Published Mar 23, 2021

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

By Tamsyn Jones

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

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa has 17 on-farm paid job openings with farmers across the state who are committed to providing 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 have agreed to offer training on topics such as record-keeping, marketing and other skills beginning and aspiring farmers might not otherwise be exposed to.

All positions are paid, and most trainer farms offer competitive wages, plus other perks and benefits.

Prior to launching their own farm businesses, 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.

“These on-farm jobs are all opportunities grounded in hands-on training with experienced Iowa farmers,” says Celize Christy, PFI’s next generation coordinator. “PFI staff, together with the Labor4Learning committee, have vetted these trainer farmers, and each one believes in supporting beginning farmers and the mutual benefits gained by mentoring.”

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

“We need more farmers,” says Barb Kraus, of Canoe Creek Produce in Decorah. “I believe that providing opportunities for mentorship and training is essential in bringing up the next generation of farmers and for keeping our food system intact and sustainable.”

Each 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 PFI learning events.


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

2021 Labor4Learning Trainer Farms:

Adair County

  • Dennis Lundy – Lundy Farms, Inc. (Fontanelle) – No-till field crops, small grains, hay, custom cover crop seed
  • Dale and Marcie Raasch – Bridgewater Farm (Bridgewater) – Certified organic vegetables and fruits; hay, cattle, hogs, broilers, laying hens

Boone County

  • Mike Salama – Salama Greenhouse (Boone) – Greenhouse production of ornamentals and hydroponic vegetables

Cedar County

  • Derek Roller and Molly Schintler – Echollective Farm (Mechanicsville) – Vegetables, herbs, flowers, mushrooms, seed garlic

Clayton County

  • Natasha Hegmann and Pete Kerns – Turkey River Farm (Elkport) – Pastured pigs and turkeys, vegetables, mushrooms, bedding plants
  • Will Lorentzen and Adrian White – Jupiter Ridge Farm (Garber) – Vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, plant starts

Chickasaw County

  • Martha McFarland – Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch (Fredericksburg) – Bison, cattle, hay, agritourism

Crawford County

  • Bob and Marianne Sullivan – Sullivan Farm (Woodbine) – Field crops, cover crops, beef cattle, pasture renovation, grazing

Howard County

  • James Frantzen – Frantzen Farm (Elma) – Certified organic row crops, small grains, cattle, pigs, chickens, eggs

Linn County

  • Marcus and Emma Johnson – Buffalo Ridge Orchard (Central City) – Herbs, vegetables, apples, pears, row crops
  • Donna Warhover – Morning Glory LLC (Mt. Vernon) – Vegetables, herbs, eggs; greenhouse and high tunnel production

Louisa County

  • Kathy Dice and Tom Wahl – Red Fern Farm (Wapello) – Tree crops, tree nursery, permaculture system, sheep

Polk County

  • Jenny Quiner – Dogpatch Urban Gardens (Des Moines) – Vegetables

Poweshiek County

  • Jordan Scheibel – Middle Way Farm (Grinnell) – Vegetables, herbs, plant starts

Winneshiek County

  • Hannah Breckbill – Humble Hands Harvest (Decorah) – Certified organic vegetables, rotationally grazed sheep, perennial crops, pastured pork
  • Barb Kraus – Canoe Creek Produce (Decorah) – Organic vegetables, cut flowers, berries, sheep, goats, chickens, geese

Worth County

  • Ronald Rachut – Fertile Valley Gardens (Fertile) – Vegetables