Practical Farmers’ Beginning Farmer Retreat set for Montour, Nov. 30 – Dec. 1

Practical Farmers of Iowa will hold its annual overnight retreat for beginning farmers this year at Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center in Montour, Iowa. The event starts at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 and runs through 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. Beginning and aspiring farmers of all ages, farm enterprises and farm sizes are encouraged to attend.

In addition to enjoying social time and building a network of peers, attendees will make progress on key components of their business plans throughout the weekend. Individuals will work to create a farm vision and a set of goals, then receive feedback from others. A panel of “advanced” beginning farmers will be on hand to share their farm vision, how it has evolved and to offer insight to attendees. Additional topics to be covered include marketing, finances and creating an advisory team.

“The retreat is a must for anyone serious about planning their farm future,” says Angela Johnson, of Lucky George Farm, about the 2017 retreat. “I really liked having space for people to hang out and talk. The farmer panel was one of the best I’ve seen – great stories, personalities and tangible information.”

The cost is $20 for PFI members and $40 for non-members. Registration fees include all materials and workshop costs, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, snacks throughout and bunk-style lodging on-site. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share for the Friday night potluck; Practical Farmers will provide the main dish.

Registration is required by Monday, Nov. 26. Register at or by calling Practical Farmers of Iowa at (515) 232-5661.