The number of beginners coming to Practical Farmers of Iowa for networking and practical farming know-how has increased to over 1300 in Iowa alone. To be successful, these beginners tell us they need business planning, mentoring, capital, and land. Practical Farmers of Iowa can help with a method—the Savings Incentive Program.
The Savings Incentive Program will entice beginning farmers to save $100 a month for two years; after two years, SIP will match their savings $1:$1. The beginning farmer can then use this savings to purchase a farm asset (like machinery, land, or livestock).
The Savings Incentive Program is more than a dollar match. It is a program designed to help beginners succeed. Those enrolled will:
Requirements are modified this year to consider those not yet farming on their own. To be eligible for the Savings Incentive Program, applicants must either be farming on their own now and have farmed for five or fewer years, or have some experience working for a farm business. This includes, but is not limited to: internships, apprenticeships, working as an hourly or salaried employee or working on the family farm. Applicants must also reside in Iowa or farm in the state (out-of-state residents are eligible, so long as they are farming in Iowa,) and be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa (candidates can join at www.practicalfarmers.org or by calling (515) 232-5661.)
Beginning farmers need your support to overcome the multiple challenges they face. Please donate to Practical Farmers' 100 Days, 100 Beginners Next Generation Campaign today! Since 2009, more than 100 donors and key partner organizations have raised $250,000 to fund 100 beginning farmer SIP savings matches. Today we are raising funds to continue this program and other support for beginning farmers at Practical Farmers. To continue our effective programs, must raise $75,000 by September 30, 2013 when our Next Generation funding is exhausted. As of August 1, we have raised $52,000! Please DONATE now!