Learn about land stewardship, adding multiple generations to the farm, at Seven W Farm field day – Sept. 26, near Paullina

For Release: September 11, 2014

PAULLINA, Iowa — Finding a way to incorporate multiple generations into the farm operation – while keeping the business viable and ensuring a good living for all – is a challenge many farm families face today. With five children who wanted to farm, Dan and Lorna Wilson of Seven W Farm approached this dilemma by diversifying their farm and focusing on land stewardship and goal-setting through Holistic Management.

Join the Wilson family to see how they are integrating multiple enterprises and generations into the farm in a cohesive, ecologically-minded and financially sound system at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day they are hosting on Friday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., near Paullina. The event – “Stewardship at Seven W Farm” – is free to attend and will include lunch. The Wilsons will prepare a main dish, and provide drinks and desserts. Guests are asked to bring a side dish to share.

RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Lauren Zastrow at lauren@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661 by Tuesday, Sept. 23. The field day is sponsored by Land Stewardship Project and Prairie Creek Seed. Seven W Farm is located at 4342 Pierce Ave., about 4.5 miles northwest of town.

The day will begin with a farm tour and discussion of Biological Monitoring, an aspect of Holistic Management that helps farmers evaluate their land and determine whether different management is necessary. The tour will include a stop to look at the Wilsons’ pasture-farrowing hog operation.

Following lunch, discussion will center around the farm’s small grain production and how this alternative to corn and soybeans fits into the farm model. The last part of the day will focus on a discussion of forage chains and cover crops, and how the Wilsons use both in grass-based livestock systems and organic row-crop systems.

“We’re really excited about cover crops and what they can do, both for preventing erosion and fitting in with our operation,” Dan says. “We’ve been doing cover crops for three years, but keep getting more and more involved. Our goal is to have the soil covered 365 days out of the year.”

Seven W Farm is a multi-generational family farm that includes 540 acres of organic corn, soybeans, barley and cover crops, as well as Niman Ranch pigs, organic dairy, pasture-based sheep, beef, laying hens and broilers.

Directions: From Paullina, go 2 miles west on Iowa Route 10, then 2.25 miles north on Pierce Avenue. There is a greenhouse on the left (west) side of the road. Look for Practical Farmers of Iowa field day signs along the way.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2014 field day season features 35 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend. The guide is available on Practical Farmers’ website, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a printed copy.

Practical Farmers’ 2014 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Calcium Products; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Gateway Market and Café; Grain Millers, Inc.; Grassland Oregon; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Cross Seed – Soil First; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Insurance Corporation; MOSA Organic Certification; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); National Wildlife Federation; Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.

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Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

Contact:

Dan and Lorna Wilson | Seven W Farm | (712) 448-3870 | the7wilsons@gmail.com

Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org