Published Mar 26, 2018

Iowa Falls-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 |

IOWA FALLS, Iowa – John C. and Sarah Gilbert of Gibralter Farms 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 Gilbert’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.

John C. and Sarah, along with John’s family, have a 60 cow dairy, farrow-to-finish hogs, and grow corn, soybeans small grains, hay and silage crops. They use managed grazing, extended rotations, cover crops, minimum/strip/no-till, and non-gmo crops and feeds. They sell their milk to Prairie Farms and the pigs through Niman Ranch as well as the local locker.

The job opening at Gibralter Farms is part to full-time. Work activities include assisting with milking dairy cows, the mixing and delivery of feed, setting up pasture fencing, forage harvest, and construction and repair projects. “We are always looking to help aspiring farmers develop the skills needed to get into farming,” Jon says.

Full job details, dates and information on how to contact Gibralter Farms 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