Published Jan 17, 2014

2014 Next Generation Retreat – network with beginning farmers, February 21-22, 2014

By Luke Gran

pete2014 Next Generation Retreat

Network with beginning and experienced farmers
1:00 p.m., Friday, February 21, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 22, 2014
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa welcomes you to attend The 2014 Next Generation Retreat – The sixth annual gathering of beginning farmers who share good food, network together, and swap strategies to help their beginning farms be successful!

This year the retreat is located at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Schedule to feature:

  • Peer-to-peer learning (farms with all types of crops, production systems, and marketing strategies welcome to attend)
  • “Better Know a Budget” exercise – the nitty gritty of farming led by farmers
  • Facilitated and informal networking opportunities
  • Business strategic coaching with experienced farmers and business leaders

Gather to discuss agriculture opportunities and beginning farmer challenges in Iowa. Discuss efficient production, marketing, distribution, of crops and livestock. Share your plans and experiences developing infrastructure for new enterprises. Learn from other farms and get new ideas for next year. Stay overnight with affordable accommodations in a nearby woodland retreat lodge overlooking the Cedar River.
Overnight lodging is available at the nearby Riverview Conference Center. Commuter attendees also welcome.


  • Registration is $15.00 per person for members of Practical Farmers of Iowa, or $40.00 for non-members. This cost includes beverages and snacks on Friday and two meals on Saturday.
  • Lodging is available three miles north of campus at the Riverview Conference Center, 439 N Division St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. Cost is an additional $10 for a shared room with single beds and shared bathrooms. Guests must provide their own bedding, linens, pillows.

NOTE: Friday evening meal is at a local restaurant and is an additional cost to attendees.

To Register: Register online by Friday, February 14 at or contact Luke Gran by email or call (515) 232-5661.

Time and place: The workshop will be held 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 21, 2014 to 3:00 p.m. February 22, 2014 at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Lodging is available for attendees at the Riverview Conference Center, 439 N Division St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613.

Parking: Park at the Industrial Technology Center (ITC) South Lot located south of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. View a parking map online at this link. Visitor Parking Permits are required for free parking on Friday only. Practical Farmers will provide these to you upon registration at no additional cost. All attendees on Friday will receive a complimentary parking permit with their nametags at check-in. Saturday parking is free for all, no permit required.


Friday – Day 1
12:45-12:55 p.m.     Arrive at CEEE building on UNI campus (see note about parking above)
1:00-1:15 p.m.         Welcome, Orientation, Agenda Discussion
1:30-2:15 p.m.         Networking activity
2:15-3:45 p.m.         Strategic Coaching – two simultaneous sessions – A) Dick Schwab paired with beginner Luke Schuldt; B) Tom Frantzen paired with beginner Tyler Albers
3:45-4:45 p.m.         Networking time and hearty snacks (cheese, hummus, fruit, and fresh veggies)
4:45-6:00 p.m.        Strategic Coaching, Discussion altogether
6:00-7:30 p.m.        The Farming Institute (Dick Schwab, Susan Jutz, and Kate Edwards)  – Collaboration is Key
7:30-8:30 p.m.        Dinner at local restaurants
8:30 p.m.                 End of Day 1 PFI Next Generation Retreat
8:30-9:30 p.m.      Check-in at Riverview Conference Center (for registered overnight guests only)

8:30-11:00 p.m.      Additional networking time

Note: Free individual business or financial consultations (seven timeslots are available) may be scheduled with Andy Hunziker, Boone County Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loan Officer on Friday afternoon from 2:15-6:45 p.m. only. Choose your preferred timeslot at this doodle poll or email Luke Gran if you want a consultation but do not have a time preference.


Saturday – Day 2
7:00 a.m.                  Coffee, tea and a hot breakfast at CEEE (available until 9:00 a.m.)
8:00-9:00 a.m.       “Variety” Show:
(small group discussions of crop selection, livestock breeds, and/or marketing) production focused by enterprise. Horticulture: Rob Faux; Field Crops: John and Sarah Gilbert; Livestock: Luke and Linsey Schuldt
9:00-10:30 a.m.      “Better Know a Budget” by farm enterprise. Hogs: Tom Frantzen, Apple Orchard: Marcus & Emma Johnson, Hay, Crops, and Sheep: Wendy Johnson, CSA Vegetables: Rob Faux
Scenarios of monthly expenses and income – getting down to the realities of farming with cash flow budgets
10:30-11:30 a.m.     Networking time, beverages and light snacks
12:00-1:00 p.m.      Lunch at the “Piaaza” dining center on UNI campus
1:00-2:00 p.m.        Real farm life experience on budgets from farmers: Tie it all together
2:00 p.m                   Conclude Retreat
2:00-3:00 p.m.        Clean up and check out of cabins
3:00 p.m.                  End of Next Generation Retreat