Published Mar 12, 2019

On-farm jobs and training offered across Iowa through Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning program

By Steve Carlson


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

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa has 16 on-farm job openings with farmers across the state who are willing to provide additional training on what it takes to run a farm business. Experienced farmers participating in the Labor4Learning program in 2019 represent a wide range of enterprises and production practices for aspiring farmers to choose from.

Prior to launching their own farm business, it’s important that beginning and aspiring farmers gain experience with not only the day-to-day tasks for running a farm, but also the business management responsibilities. Most on-farm job opportunities don’t provide employees with the full range of responsibilities required to run a farm operation. The Labor4Learning program provides someone thinking about a career in farming with a paid on-farm job, as well as training on topics such as record-keeping, marketing and other skills they might not otherwise be exposed to.

Each participating trainer farm in the program was approved by a committee of Practical Farmers of Iowa members to serve as qualified teachers. The farms represent a diversity of enterprises including row crops, small grains, multiple species of livestock, fruits, vegetables and more. The farms also vary greatly in their production practices, including organic certification; employing diverse rotations and cover crops; greenhouse and hydroponic vegetable production; urban vegetable production and more.

A list of participating farms is included below, along with their locations and farm enterprises, and complete job descriptions and program details can be found at

To participate as a trainee in Labor4Learning, resumes and references are submitted directly to the trainer farm. If hired, participants are given a Practical Farmers of Iowa membership, opportunities to network with other beginning and aspiring farmers, and discounts to Practical Farmers’ learning events.

“I love growing food for the community, but even more than that I love working with new farmers,” says Derek Roller of Echollective Farm. Derek raises over 100 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs for a CSA, farmer’s markets, and local businesses. “Over the years, Echollective Farm has been a part of growing many young farmers, and I’m looking forward to continuing the tradition with Labor4Learning.”


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

2019 Labor4Learning Trainer Farms:

  • Dale and Marcie Raasch – Bridgewater Farm – Adair County – Certified organic vegetables and fruits; hay, cattle, hogs, broilers, laying hens
  • Mike Salama – Salama Greenhouse – Boone County – Greenhouse production of ornamentals and hydroponic vegetables
  • Rob and Tammy Faux – Genuine Faux Farm – Bremer County – Certified organic vegetables and fruits, broiler chickens, turkey, eggs
  • Derek Roller – Echollective Farm – Cedar County – Vegetables, tree crops, flowers, mushrooms, occasional livestock
  • Scott Shriver – Shriver Farms, LLC – Greene County – Certified organic row crops, small grains, alfalfa
  • Earl and Jeff Hafner – Hafner Inc., Early Morning Harvest – Guthrie County – Cow-calf, hogs, aquaponics, laying hens, organic row crop and small grains, organic flour mill, seed cleaning
  • Emma and Marcus Johnson – Buffalo Ridge Orchard – Linn County – Apples, pears, vegetables, row crops
  • Donna Warhover – Morning Glory LLC – Linn County – Produce, eggs
  • Jon Bakehouse – Maple Edge Farm – Mills County – Corn, soy, alfalfa, beef cattle, pasture, small grains
  • Jenny Quiner – Dogpatch Urban Gardens – Polk County – Vegetables with emphasis on salad greens, on-site farm stand
  • Andrew and Melissa Dunham – Grinnell Heritage Farm – Poweshiek County – Certified organic produce, chestnuts, cattle, hay, poultry
  • Dean Henry – Berry Patch Farm – Story County – Apples, berries, cherries, produce
  • Paul and Nancy Ackley – Taylor County – Beef cattle, corn, soybeans, small grains, hair sheep, perennial and annual forage
  • Hannah Breckbill – Humble Hands Harvest – Winneshiek County – Produce, poultry, alpacas, honeybees, fruit trees, value-added products, hay
  • Barb Kraus – Canoe Creek Produce – Winneshiek County – Certified organic vegetables, fruits and berries, cut flowers, sheep, chickens
  • Erik Sessions – Patchwork Green Farm – Winneshiek County – Vegetables and herbs