Published Dec 28, 2023

Midwest Covers & Grains Conference to be held in Minnesota on March 4

By Elizabeth Wilhelm
Conference will explore successful farming with small grains and cover crops

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

AMES, Iowa (Dec. 28, 2023) — Farmers, landowners and friends of farmers interested in small grains and cover crops can now register to attend PFI’s Midwest Covers & Grains Conference. The event will take place Monday, March 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center (1 Civic Center Plaza) in Mankato, Minnesota.


The conference brings together farmers, supply chain buyers and researchers from across the Midwest to promote successful farming with extended rotations and cover crops.


“To me, the most valuable aspect of the conference last year was listening to the knowledgeable and experienced speakers. I’ve referenced notes I took at the conference several times this year,” says Ross Kurash, who farms in Fort Atkinson, Iowa. “The networking was also great, and I’ve stayed in contact with several people I met.”


Attendees will have a chance to network with small grains and cover crop buyers and sellers, and the event will have sessions for cover crop beginners and experienced practitioners. PFI’s Midwestern small grains network extends across five states, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.


Conference schedule: The conference opens at 8 a.m. with breakfast, followed by two plenary sessions from 9-11:15 a.m. In the first, “Generating Added Value From Cover Crops,” Andy Linder, of Easton, Minnesota, will share how he adds value to cover crops by grazing cattle. He’ll also share his experiences with operating a cover crop seed business and providing custom cover cropping services.


In the second plenary, “Making a Comeback: Small Grains Back in Rotation,” Martin Larsen, of Byron, Minnesota, will share his experiences growing small-grains crops, the value they bring and why crops like oats and rye have become a staple in his rotations.


After lunch and networking time, two blocks of breakout sessions will follow until 3:30 p.m. The conference will conclude with closing remarks from 3:30-3:45 p.m. A farmer social will immediately follow the conference at Pub 500 (500 S Front St.) in Mankato at 4:15 p.m.


The cost is free for PFI members, or $50 for non-members. Registration is required and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Pre-registration ends on Feb. 26. After that, walk-ins are welcome unless the venue is at capacity. Register online or call (515) 232-5661.


Full conference details, including the list of sessions and speakers, are available at For questions, contact Taylor Hintch at (515) 232-5661 or


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa is a nonprofit with more than 7,000 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