Published Mar 26, 2018

Hastings-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 |

HASTINGS, Iowa – Jon Bakehouse of Maple Edge Farm is seeking an aspiring farmer who would like to learn about running a farm business during the coming growing season.

Bakehouse is 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.

Jon raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, beef cattle, and some small grains. They practice no-till, extended cash crop rotations including pasture, plant cover crops, and use managed grazing techniques.

“I’m part of Labor4Learning because I want to make farming accessible to anyone who is interested,” Jon said. “We can offer years of insight about agriculture while also offering an opportunity for someone to try an idea, no matter how crazy it may seem.”

The job opening at Maple Edge Farm is a part-time, flexible learning opportunity for someone to job shadow typical farm activities. The work includes maintenance on grounds, fences and machinery; help with planting and harvest; monitoring the cow herd and performing daily livestock chores.

Full job details, dates and information on how to contact Maple Edge 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