Practical Farmers of Iowa to host annual next generation retreat near Boone Feb. 19-20

For Release: February 4, 2016

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa will host its 2016 next generation retreat from 1 p.m. on Friday, February 19 to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 20 at the Des Moines Y Camp near Boone. Beginning and aspiring farmers of all ages, farm enterprises and farm sizes are welcome to attend.

2016 marks the eighth year Practical Farmers of Iowa has held this annual retreat. The first next generation retreat took place in 2009, and has been a popular annual event since. Comments from past attendees continue to reinforce the need for this event that combines understandable farm-specific business education with networking and fellowship, saying “This workshop was incredibly eye-opening and gave me much more confidence in what I am trying to accomplish,” and “The meals and networking time are always the best parts of PFI events, even when everything else is great too!”

The retreat combines education on farm business planning with time to build relationships with fellow beginning farmers. This year’s retreat will focus on two broad topics: farm financials—including financial terms and financial components of a business plan—and effective marketing strategies. Craig Chase, ISU Extension agent and co-author of Fearless Farm Finances, will guide participants through basic farm financial documents including how to use them to gauge the performance of their farms and identify areas to improve. Livestock farmer Ethan Book of Crooked Gap Farm near Knoxville, and vegetable grower Jordan Clasen of Grade A Gardens near Des Moines, will each lead the group through their marketing strategies. In addition, one-on-one financial consultations will be available during the workshops.

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

To register and find more information, visit practicalfarmers.org/next-generation-retreat/ or contact Steve Carlson at (515) 232-5661 or [email protected] The deadline for registration is Monday, February 15th.

Support for beginning farmers is a top priority for Practical Farmers of Iowa members. The next generation retreat is part of Practical Farmers’ beginning farmer program that provides resources and opportunities to help beginning and aspiring Iowa farmers create viable farm businesses. Other beginning farmer opportunities offered by Practical Farmers include: the Savings Incentive Program, Labor4Learning, Find-A-Farmer, beginning farmer field days, farminars, farm transition work, and more.

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Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit http://practicalfarmers.org.

Contact:
Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]