Published Mar 26, 2018

Kalona-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 |


KALONA, Iowa – James Nisly of Organic Greens is seeking to hire an employee for the coming growing season, and is willing to provide the right candidate with additional training on topics important for running a farm business.

Nisly 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.

James grows certified organic mini greens, micro greens, wheat grass and vegetables. He markets the products to grocery stores, institutions, restaurants and food service, as well as direct to consumers.

The job opening at Organic Greens is full-time at 40 hours per week, set to begin in May. Work activities include planting, caring, harvesting, washing and packaging of the greens and market garden crops, and also delivering products to customers. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with aspiring farmers who are enthusiastic about learning sustainable food production methods and passionate about being a part of a new ‘community oriented’ food production model,” James says.

Full job details, dates and information on how to contact Organic Greens 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