Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Mike Jackson (left) discusses his soil structure and use of cereal rye during the field day he hosted near Rose Hill on Wednesday as Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist Jason Steele assists.

Mike explained that he's been using cover crops for six years and has high clay content in his soil. Jason observed that Mike's soil has changed from using cover crops, but that it will take more time with his high-clay-content soils before more noticeable changes are visible to his soil structure.

About 30 people attended this last field day of PFI's 2019 season, and learned about Mike's on-farm cover crop research with PFI, as well as diverse approaches to managing cover crops, including financial and practical aspects.

With this event, our total field day attendance for 2019 comes in at an impressive 1,958. Thank you to everyone who attended a field day this year!
In addition to cool-season annuals, stockpiled forages provide a critical link in the forage chain and save livestock farmers from feeding as much hay as they would otherwise. Now is the time when spring and summer grazing planning pay off.

Hear from PFI graziers about how they stockpile forage for winter and deal with other winter grazing hurdles like frozen waterers.
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking an outgoing and driven professional to join our staff as next generation coordinator.

This new, full-time position will work with PFI staff, farmers, landowners and external partners to help beginning farmers succeed in establishing farm businesses; increase opportunities for youth and Latinos in agriculture; and strengthen PFI’s farm transfer program.

Ranching in Alberta, Canada, Steve Kenyon has lots of experience with cold, snowy winters. Even so, he has designed a system to allow for profitable winter grazing. In this farminar, Steve will discuss the importance of pasture planning; bale and swath grazing; and the economics of winter grazing, including labor and equipment.

This is the only farminar before the new year. Stay tuned for an announcement on the rest of the farminar lineup coming 2020!
Join us by phone Friday, Dec. 6 to learn about oat variety selection (with rye trial bonus!)
Wayne Koehler , who farms near Charles City, will join us on Friday, Dec. 6 from Noon-1 p.m. to share how oat variety trials are conducted on his farm and how he selects oat varieties for his own production. 

PFI's strategic initiatives assistant Rebecca Clay will share highlights from Practical Farmers' 2019 trial results  – including PFI's  first year of rye trial results  – and future opportunities to get involved with variety trialing on your farm.

To join the call, dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
Join us at one of three upcoming farm transfer and succession workshops with Mike Downey of Next Gen Ag Advocates and Farm Financial Strategies, Inc.

Mike will discuss the why and how of farmland transition, including farm leasing trends and how to communicate with family about your farmland transition.

All workshops will include a meal and networking time and will conclude with some possible strategies and next steps for farm transfer.
Tuesday, Dec. 3 | Decorah
5-8 p.m. | RSVP

Tuesday, Dec. 10 | Cherokee
5-8 p.m. | RSVP
Tuesday, Dec. 17 | Oxford
5-8 p.m. | RSVP
Are you looking to launch your own farm business? Then now is the time to register for the upcoming Beginning Farmer Retreat, taking place Dec. 13-14, in Ames.

This popular event is beneficial for beginning and aspiring farmers in all enterprises. In addition to creating your own farm plan, you will hear from other farmers about how they started their farming journey.

This retreat is only offered once a year and attendance is limited.
Nov. 26: Farminar - Winter Grazing
7 p.m. | Online

Dec. 3: Workshop - Farm Transfer
5-8 p.m. | Decorah

Dec. 6: Shared Learning Call - Small Grains
Noon - 1 p.m.
Dec. 10: Workshop - Farm Transfer
5-8 p.m. | Cherokee

Dec. 13-14: Retreat - Beginning Farmer

Dec. 17: Workshop - Farm Transfer
5-8 p.m. | Oxford
We're fortunate to have New Zealand agroecologist Nicole Masters keynote our conference in January. Nicole is a systems thinker, educator, author of "For the Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate Our Food Systems" and director of the New Zealand-based Integrity Soils.

In this dynamic keynot e, Nicole will present an illuminating look at the interrelationships among soil microbes, structure, plant health and resilience, and explain how fostering healthy soils translates directly to improvements in farmers’ bottom lines.

We'll hear how plants and microbes use a complex set of chemical and electrical signals to communicate and exchange valuable carbon, nutrients and water  – and how a robust soil structure and a diverse community of soil microbes can reduce temperature fluctuations and even reduce frost damage.

By the end, you will feel inspired and more connected to that most vital resource: a vibrant, thriving soil ecosystem.
Do you know any farmers who deserve to be recognized for their efforts to steward the land and foster resilient farms and communities? The recipient will be recognized at our 2020 annual conference. To nominate someone, please fill out this simple nomination form.
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s vision is one of hope: an Iowa with healthy soil, healthy food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. This vision seems within reach when visiting Practical Farmers members on their farms. Their ingenuity and passion is inspiring and motivating.

PFI members give us all hope that this vision is possible. Please help make this vision a reality by donating today. Our goal is to raise $25,000 with our fall fundraising drive so we have the resources needed to equip Iowa farmers to work toward this vision.
Members in the News
Jack Boyer was featured in the Cedar Rapids Gazette: New Iowa crop insurance discount for cover crops

George Naylor of Churdan wrote an article that was featured on Regeneration International: Old New Deal shows path to Green New Deal 

Patti Naylor of Churdan was featured in Greene County News Online: Naylor to speak at UN committee meeting on food security

Aaron Alons of Sanborn was featured in N'West Iowa REVIEW: Sanborn family raises grass-fed beef cows 

Kirk Den Herder of Orange City was featured in Wallaces Farmer: Interseeding cover crops into corn
Mark Yoder of Leon was featured in Wallaces Farmer: Graze year-round with annual forages

Ron Rosmann of Harlan, Mark Peterson of Stanton, Daniel Rosmann of Harlan, Fred Abels of Holland, Denise O'Brien of Atlantic and Amber Mohr of Avoca were featured in YES! Magazine: Meet the Farmers Putting Politics Aside to Address Climate Change

Matt McAndrew of Coralville wrote an article that was featured in Wallaces Farmer : Water quality: A delicate balance

PFI in the News
Practical Farmers of Iowa was mentioned in the York News-Times: Results from practices at York’s wellfield area to be discussed

PFI Strategic Initiatives Director Sarah Carlson of Pleasant Hill was featured in Wallaces Farmer: Plant cover crops, get crop insurance discount

Practical Farmers of Iowa was mentioned in the Canadian magazine Country Guide: Re-setting the mind-set on cover crops
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.