Published Jan 9, 2024

Registration open for PFI’s 2024 Beginning Farmer Retreat – Feb. 10 in Iowa City

By Elizabeth Wilhelm
The event is free to attend and open to farmers from all enterprises

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

AMES, Iowa (Jan. 9, 2024) — Beginning farmers, experienced farmers and landowners looking to help the next generation are invited to attend Practical Farmer’s Beginning Farmer Retreat. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Wilson’s Ciderhouse and Venue (4823 Dingleberry Road NE) in Iowa City, Iowa.


The retreat is a daylong intensive for beginning and aspiring farmers to learn from experienced farmers. With time for individual reflection and networking, retreat topics will include business models and structures, business plans, panel discussions and a Q&A with experienced farmers by enterprise.


The event is free, and farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend. Full conference details can be found at


“We will spend time sharing challenges, farm stories and learning from one another over good food in a beautiful location,” says Rachel Burke, PFI’s beginning farmer engagement coordinator. “Beginning farmers will also get a rare chance to hear the perspective of landowners hoping to transition out of farming within the next 10 years.”


Beginning farmers face many barriers to getting started, from daunting land access challenges and high start-up costs to steep learning curves and lack of support to help them navigate these challenges.


The Beginning Farmer Retreat aims to address some of these obstacles through training targeted to beginning farmers’ experience levels and related needs. The event also helps beginning farmers form networks with their peers while connecting them to farmers and landowners looking to support the next generation.


Conference sessions include:
  • “Connecting and Getting Started With Your Farm”
  • “A Farm Business Plan: What’s Most Important”
  • “Organizing Your Business: Legal Entities and Operating Agreements”
  • ”What Your Business Looks Like in Real Life: How Business Plans Evolve”


Registration is required and open online until Feb. 2. To register, visit After Feb. 2, please call the PFI office to register at (515) 232-5661.


For questions about the Beginning Farmer Retreat, contact Rachel Burke at (515) 232-5661 or


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa is a nonprofit with more than 8,000 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