Published Apr 23, 2020

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

By Tamsyn Jones


Celize Christy | Next Generation Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa has 10 on-farm paid job openings with farmers across the state who are willing to provide additional training on what it takes to run a farm business.

The jobs are being offered through Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning program, which features experienced farmers from a range of farm systems and enterprises who agree to provide additional training on topics such as record-keeping, marketing and other skills beginning and aspiring farmers might not otherwise be exposed to.

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 of running a farm, but also the business management responsibilities. Most on-farm jobs, however, do not expose employees to the full range of responsibilities required to run a farm operation. Labor4Learning seeks to fill the gap by offering a more well-rounded job experience.

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

“I am passionate about mentoring beginning farmers,” says Martha McFarland, of Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch in Fredericksburg, who is a participating trainer farm this year. “I am excited to share opportunities and can offer on-farm experience in fencing, agritourism, grazing, bison and cattle management and laying water lines.”

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 and production practices, including row crops, small grains, multiple species of livestock, fruits and vegetables, cover crops, organic certification and more.

To participate as a trainee in Labor4Learning, applicants should submit resumes and references 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.

View all Labor4Learning jobs


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

2020 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
  • Zach Knutson – Greenbelt Farms – Cerro Gordo County – Conventional and organic field crops, small grains and hay; cows; woodland improvement projects
  • Martha McFarland – Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch – Chickasaw County – Bison, cattle, hay, agritourism
  • Will Lorentzen and Adrian White – Jupiter Ridge Farm – Clayton County – Vegetables, mushrooms, herbs
  • James Frantzen – Frantzen Farm – Howard County – Certified organic row crops, small grains, cattle, pigs, chickens, eggs
  • Emma and Marcus Johnson – Buffalo Ridge Orchard – Linn County – Apples, pears, vegetables, row crops
  • Donna Warhover – Morning Glory LLC – Linn County – Vegetables, herbs, eggs; greenhouse and high tunnel production
  • Tom Cory – Cory Family Farm – Polk County – Fresh flowers, chickens, goats, sheep, horses, on-farm store
  • Dean Henry – Berry Patch Farm – Story County – Apples, berries, cherries, produce