Government programs have an immense impact on the lives of PFI members and in shaping modern agriculture. Practical Farmers of Iowa recognizes that members sharing their research, knowledge and experiences with policy makers can contribute to the formation of sensible policy and government programs.
Policy work at Practical Farmers always reflects the organization’s history and values of supporting positive alternatives for farmers, rather than working against negative practices or policies. Practical Farmers of Iowa will not take stands on or support campaigns, regulations, or actions against a specific agricultural practice, policy or entity.
The PFI Policy committee serves to vet policy issues as they arise. The committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding policy positions of the organization.
Current Policy Committee members are: Nathan Anderson, Rick Hartmann, Fred Kirschenmann, Jeff Klinge, Laura Krouse, Jerry Peckumn, Ann Robinson, Dan Specht, and Francis Thicke
Have questions about federal Farm Bill programs? Contact Sarah Carlson at (515) 232-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the following programs:
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - A working lands conservation program designed to protect and improve natural resources and the environment. Farmers and ranchers can apply for financial and technical assistance to help implement conservation activities on land in agricultural production.
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - A voluntary conservation program in which farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices on agricultural working land in return for financial cost-share assistance and technical assistance.
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) - A competitive grant program administered by the Cooperative State Education and Extension Service that funds education, extension, outreach and technical assistance initiatives directed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers.
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) – A program advancing agricultural innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education.
- Farmer Fly-ins – In cooperation with our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Practical Farmers regularly provides opportunities for farmers to directly participate in policy discussions with legislators in Washington D.C. The face-to-face interaction and sharing of stories helps to ensure that federal programs have real and effective results on the ground for farmers and their communities. Read about past fly-ins below:
- Action Farmers – At times there is a need for immediate contact through letters and calls to our congressional leaders – for instance, during the mark-up and amendment periods of Farm Bill creation. Action Farmers is a self-selected group of farmers that stands ready to act on behalf of PFI or policies that they care about.
- County Leadership – Practical Farmers works closely with its members that also serve as Soil and Water Conservation District commissioners – helping to network individuals across the state and share information regarding working lands conservation practices such as cover crops, crop rotation, grazing and other continuous living cover practices.
- PFIPolicy email discussion list – Open to all members of Practical Farmers of Iowa, the PFIPolicy list is a place for discussion of policy concerns, legislation, and action alerts. Email email@example.com if you’d like to be added to the list.
Resources and Information