Practical Farmers of Iowa to host Beginning Farmer Retreat in Strawberry Point

For Release: January 31, 2017

AMES, Iowa – Practical Farmers of Iowa is set to host its 9th annual beginning farmer retreat on February 10 and 11. The annual event takes place every winter, this year landing at the Ewalu Camp and Retreat Center near Strawberry Point, Iowa. Beginning and aspiring farmers of all ages, farm enterprises and farm sizes are welcome to attend.

The retreat is intended for beginning farmers who are motivated to improve their financial and business knowledge for their existing or future farm. Friday will cover financial literacy and available programs for farm financing. Attendees can choose to create a projected income statement using their own financial records or focus on goal setting for their future farm business. On day two the group will break into enterprises and learn about marketing and production efficiencies.

Farmer-to-farmer education is an important component of the retreat and an appealing way for beginners to build and improve their operation. “I so appreciated that you had REAL producers as speakers – not just speakers on the conference circuit,” described an attendee at the 2016 retreat. Networking with other beginners can be just as insightful, explained another: “I love getting to hear about what is or isn’t working for other beginning farmers.” The weekend will feature plenty of social time, small group discussions, group activities led by an expert and individual work time.

About the 2017 Retreat:

Where:  Ewalu Camp and Retreat Center

37776 Alpha Avenue, Strawberry Point, IA 52076

Start:     1:00 pm Friday, February 10
End:      2:00 pm Saturday, February 11

Cost:     $20 for PFI members; $40 for non-PFI members
Cost covers retreat activities, food and bunk-style lodging.  Alternative lodging is available on your own in Strawberry Point. Register at http://practicalfarmers.org/news-events/events/beginning-farmer-retreat/ or by calling Practical Farmers of Iowa at (515) 232-5661.

This year the retreat will be held concurrently with another Practical Farmers of Iowa workshop held at the same time and location, Advanced Financial Planning for Fruit and Vegetable Farms led by Holistic Management International. This two-day workshop will focus on whole farm financial planning for experienced fruit and vegetable farmers. Attendees to both PFI workshops will share meals and free time, but have separate programming. For more information, visit practicalfarmers.org.

The deadline to register for either event is Monday, February 6.

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.