Beginning Farmer News & Updates
Where do you turn when farming gets tough?

Practical Farmers helps connect beginning and aspiring farmers to each other and to experienced farmers. This network provides the supportive community and source of expertise to improve their production knowledge and confidence. Seventy-two percent of beginning farmers have reported they have formed friendships or relationships as a result of participating in Practical Farmers.

Last month we kicked off a series of beginning farmer socials at Jack Davis' farm in Adel. Then this month David Rosmann and Becky Tompkins-Rosmann hosted a social in Avoca for our western Iowa friends. These socials were a chance for beginning farmers from these areas to meet their peers. We've asked them how we can help connect them to each other and combat the sense of isolation when starting your farming business.

Now we want to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to complete our peer group survey . Your feedback will help us provide you with the right tools to network with other farmers and learn together. As Kate Edwards says “Farming is hard and having a guide can be so helpful to get through the rough patches, but along with that it’s wonderful to have someone to celebrate with in the good times." 
Thursday, August 24; 9 am - 3 pm
Grand Marsh, WI
This day-long event visits 3,200-acre Wallendal Farms, which is in the process of transitioning one third of its crop ground to organic production, adding additional complexity, diversity, and resilience to its operation. Click here to register.

As Congress begins to set the direction of farm policy that will impact farmers, rural residents, and consumers, the Iowa Farmers Union will be holding Farm Bill Listening Sessions at three locations in Iowa. The general public is invited to voice their opinion to help set the agenda for rural America and the 2018 Farm Bill.
Wednesday, August 23, 1 pm
Decorah Public Library
202 Winnebago St, Decorah, IA 52101
Thursday, August 24, 10 am
Washington Public Library
115 W. Washington St., Washington, IA 52353
Friday, August 25, 10 am
Wallace Country Life Center
2773 290th Street, Orient, IA

Monday, August 28; 9 am - 4 pm
Elkhart, IL
Holistic Management International is excited to be collaborating with Kaesebier Farm of Elkhart, Illionis and the Soil Health Partnership in offering a full-day workshop on August 28th with Gabe Brown titled: "Putting the Farm Back in Farming." The first part of the day will be a farm tour of the Kaesebier Farm where they are experimenting with cover crops. You'll see some of those test plots as well as a soil pit dig and learn about soil health and farm productivity as Gabe leads the tour. The afternoon will be more presentations by Gabe and times for Q&A. Registration is $50 per person (includes lunch). Only 75 spots are available.

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting applications for the Research and Education (R&E) program. It provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers/ranchers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education/demonstration projects. Individual grants range from $50,000 to $200,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund nine to 10 projects in the 12-state region.
Pre-proposals are due October 19, 2017.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology has introduced a chat service on its ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture website. Visitors to the site have the opportunity to chat in real time with sustainable agriculture experts during weekday business hours. The same sustainable agriculture specialists who answer ATTRA's e-mail and telephone questions will be available at the website to respond to queries from site users.

USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced changes to the Apiculture Pilot Insurance plan, ensuring greater protection for producers' honey, pollen collection, wax, and breeding stock, and extending coverage to include 19 additional states. Coverage is now available throughout the 48 contiguous states.

For some farmers, cash flow management consists of paying bills until the checking account is empty, running credit cards up to their limits, then hoping the mail carrier delivers a check or two instead of just more bills. If handling your farm’s cash flow by the seat of your pants is stressing you out, cash flow planning and analysis will help to ease your anxiety. Paul Dietmann, of Badgerland Financial, shares some ideas to manage your cash flow.
Jumpstart your farm business at the all-in-one beginning farmer conference! Are you dreaming of farming? Already have a couple of Schedule F's under your belt?

New Farmer U will help you learn the latest field and financial aspects of farm business. Plus, ask all your burning questions and network with farmers in a small and supportive setting.

Nov. 10-12
Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, IA
$125 for training, lodging & meals | $25 discount for farm partners
Add Fearless Farm Finances or Food Safety workshop to Friday for just $25!

Scholarships are available! Apply here through September 15.
August 24 | Des Moines | hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa
August 29 | Shenandoah | hosted by Chris and Janenne Teachout 

August 31 | Jefferson | hosted by Jerry Peckumn

September 7 | Dunkerton | hosted by the Canfield Family

September 9 | Harlan | hosted by the Rosmann Family

September 14 | Everly | hosted by Darla and Michael Eeten

September 16 | Bellevue | hosted by Jamie Hostetler

December 1-2 | Indianola | Save the date
Labor4Learning helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training with experienced farmers, and pays experienced farmers for their time and effort.

Saving Incentive Program
Savings Incentive Program is a 2 - year program that pairs beginning and aspiring farmers with experienced farmer mentors; provides targeted learning and peer networking opportunities; offers business planning support and guidance. All this while you save money and then we match is dollar for dollar up to $2,400, to use toward the purchase of a farm asset. Look for applications to open on September 22. 

Find A Farmer
Find A Farmer allows for a comfortable place to start anonymous conversations with land-seekers or landowners. Search for users in a particular area that fit your specifications and begin the discussion.

Find A Farmer is FREE and available for anyone with internet access? No membership is required.
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Greg Van Den Berghe
Beginning Farmer Manager
(515) 232-5661
Steve Carlson 
Beginning Farmer and Program Associate
(515) 232-5661