Practical News
November 2, 2018
Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Online registration for our 2019 annual conference, "Cultivating Connections," is now open! You’ll have a chance to reconnect with friends, cultivate new relationships and learn from a community that believes in sharing knowledge to benefit everyone. See the brochure online (printed versions will be mailed out soon!) for speaker sessions, short courses and more. Learn more about the conference here!
Nov. 8: Field Day - Root and Tuber Crop Production
3 - 5 p.m. | Sioux Center | RSVPs appreciated

Iowa City | Register here

 Nov. 26-27: Conference - 2018 Iowa Forage and Grassland Conference
Des Moines | Register here

Nov. 30 - Dec. 1: 2018 Beginning Farmer Retreat
Montour | Register Here
On Sept. 22, 40 people gathered in the rolling hills of northern Missouri to learn from grazier Andy Welch of Welch Family Farms. “Daily [cattle] moves is when I started seeing improvements in my soil,” said Andy, who first learned about rotational grazing in 1995. He started with monthly rotations, then weekly and now he moves his herd to a new paddock each day. Read more about this field day here.
Many of you have heard the news that Chris Blanchard died recently. He was a farmer, farm and environmental advocate and talented teacher. At Practical Farmers of Iowa, we had the privilege of working with Chris many times over the years, and of sharing Chris’ knowledge with our members. Read more about the impact Chris made with PFI.
Kalona Creamery includes a shop and deli featuring house-made ice cream, butter and cheese curds. Creamery staff led 113 field day attendees through the history of the creamery, shared the creamery’s cheese-making process and discussed the logistics of sourcing local milk at Kalona Farms. Learn more about this field day here.
We are excited to announce the theme and line-up for our 2019 annual conference, "Cultivating Connections." The conference will focus on how to cultivate connections that nurture a purposeful path.

  • Learn how to cultivate a healthy soil that will improve productivity and increase ecosystem services.

  • Look to your past to make strides toward your vision for your farmland legacy.

  • Hear how to engage with your community to spur rural economic development.

  • Renew your inspiration, and make vital connections that can help you on your path to building resilient farms and communities.

View the brochure for speaker sessions, short courses and more. Register for the conference here!
Seeking Donations for Our Annual Conference Silent Auction
We are busy preparing for another exciting and enriching annual conference in January. Our silent auction is a longstanding conference tradition - the money we raise from it is used to further our reach and support our members.

We are seeking donations of goods and services for the silent auction. Items that have raised a lot of money in the past include:

  • services, such as free rental of farm equipment for a day, free consultation with a farmer expert or a free stay at your time-share

  • tickets to a sold-out sporting event, a popular conference or other in-demand event

  • one-of-a-kind gifts like homemade quilts, woodwork and baskets.

If you would like to donate to our silent auction, please contact or call (515) 232-5661.
Time and again, farmers tell us that having a mentor made an impact on their ability to be successful. We want to support you in becoming a role model and teacher for those just starting out in farming.

We are seeking experienced farmers to build our mentor pool. Mentorship places you in a position to positively influence those starting their farming journey.

Nominations are now being accepted for our 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award!

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. Practical Farmers board members will choose the winner based on the nominations you submit.

The recipient will be recognized at our 2019 annual conference, Jan. 18-19, in Ames. To nominate someone, please fill out this simple nomination form.
Thursday, Nov. 8
3 - 5 p.m. | Sioux Center, IA
Dinner provided

Join John and Janna Wesselius, of The Cornucopia , to learn about growing a variety of root and tuber crops. John and Janna will share how they seed, weed, feed, harvest, pack and store carrots, potatoes, leeks, beets and parsnips. They will also demonstrate implements, including a bed lifter (undercutter), and lead a tour of their walk-in cooler and root cellar. Read more about this field day here.
J oin Us for the Beginning Farmer Retreat
Friday, Nov. 30 - Saturday, Dec. 1
Montour, IA
Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center

Registration is now open for our 2018 beginning farmer retreat. This year, we will gather at Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center in Montour, Iowa. This annual event brings beginning farmers together to network, plan and discuss ways to improve their farms while helping to build a sense of community among this fast-growing farming demographic. This popular event is beneficial for beginning and aspiring farmers in all enterprises. Register today!
Maggie McQuown and Steve Turman were featured in The Des Moines Register: Conservation programs encourage long-term sustainability

Maggie McQuown was also featured in Iowa State University's STRIPS news: Why Prairie Strips? Farmland Owner Maggie McQuown Shares Her Thoughts and Experiences.

Benji and Chris Deal of Jefferson were featured in Farm Bureau's Family Living section
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.