Tag: organic

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Susan Jutz bought her farm, ZJ Farm, in the hills outside Solon on April Fools Day, 1994. She wanted to grow food for people, despite the skepticism of her neighbors. For the next 20 years, she proved them wrong, building a strong farm and community of workers, volunteers and CSA members who called Local Harvest CSA […]

August 2, 2016 


On June 30, the Petersens hosted a field day near Knoxville to share how they have worked together to build a diverse crop and livestock operation that allows multiple family members to continue working on the farm.

July 11, 2016 


Over 80 people gathered at the farm of Aaron and Nicole Heley-Lehman on June 20, 2016 to learn about the production and benefits of growing small grains in an organic crop rotation. The field day was held on the original farm that the Lehmans settled on, five generations ago. The farm was once much more diversified: […]

June 23, 2016 


At the Practical Farmers of Iowa annual conference last month, we held a session on terminating cover crops with rolling equipment. This session featured three farmers (Doug Alert, Dave Schmidt & Francis Thicke) sharing their experiences with rolling a cover crop from the 2015 growing season. Rolling a cover crop is not a common technique for terminating cover […]

February 10, 2016 


Apple cider vinegar is held to being a health tonic that promotes beneficial gut bacteria, improves digestion of feedstuffs, enhances performance, and helps decrease parasite load. PFI cooperator, Tom Frantzen, supplemented three groups of pigs with apple cider vinegar and measured feed intake, average daily gain, feed efficiency and return over feed costs compared to […]

December 30, 2015 


The growth of the grass-fed meat sector is driven by positive eating experiences. To ensure satisfied consumers, it’s critical for cattle graziers to have a solid understanding of grass-finishing. Ryan and Kristine Jepsen, of Dorchester, Iowa, will discuss the importance of meeting the nutritional needs of cattle at each stage of life and knowing your cost of gain. Daniel Sheetz, a row crop and beef cattle producer in Toledo, Iowa, is transitioning his operation to organic and grass-fed. He has seeded 60 acres of new pasture and will be implementing a grazing plan in the spring. Daniel will ask Ryan and Kristine questions about grass-based beef production.

November 25, 2015 


Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2015 fall farminar series starts Nov. 10For Release: October 28, 2015 Download PDF (557 kB) Topics range from high tunnel production to soil tests and grazing cover cropsAmes, Iowa — It’s that time of the year again: cooler nights, shorter days, harvest wrapping up – the perfect time to reflect on [...]

October 28, 2015 


The father and son team at Bridgewater Farm, Dale and Tyler Raasch, get more done on their farm than seems possible (to mere mortals). The duo manages 23 acres of organic fruits and vegetables, plus meat chickens, layers, pigs, and beef cattle. As Dale and Tyler toured the group around their farm, CSA members, friends and family […]

September 25, 2015 


On a beautiful late-summer morning in September, about 45 people made their way to Wendy Johnson’s farm near Charles City, Iowa to hear about her experience returning to the family farm and trying new enterprises and production practices. After leaving the farm to study clothing design and pursue a career on the west coast (with […]

September 17, 2015 


Long-time PFI farmers Doug Alert and Margaret Smith welcomed close to 60 people to their organic farm, Ash Grove Farm near Hampton, on July 7 to learn about beginning and advanced organic farming tactics. Chief among the topics discussed was terminating a cover crop with the roller-crimper method. It had been several years since Doug […]

July 14, 2015