Beginning Farmer Update: July, 2016
Announcements, Opportunities and Resources

How are you doing this summer? Do the weeds have you feeling frustrated? Does the inconsistency of rain having your pulling at your hair? Don't worry you are not alone, your fellow farmers are there too. This can be a hard time of the year when things are pressing on you and the feeling of defeat is looming. 

Chances are pretty good if you are dealing with challenges so is another farmer near you. Recently in my visits with beginning farmers this topic has been brought up. Being in the PFI network makes sure you are not alone. One farmer I talked to last week said she was going to reach out to some of her fellow neighboring farmers to check-in during this beating summer heat. She stressed that we need to be concerned with farmer self-care along with caring for the farm and the land. How do you keep you and your family's well-being in mind? 

Another great place to build camaraderie is at a Field Day. Check out the list and add them to your calendar today. If you haven't received your Field Day Guide in the mail or you want to  become a member  e-mail Lauren at .
Keep cool and hydrated this summer and we will see you at a field day soon. 

Greg Van Den Berghe
Beginning Farmer Manager

Iowa's Beginning Farmer Loan and Tax Credit Programs
You are invited to attend the Iowa Agricultural Development (IADD) Division Beginning Farmer Webinar. Whether you are wanting to learn more about IADD or you are a seasoned professional, this is a great opportunity to learn about Iowa's beginning farmer programs. Thursday, July 28th at 2pm. 

Summer Fruiting Crops in High Tunnels
This Michigan Farmer Field School course is hands-on and covers the nuts and bolts of successful planning, production, post-harvest handling, packaging and marketing of summer fruit under hoops. The workshop focuses on ginger, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and basil. Led by experienced growers and hosted on their farm, content includes everything from variety overview to planting dates, fertility schemes, trellis systems and management practices. August 1, $150 for 1 person ($40 for a 2nd person from the same farm), Battle Creek and Bath, MI.

In Her Boots: Farm Start-up Strategies for Women Farmers
An inspiring day of advice, ideas, and seasoned perspectives from experienced women farmers at the Wisconsin Soil Sisters. Stay for the full Soil Sisters weekend, including additional workshops, culinary events, farm tours, and more.  August 5, 2016
Browntown, Wisconsin.
Common Ground: Creating Dialog & Action
Common Ground: Creating Dialog & Action, the 2016 ISU Veterans in Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Conference on August 22, 2016. The goal of Common Ground is to provide our Veterans and their families a community-focused resource fair and provide a venue for the exchange of new ideas and examine the strengths and weaknesses of our public policy setup and programming among service providers.

Opportunities Opportunities

Farm for Rent near Cambridge 
Buffalo Ridge Orchard is a diversified farm with apples and vegetables located northeast of Central City, Iowa. They are currently looking for two part-time seasonal workers from late August to mid-October. Workers will be harvesting and packing apples and other produce. Workers must be motivated, have attention to detail, be able to lift 50 lbs, and available to work weekdays. Expected work schedule will be 15-25 hours per week, typically on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. The position will be compensated at $10/hour.  

If interested, please email us your prior work experience and references to

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AgrAbility - Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities
The AgrAbility program supports projects between State Cooperative Extension System and private non-profit disability organizations who work in partnership to provide agricultural education and assistance directed at accommodating disability in farm operations. Applications may be submitted only by Cooperative Extension Services at 1862 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities and 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities.  Applications are due by August 2, 2016.

Free High Tunnel Crop Production Handbook
The High Tunnel Crop Production Handbook is thorough in its coverage on such topics as:  construction of basic high tunnels, i rrigation strategies,  fertilization basics, organ ic IPM practices, r esource list for beginning farmers and more.  Each chapter is written by subject matter experts in commercial horticulture Extension program. It is based on university research and practice, so readers will gain valuable information now for free.

Grass Workshop with Dr. Thomas Rosburg near Kellogg
The Grass Workshop at Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) will consist of intensive, hands-on learning guided by one of Iowa's top botanists, Dr. Thomas Rosburg. Field-based identification blended with classroom lectures, guided examination of live and pressed plant specimens, and use of technical identification keys will help participants gain practical knowledge of grasses. Participants will learn the language of grasses, the distinguishing features of the grass family, its major taxonomic subdivisions, and many grass genera and species, as well as the habits and ecology of common and rare members of the Poaceae family.

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