Published Oct 18, 2023

Beginning Farmers Can Now Apply for PFI’s Savings Incentive Program; Applications Are Due Nov. 20

By Elizabeth Wilhelm

Elizabeth Wilhelm | Media Relations Coordinator | (515) 232-5661 |

AMES, Iowa (Oct. 18, 2023) — Practical Farmers of Iowa invites beginning and aspiring farmers looking for mentorship and support to apply for the next round of PFI’s Savings Incentive Program.

This two-year program aims to help beginning farmers succeed through mentorship from experienced farmers; business plan support; the chance to save money and receive matching funds; opportunities to attend a range of learning events; and access to a network of supportive peers.

Applications are due Nov. 20. Full details and the application form are available at

“I encourage any new or even somewhat experienced farmer to apply for a spot in SIP,” says Steve Strasheim, a member of the Savings Incentive Program Class of 2023 who farms in Mitchell, Iowa. “There’s been a lot of great networking opportunities, as well as really helpful financial planning tools. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the mentor farmers and touring their operations.”

Steve Strasheim PFI Savings Incentive Program
Those enrolled in the program will start in January 2024 and be part of the SIP Class of 2025. After 24 months and completion of all program requirements, participants earn a dollar-for-dollar match on money saved up to $2,400, for a possible $4,800 they may use to help purchase a farm asset.

Additional funds for farmers of color: PFI is also offering additional funds for farmers of color. This includes a $1,000 start-up grant at the beginning of the program and a 1:2 match: for every $1 participants save, PFI will provide a $2 match, up to $4,800.

To date, SIP participants have invested over $500,000 in their farm businesses with program support.

“For over a decade, the Savings Incentive Program has helped over 200 beginning farmers create a healthy farm business,” says Kayla Koether, PFI’s senior farm viability manager. “Farming poses many challenges, especially for those just getting started, so we are eager to give farmers the tailored support they need to establish a successful business.”

To be eligible, farmers must:

  • Either be farming on their own now and have farmed for seven or fewer years, or have experience working for a farm business
  • Reside in Iowa or farm in the state of Iowa or bordering counties in adjoining states
  • Be a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa. Those who are not members can join at

For questions, to check eligibility or for help getting signed up, farmers should contact Kayla Koether at (515) 232-5661 or


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa is a nonprofit with more than 6,000 members that equips farmers to build resilient farms and communities. We create learning opportunities via farmer-led events, on-farm research and educational content through our robust network of farmers. We also provide funding and technical assistance to help farmers adopt regenerative farming practices and grow farm businesses. Our vision is an Iowa with healthy soil, healthy food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. To learn more, visit