has been most influential in creating healthy soil, healthy food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. Our board of directors will choose the winner based on the nominations you submit.

The recipient will be recognized at our 2019 annual conference. To nominate someone, please fill out this simple nomination form.
Tuesday, Nov. 27 | 7 p.m.
Kristy and Bob Walker | Paul Ackley

There are many benefits to adding a small-grain crop to a corn and bean rotation, including breaking pest cycles and allowing for a longer cover crop season, which leads to reduced chemical inputs.

Kristy and Bob Walker are looking to add winter wheat to their diversified farm operation, but have struggled to get started. Paul Ackley has been growing small grains like winter wheat for many years. He will discuss why and offer some advice for the Walkers to get started. Tune in here on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Ty and Bobbie Gustafson of Story City were featured on WHOTV:

Donna Winburn of Grinnell was featured in Iowa Farmer Today:

The Rosmann family of Harlan was one of three organic farms in Iowa chosen for the Kansas Farmers Union’s Thinking Outside the Box Farm Tour series: Farm Sweet Farm's 35 years of organic experience means balancing priorities
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.