Published Jun 15, 2014

Five Reasons to Like “A Great Thing Going”

By Teresa Opheim

I keep looking at the Practical Farmers Fiscal Year 2013 annual report, “A Great Thing Going.” It pleases me so much. Here are five reasons why the report makes me such a happy camper:

The pictures.

The portraits presented in the annual report are all members who have had PFI signs installed on their land. In 2013, PFI staffer Marc Strobbe installed 120 signs in more than half of Iowa’s counties, to increase the visibility of Practical Farmers. These signs are passed by more than 44 million cars per year.


Philip and Martin Kramer, Algona, are featured in the PFI 2013 Annual Report

The list of leaders.

340 of you helped govern, share your knowledge, and improve Practical Farmers and Iowa this year, including:

  • Kathy, Adam and Julie Hohl, who held a field day;
  • Jeanne Hansen, who was a speaker;
  • Maria Rosmann, who served on the Nominating Committee;
  • Doug Roberts, who advised us on starting a fee-for-service for non-operator landlords (Practical Landowner Services).

The breadth and level of support.

Pages of you—individuals, families, businesses, grantors and more—all made a choice to support this organization with your hard-earned dollars. This last year, many of you contributed more than once, when we made an urgent call for support to keep our beginning farmer programming going. What an honor and responsibility to have that support and trust.  Thank you!

The quotes.

The report includes a smattering of quotes from you, which we took from your member survey responses. Those quotes include:

  • “I am proud to be a member.”
  • “Through PFI I learned to think more holistically.”
  • “I have the PFI mission statement on my fridge. PFI gives me hope.”
  • “Thanks so much for your focus on keeping this organization member-driven and farmer-led.”
  • “This is an excellent sharing and coaching organization. Thank you.”

The financial report.

Practical Farmers’ financial situation is strong. Here are some facts about our finances:

  • In FY2013, we paid out 10.5 percent of expenses ($139,797) to members for conducting on-farm research, holding field days, and more.
  • Unrestricted reserves as of September 30, 2013, had grown to $415,200 from $350,702 as of the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
  • At the end of the Fiscal Year, the PFI Board of Directors set aside $75,000 for farm transfer programming, energy programming, and replenishing the Savings Incentive Program pot.
  • As of the end of the Fiscal Year, about $281,000 in Savings Incentive Program funds were being held in Lincoln Savings Bank for future payouts to beginning farmers. Now that’s a commitment to the next generation!

Take a look at the full annual report here: