Published Jan 18, 2021

Practical Farmers’ 2021 virtual annual conference features Spanish-language sessions, support and community spaces

By Tamsyn Jones


Tamsyn Jones | Editor & Outreach Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

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

AMES, Iowa — As part of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s effort to welcome Latino Iowans and farmers into the PFI community, PFI has planned a range of ways to make its 2021 virtual annual conference, “Coming Home,” accessible and welcoming to Latino farmers and other Spanish-speaking attendees.

The conference, which takes place Jan. 21-23, will feature a range of sessions and content for beginning and aspiring Latino farmers, as well as support and networking spaces for Spanish speakers, including:

  • eight sessions that will be offered either bilingually or with live Spanish interpretation on topics ranging from land access and business planning, to marketing and production, among others

In a session on Thursday, Jan. 21, for instance, Ames, Iowa, taqueria owners Berenice and Daisy Valderrabano will share how they worked with Victor Oyervides, of ISU Extension and Outreach, to implement a business planning tool that has increased their sales by 20%.

  • a Spanish-language page on the conference platform
  • dedicated virtual meeting spaces for Spanish speakers, hosted by PFI staff who are fluent in Spanish
  • technical support in Spanish

Many other conference offerings should be of interest to Latino and Spanish-speaking attendees – including the Thursday, Jan. 21 premiere of PFI’s first feature-length film, “Livestock on the Land.”

The film explores the critical role livestock play in rural communities, and includes interviews in Spanish with Wilber De La Rosa and Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, agronomist and founder of a regenerative poultry farming concept called Tree-Range that integrates poultry with trees, and is compatible with farming on a small scale. Spanish subtitles will be available for viewers to turn on and off as they wish.

The cost is $25 to attend the whole conference – but to ensure the event is accessible to all, free tickets are available for those experiencing financial hardship, no questions asked. Learn more or register at 2021-annual-conference.

The conference will take place on a special platform designed for ease of use that lets attendees create a personalized conference agenda with session reminders; network with other attendees and exhibitors; browse a virtual tradeshow; re-watch sessions; easily participate via computer or mobile devices; and more.

Other conference highlights include:

  • A keynote by Sarah Smarsh, a journalist, speaker and author of “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth”
  • 50 farmer-led sessions on topics that span the agricultural spectrum
  • Farmer-to-farmer conversations, with time for Q&A with the audience, and lightning talk rounds
  • Two youth sessions on Saturday morning, designed for children of different age groups
  • A virtual tradeshow and many opportunities to network with other participants

Schedule: Live sessions will take place each day from 8:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., after which attendees can choose from a range of self-directed activities, including visiting the virtual tradeshow; watching recordings of earlier sessions; browsing a gallery of curated PFI content; or gathering with other attendees in virtual meeting rooms. From 6-8:30 p.m. each night, live conference events will resume, with a capstone feature planned each night.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2021 annual conference is supported by several major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Grain Millers, Inc.; Iowa Farmers Union Conservation Planning Initiative; Niman Ranch; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.


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