On-farm jobs and training offered across Iowa through Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning program
Tamsyn Jones | Editor & Outreach Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | firstname.lastname@example.org
AMES, Iowa (Jan. 28, 2022) — Practical Farmers of Iowa has 18 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 offer hands-on training with experienced Iowa farmers in a range of agricultural enterprises and systems,” says Celize Christy, PFI’s next generation coordinator. “PFI knows and has vetted these farmers, and they all believe in supporting beginning farmers and the mutual benefits of mentorship.”
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 practicalfarmers.org/labor4learning.
“I am a Labor4Learning trainer because of what I have learned about soils and regenerative agriculture since transitioning our farm to organic,” says Scott Wedemeier of Grassway Farms near Maynard, Iowa.
“I feel that this knowledge should be shared with those who are interested in learning about more sustainable ways of farming. I would like to be a part of giving that knowledge to the next generation.”
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, flowers, tree crops, 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.
About Practical Farmers:
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 http://practicalfarmers.org.
2022 Labor4Learning Trainer Farms:
- Dale and Marcie Raasch – Bridgewater Farm (Bridgewater) – Certified organic vegetables and fruits; hay, cattle, hogs, broilers, laying hens
- Mike Salama – Salama Greenhouse (Boone) – Greenhouse production of ornamentals and hydroponic vegetables
- Derek Roller and Molly Schintler – Echollective Farm (Mechanicsville) – Vegetables, herbs, flowers, mushrooms, seed garlic
- Natasha Hegmann and Pete Kerns – Turkey River Farm (Elkport) – Pastured pigs and turkeys, vegetables, mushrooms, bedding plants
- Martha McFarland – Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch (Fredericksburg) – Bison, cattle, hay, agritourism
- Matthew Wiese – Heirloom Farm (Earlham) – Heirloom-variety produce, chickens, eggs
- Scott Wedemeier – Grassyway Farms (Maynard) – Dairy, row crops, beef cattle, pigs, oats, wheat, barley, rye, sorghum, clover, sorghum sudan
- James Frantzen – Frantzen Farm (Elma) – Certified organic row crops, small grains, cattle, pigs, chickens, eggs
- 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
- Kathy Dice and Tom Wahl – Red Fern Farm (Wapello) – Tree crops, tree nursery, permaculture system, sheep
- Jordan and Whitney Clasen – Grade A Gardens (Johnston) – Certified organic vegetables, chickens
- Jenny Quiner – Dogpatch Urban Gardens (Des Moines) – Vegetables
- Jordan Scheibel – Middle Way Farm (Grinnell) – Vegetables, herbs, plant starts
- Alice McGary – Mustard Seed Community Farm (Ames) – Vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, bees, chickens, sheep
- Noah Wendt – A&W Farms (Huxley) – Conventional row crops, organic small grains, grass-based beef cattle, cover crops
- Hannah Breckbill – Humble Hands Harvest (Decorah) – Certified organic vegetables, rotationally grazed sheep, perennial crops, pastured pork
- Erik Sessions – Patchwork Green Farm (Decorah) – Certified organic vegetables