Published Jul 12, 2022

Improving Food and Farming

By Practical Farmers of Iowa

Thanks to the support of many, PFI has expanded program offerings to serve more farmers

Practical Farmers of Iowa is increasing our program offerings and the number of people we serve. For example, we have expanded our cost-share programs beyond cover crops and small grains to include cost-share funds for livestock farmers who need mobile fencing and water systems to start or expand grass-based production, and for farmers who want to add habitat to their land.

This expansion is possible due to continued financial contributions from a growing group of supporters. If you are one of these supporters, THANK YOU. If you would like to join this list of generous people and organizations, please contact me:

In fiscal year 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021) Practical Farmers received $3.74 million in revenue. This represents an increase of $500,000 from fiscal year 2020. Of this revenue, $111,529 came from donations above membership from 409 individual donors.

In addition, 27 PFI members purchased gift memberships for others, both supporting PFI and bringing more people into this transformative network. We also received funding from 51 grants and from 29 private companies.

Individual giving is transforming PFI

Your donations let us invest in necessary infrastructure, like technology to help us work more efficiently, allowing us to serve a larger network of farmers.

Your generosity allows us to respond to unanticipated needs, such as transitioning events to a new format or serving farmers in ways that aren’t directly supported by a specific funding stream. For example, your donations funded financial match money to help beginning farmers create viable farm businesses.

Your donations also send a strong message that you value PFI’s work and trust PFI to invest your money wisely. This is a huge compliment and we thank you!

Giving the Gift of Learning

Marilyn Barnes of Grinnell, Iowa, first joined PFI in 2001 after inheriting family farmland. “We were attracted to PFI,” she says, “because of the practical way in which the organization was looking at agriculture as a whole – preserving and improving land, providing wholesome food and grains and the sharing of information farmer-to-farmer.”

Marilyn Barnes 2

For years, Marilyn and her son, Brent Schlenker, also of Grinnell, have provided their tenant a gift membership. “I wanted my renter to have the opportunity to know of field days, learn what others were doing and pick up knowledge about some of my wishes for the land,” Marilyn says.

She and Brent have also regularly donated above membership. “We have found PFI to be on the leading edge of learning,” Marilyn says. “Our desires for good conservation, soil health and healthy crops just synced with what PFI was doing. These donations are for the good of not only my own land, but that of Iowa and our nation and world. It has not been hard to support an organization like this.”

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