Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Last Friday, we hosted our very first "Catching Up" event of the summer. After a year where gathering together on farms wasn't possible, it was wonderful to connect again in person.

Craig Wallace and his son, Ben, hosted a group of 15 people on their farm near Lake View, Iowa. Darrick Weissenfluh, a private lands biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, spoke about oxbows and opportunities for rare and declining fish and wildlife habitats on private lands.

Do you want to take part in a "Catching Up" event this summer? Let us know about your interest by filling out the form on this page.
Alfalfa offers a double benefit to any diversified ruminant livestock operation due to its nitrogen fixation potential and use as a feed source.

On May's shared learning call, John Schulte shared how alfalfa, which has become a staple in his rotation and pasture, helps keep living roots in his land year-round.
Practical Farmers of Iowa has received a nearly $980,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will fund work to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, and to amplify PFI's farmer-to-farmer learning network.

PFI's project – "Strengthening Farmer Networks to Improve Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat in the On-Demand World" – was one of three Iowa-based projects to receive funding through EPA's Farmer to Farmer grant program. A ceremony announcing the Iowa recipients took place on Wednesday at the Iowa State Capitol Building.

"At PFI, we've seen how our farmer-to-farmer learning model empowers farmers to make changes that benefit soil, water, wildlife and farm profitability," says Sarah Carlson, PFI's strategic initiatives director.

"With this EPA funding, we'll be able to help more farmers tap into this powerful network and get the support they need to add cover crops and small grains, which are proven ways to improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat while making their farms more resilient.
The “Practical Farrowing Box”: DIY Sow Nesting Boxes
On Tuesday, Tom Frantzen hosted our second episode of "Live From the Farm." Watch the recording online.

Read more about Tom's "practical farrowing box" including blueprints, materials list, reference photos and directions on how to build the box.
Thinking about ways to reduce tillage in your vegetable operation? Have you heard about “no-till” or “low-till” methods and are curious to see them in action? Join fellow low-till (and low-till-curious) growers for this summer web series!

Presented in four sessions over four weeks, this series includes virtual tours, demonstrations and presentations from researchers and farmers in Iowa and Wisconsin. Learn what they do (and don’t do anymore!), how they do it and how they are increasing their implementation of reduced-tillage practices at their vegetable farms.

June 22 | 2-2:45 p.m.

Red clover might just be Ben Dwire’s favorite crop to grow. During this episode, we’ll talk with Ben about all things red clover and how this nitrogen-fixing cover crop can help other parts of his extended rotations and his livestock operation.

We’ll take a peek at the red clover he’s underseeded with his oats and discuss how he manages his cover crop together with his small-grain crop. Then we’ll hop over to the other side of the road and take a look at corn that followed last year’s red clover, where Ben is experimenting with taking nitrogen credits and cutting nitrogen by roughly 40 units.
June 22: Live From the Farm - Extended Rotations With Red Clover
2-2:45 p.m. | Online

June 29: Live From the Butcher -
9-9:45 a.m. | Online
July 2: Shared Learning Call - Hybrid Rye Production for Swine Rations
12:15-1:15 p.m. | Call details

July 13: Live From the Farm -
5:30-6:15 p.m. | Online
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s goal is to raise $30,000 this month to continue building on our successes, and grow our impact.

In our most recent member survey, 92% of PFI members told us that we have helped them reach their short-term farming goals. One of those members is Matt Tentis of Kellogg, Minnesota, who says:

“We have expanded our cover crop system with experience gained from Practical Farmers. We intend to try inter-seeding into our row crops and grazing cattle, and we may try 60-inch row corn as well, and hopefully planting into a green cover crop.”

Please make a donation today so we can continue helping farmers like Matt reach their goals!
Members in the News
Will Lorentzen and Adrian White of Garber, Iowa, and Emma and Marcus Johnson of Central City, Iowa, were featured in two stories about the late-spring cold snap:

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.