Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Welcome to our first quarterly Practical Landowner e-newsletter! Non-operating landowners have tremendous potential to steward Iowa’s natural resources.

As part of our effort to provide more resources to landowners, the goal of this newsletter is to provide resources, articles, events, and information that we hope you will find useful for managing and making decisions about your farmland.

In the photo above, Beth Henning poses on her property in Guthrie County. Read how she's used conservation easements to protect her property and realize her vision for the land.
Headline News
In addition to this e-newsletter, Practical Farmers has created a brand new landowner webpage. On this page you can find upcoming events of interest to landowners and a curated list of PFI resources, writings, and publications related to the following topics: 

  • Cover crops
  • Livestock integration
  • Transitioning to organic production
  • Edge-of-field and habitat conservation
  • Farm and land transfer and succession
  • Links to external resources that we think landowners might find useful. 

This webpage is a work in progress and will be updated as new resources become available, so check back regularly. We’ll also share updated resources through this newsletter.

If you have questions or topics you’d like to see added to this webpage, please contact Jorgen Rose at jorgen@practicalfarmers.org or by calling (515) 232-5166. 
Landowner-oriented sessions at our annual conference!
We're less than two weeks away from our annual conference on Jan. 18-19. Pre-register by January 9 to receive a discounted rate or register at the door. Below, we have featured some landowner-oriented sessions:
Thursday, Jan. 16 1:00-6:30 p.m. | Friday, Jan 17th 8:00-11:30 a.m.
This course will help you take the plunge into creating a farm succession plan in line with your values and farm goals.

Rena Striegel, of Transition Point Business Advisors, will share insights into how to take inventory of your current situation, clarify family or partner roles and delegate authority. 

You will leave the course with strategies to help you pass on your family’s legacy, and the confidence to seek succession solutions for your farm.
Blain Hjertaas and his son Martin are the third and fourth generations, respectively, to work the family century farm in southeast Saskatchewan, Canada.

When Martin returned to the farm, he brought with him the idea of raising sheep in addition to the existing grass-based cattle operation. Hear the Hjertaas’ farm transition story and learn how (and why) they chose sheep as a new enterprise for the next generation.
Whole-farm planning looks at the farm through the lens of the watershed where it resides. The process incorporates natural, agricultural and economic resources to reduce risk, maximize profits and improve the land, water and ecological services.

Join Carole Reichardt (right) and Ron Doetch to learn about whole-farm planning and how it can be used to meet farm goals.
Navigating tenant-landowner relationships can be a complex and daunting task. Join Iowa landowner Carole Reichardt (above) and land manager Mollie Aronowitz (left) to discuss landowner-tenant expectations, leasing guidelines, successful management strategies and how they work together to meet Carole’s goals.

Carole will share her experiences managing family farms in Iowa and Missouri, and Mollie will discuss the role of Peoples Company as a landowner resource.
Resources for Landowners
This session at the 2019 annual conference was presented by Ruth Rabinowitz & Maggie McQuown.

Fifty-three percent of Iowa farmland is rented to non-owner operators. Conservation is just as important for the long-term viability of this land as it is for land owned by farmer-operators.

PFI member Lee Tesdell was the recipient of Practical Farmers’ 2019 Farmland Owner Legacy Award.

Learn more about how Lee works with his renters to protect soil, water quality and wildlife on the Tesdell Century Farm.
In this magazine article, we spoke with Practical Farmers’ members and partners who have experience with conservation easements.

PFI Executive Director Sally Worley published this blog discussing farmland ownership trends and the resulting challenges facing landowners and operators alike. 

PFI members present the barriers to owning land and some of the creative solutions they've come up with to own the ground they farm on.
N on-PFI resources
Vermont Law School & the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems have a Farmland Access Legal Toolkit. In particular, we like their Farm Transfer Toolkit and their Farmland Lease Builder tool.

The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) has significant resources for landowners that can be found here. In particular, their Conservation Leasing Toolkit is a great resource.

Learn more about conservation options for your land by visiting the Iowa Landowner Options website. You can also visit the Land Trust Alliance’s website to find a land trust near you. Two land trusts that PFI members work with are the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust

FindaFarmer.net - Connecting landowners and land seekers to help preserve family farms.
As a landowner, which topic would you MOST like to learn more about?
Cover crops
Livestock integration
Transitioning to organic
Creative/conservation leasing strategies
Edge-of-field (habitat) conservation
Upcoming PFI Events
Jan. 16-17:   Conference -   Short Courses  | Ames

Jan. 17-18:   Conference -   PFI Annual Conference 2020  | Ames
Feb. 18: Farminar - Creating Habitat
7 p.m. | Online

March 10: Farminar - Trusts
7 p.m. | Online
Please share this newsletter with your friends and let us know what type of content and programming we can provide to best help server you!
Looking for more? Contact us!
Jorgen Rose
Habitat & Farm Transfer Coordinator