AgricultureNews

Practical Farmers of Iowa To |Host a Beginning Farmer Summit on Feb. 7 in Cedar Rapids

The event offers training specific to beginners at different stages of their first 10 years

Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a Beginning Farmer Summit on Monday, Feb. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center (7725 Kirkwood Boulevard SW) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The event is free, and is designed for both beginning farmers and experienced farmers and landowners looking to help the next generation get started and access land. Farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend.

Registration is required and open online until Feb. 2. To register, visit practicalfarmers.org/beginning-farmer-summit. After Feb. 2, please call the PFI office to register at (515) 232-5661.

Beginning farmers face many barriers to getting started, from daunting land access challenges and high start-up costs to steep learning curves and lack of support to help them navigate these challenges.

The Beginning Farmer Summit aims to address some of these obstacles by offering training targeted to beginning farmers’ experience levels and related needs. The event also helps beginning farmers form networks with their peers while connecting them to farmers and landowners looking to support the next generation.

“We recognize that beginning farmers need different support and resources as they move through different stages within their first 10 years of farming,” says Greg Padget, PFI’s next generation director. “This is why we have designed the summit with tailored tracks to support each phase of farming.”

Beginning Farmer Summit Tracks:

  • Aspiring farmers who have not yet started farming will learn about setting goals related to preparing to farm. These goals will focus on mapping out ways to access farmland and building connections to find farmland.
  • Beginning farmers with one to five years of experience operating their own farm will discover ways to make decisions based on their current farming operations. Sessions and networking will offer ways to improve their marketing and finances.
  • Intermediate farmers with six to 10 years of experience will focus on business support related to scaling up operations, adding value and hiring employees. Those attending this track will also learn about a new PFI business coaching program that will offer one-on-one support with making farming business changes.
  • Farmers and landowners seeking to support beginning farmers will participate in the farmland owner track. These sessions and network activities will help participants set goals focused on providing farmland access to beginning farmers and meeting aspiring farmers looking for farmland to get started.

In addition to learning opportunities, all participants will have the chance to network with others and learn more about resources to support beginning farmers.

For questions about the Beginning Farmer Summit, contact Greg Padget at (515) 232-5661 or greg@practicalfarmers.org.

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