Published Mar 26, 2018

Bridgewater-area farm providing on-farm training opportunity for an aspiring farmer

By Tamsyn Jones

For Release: March 26, 2018


Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

BRIDGEWATER, Iowa – Dale and Marcie Raasch of Bridgewater Farm are seeking to hire an employee for the coming growing season, and are willing to provide the right candidate with additional training on topics important for running a farm business.

The Raasch’s are among 14 experienced farmers from around the state who have committed to hire an employee through Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Labor4Learning program. Each Labor4Learning trainer farm was approved by a committee of Practical Farmers members to serve as qualified teachers.

Dale and Marcie raise certified organic fruits and vegetables, as well as hay, cattle, hogs, broiler chickens, and laying hens. They practice strip-till, extended crop rotations, and plant cover crops. The produce and meat are marketed through retail stores, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, individual sales and restaurants.

“We feel we could offer a complete picture of organic vegetable farming with hands-on, day-to-day activities involved in its operation,” Marcie says. “We’re also involved with multiple avenues for marketing the produce, and the different approaches to each option. We’d like to share what we’ve learned to make it easier for the next farmer.”

The job opening at Bridgewater Farm is full-time at 40 hours per week, set to begin this month. Work activities include planting, weeding, harvesting, and packaging, as well as potential for assisting sales calls, bookkeeping, marketing and deliveries.

Full job details, dates and information on how to contact Bridgewater Farm to apply can be found at To qualify as a trainee, the applicant must have a strong desire to learn; apply to and be hired by a trainer farm; and become a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Having sufficient on-farm work experience is vital to the success of new farmers just starting on their own. Most on-farm employment opportunities, however, are limited in scope and don’t expose employees to the full range of skills needed to be successful.

Now entering its sixth year, Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning program helps fill this need by connecting aspiring farmers seeking paid on-farm training with experienced farmers looking for eager employees.

In addition to their normal job responsibilities, those in the program receive training on topics such as record keeping, marketing and other skills important for running a farm business. At the start of employment, the trainer and trainee agree on a set of learning outcomes to address during the course of employment, beyond the normal job-related work activities.


Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit