Published Mar 1, 2011

NEW Spring Farminar Series Begins Tuesday March 1, 2011 7 PM

By Luke Gran

Tonight at 7 PM Central Time, Practical Farmers of Iowa begins the 2011 Spring Farminar Series. Below are the farmer presenters and topics to be discussed. To register for free and find out more information go to

Managing Farm Labor

with Eric Franzenburg and Morgan Hoenig

Experienced farmer Eric Franzenburg Pheasant Run Farm produces corn, soybeans, swine, meat poultry, flowers and high value herbs, near Van Horne, IA. This diverse farm requires the helping hands of many skilled laborers to succeed. Eric will be coaching beginner Morgan Hoenig, Mogo Organics, who began a CSA in 2009. Now in her third year of horticulture production near Mount Pleasant, IA, Morgan plans to hire her first paid laborers. Learn
along with Morgan as Eric shares his experiences managing farm employees. You will gain information on hiring employees, employment forms, and labor regulations.

Where & When
Tuesday, March 1, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)

Building Wholesale Relationships

with Mike Krogh and Derek Roller

Farmers, do you want to sell to wholesale outlets like groceries and restaurants? Grocers and chefs, are you interested in offering more local fare? Hear from both sides of the transaction to learn how to build strong wholesale relationships that are beneficial to both parties. Mike Krogh works at New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City, Iowa. He will share experiences of successful farmer and grocery store collaborations. Joining Mike will be beginning farmer Derek Roller from Mechanicsville, Iowa.

Where & When
Tuesday, March 8, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)

Member Core Groups

with Elizabeth Henderson

Elizabeth Henderson farms at Peacework Farm in Wayne County, New York, and has been producing organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for almost 30 years. Peacework Organic Farm supplies vegetables to the 300-member Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA), finished its 22nd growing season in 2010. In addition to farming, managing a CSA, Elizabeth has been active in New England farmer organizations and has authored several popular farming books including Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’ s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture.

Where & When
Tuesday, March 15, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)

Profitable Grass-Based Livestock Systems

with Cody Holmes and Erin and Torray Wilson

Thirty-seven year veteran rancher and author Cody Holmes will visit with Torray and Erin Wilson how to plan for a profitable grazing system, how to work smarter with animals, how to track sales and costs, and how to maintain profit with grass-based livestock. Torray grew up on the farm where they currently live near Paulina, Iowa. Erin grew up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa. They practice holistic management while grazing beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, and help with the family niche pork operation that includes pasture farrowing. Their chickens are sold locally through farmers’ market; pork is sold on contract with Niman Ranch; and lamb is split between direct market sales and ethnic markets through a sale barn.

Where & When
Tuesday, March 22, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)

Brokering Tips

with Nick Wallace and Ryan Marquardt

Demand for local products is on the rise. Selling other farmers’ products has great potential for expanding the profitability of your direct sales while helping other farmers expand their sales. Get some great advice from Nick Wallace on maintaining fairness, transparency and accountability when brokering products for other farmers. Nick Wallace’ s Wallace Farms sells grass-fed lamb, beef, poultry and wild-caught seafood direct to consumers in Iowa and Chicago. Ryan Marquardt along with his wife Janice sell Wild Rose Pastures specialty product raised on pasture including eggs, broiler chickens, and turkeys. They are beginning to sell more products from other farmers.

Where & When

Tuesday, March 29, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)

Horticulture Farm Recordkeeping

with Linda Halley

Linda Halley has been growing organic produce since 1989, owning or managing farms in Wisconsin, California and Minnesota. She also enjoys being an author and educator on wide ranging farm topics. Currently she manages the Gardens of Eagan Organic Farm for the Wedge Food Co-op of Minneapolis and serves as President of the board of Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and the Organic Field School President.

Where & When
Tuesday, April 5, 7PM-8:30PM (CST)