Save the date! The 2017 Annual Conference will held on January 20-21, 2017 at the Scheman Building in Ames.
Practical Farmers’ Annual Conference has been the backbone of our organization since our founding, when farmers looking to improve diversity on their farms gathered to share their knowledge openly with others. From the days when these informal get-togethers took place at someone’s farm and were known as the Annual Meeting, to the surging interest in pragmatic, sustainable farming solutions that in 2003 necessitated a shift in rhetorical scope from annual “meeting” to “conference,” to the ongoing upwelling of farmers seeking practical yet profitable and ecologically sensitive ways to farm, the annual conference has been a hallmark of what Practical Farmers stands for: farmer-to-farmer learning, networking and grassroots solutions to on-farm challenges for a more diverse, sustainable agricultural landscape.
Open to all
Our annual conference is open to everyone. The event attracts farmers of all sorts, sizes, systems and enterprises, as well as non-farmers interested in knowing more about how their food is grown and building relationships between those who work the land and those who rely on their labors. From pre-conference short courses that run the day before and morning of the conference to in-depth workshops, roundtables, breakfast meetings and a rich array of sessions in several core tracks, those who attend are sure to come away with valuable working knowledge to improve their farms and enrich their lives.
The conference allows ample time for networking, interacting with sponsors, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones – as well as plenty of fun. Bid on items in our silent auction, unwind at our PFI Potluck Party, enjoy food produced by local farmers or – for beginning farmers – meet with others just starting out at a special get-together planned just for you. We look forward to seeing you at the next conference!
Annual conference multimedia
Presentations, handouts, audio recordings, and video recordings of select annual conference sessions are available for free on our Annual Conference Multimedia page.
PASS IT ON
Farmers view other farms as examples to draw from, not models to replicate. This mode of passing on information works because farmers are credible to each other, especially within Practical Farmers’ network. Here farmers feel comfortable openly sharing information and admitting they don’t know it all. They recognize constant exploration fosters ongoing innovations on their farms, improving their profitability, providing ecosystem services and promoting vibrant communities. Come hear farmers pass on how they conserve both money and soil, grow and market a multitude of crops, practice sound financial and production recordkeeping and planning, access land and capital, pass on the farm to the next generation, and more.
If you or your company would like to exhibit at the January 2017 conference please contact Kathy Eastman with any questions or concerns: [email protected].