- Session 1 | 9 – 10 a.m.
- Session 2 | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
- Session 3 | 3 – 4 p.m.
- Session 4 | 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.
Friday, January 21 | 5:45 p.m. | Benton Auditorium, Room 195
The Past, Present & Future Iowa landscape: Studying the Horizon by Laura Jackson
Iowa is full of clues about its past. Pioneer cemeteries, Indigenous languages and landmarks, old maps, agricultural statistics and many other sources tell a story of major ecosystem changes in the past 150 years. PFI’s vision is an Iowa with healthy soil and food, clean air and water, resilient farms and vibrant communities. Those working in ecological restoration – and others who care about creating landscapes where people, wildlife and nature can thrive – have similar concerns, aspirations and struggles.
In this keynote, restoration biologist Laura Jackson will explore this rich past, the story it tells about the Iowa of today – and how together, even in face of climate change, we can move towards a common horizon in an ecosystem that will provide joy and sustenance to future generations.
Friday Session 1 | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cover Crop Seeding Equipment: Repurposed, New and Dual-Function
Seeding cover crops need not require costly new equipment. Mike Unruh and Lance Klessig have worked with a variety of setups for seeding cover crops, from modifying corn detasslers to act as hi-boys to mounting air seeders on vertical tillage implements, combines and rotary hoes. In this session you’ll also hear about broadcast seeding equipment and using drones to apply cover crop seed. Come learn which options might best achieve your goals.
Diversified Organic Rotations: Canola, Sunflowers and More
Paul Hoffman | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Join Paul Hoffman as he describes his experiments adding diverse crops to his organic farm. Hear about companion cropping small grains and peas for cover crop seed and growing canola, sunflowers and buckwheat, either through a full season or double-cropped after wheat. Paul will walk through the agronomics and marketing options for alternative crops in organic systems.
Climate-Smart Pollinator Habitat
Climate change poses a serious threat to insects of all types, particularly pollinators. During this session, learn more about how climate change impacts pollinators and how farmers and landowners are taking climate change into account to build resilient pollinator habitat on their farms.
Shifting Market Models at a Large Vegetable Farm
Hans and Katie Bishop are part of PrairiErth Farms near Atlanta, Illinois, where their 300-acre farm is a mix of vegetables, organic grains and dairy pasture. Headed into their 13th year of farming, the Bishops have dramatically resized their crop mix, land apportionment and labor requirements to maximize profitability and efficiency. Learn about the changes they have made and what they’ve learned.
Navigating Regulations for Local Food Stores
The food system is rife with regulations that both protect public health and safety and drive food entrepreneurs to madness. Working with agencies can be intimidating, but once relationships are established, regulating agencies can be allies, and compliance can open doors for ventures to grow. Farmers Jenny Quiner and Danelle Myer have each found a way through the intricate system and are eager to share lessons learned and keys to their successes.
Communicating With Family About Farmland Ownership
Iowa Mediation Service | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Good communication among and between farmland owners and operators is critical to building successful farm partnerships. Communication can also be incredibly challenging, especially when family is involved. During this session hosted by Iowa Mediation Service, learn communication and conflict resolution strategies for dealing with those sticky situations that arise on every farm (and in all families, too).
Omar de Kok-Mercado | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Regenerative grazing has many moving parts, but managing grazing can be second nature with the right equipment and strategies. Hear from grazier Omar de Kok-Mercado about the tools he uses to lighten the load. See how he has adapted his “graziers’ gear” to their operations. Novice and experienced graziers will learn how form follows function and hear about automatic pen movers, battery-powered tools, drone monitoring and more!
Bolstering Pig Rations with Small Grains
In this session, learn how hybrid rye can positively impact your bottom line. Becca Brattain will evaluate small grains as feed ingredients, calculate feed values and explore how and why small grains add value to your farm and increase sustainability. Following her presentation, she will join a farmer panel with Rob Stout and Tom Frantzen to discuss the impacts they’ve seen from incorporating small grains into their pig rations.
Friday Session 2 | 2 – 3 p.m.
Implementing Wide-Row Corn Systems
Paul Hoffman | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Wide-row corn systems continue to garner interest as a way to establish cover crops earlier in the season and provide increased biomass by fall. Come hear Paul Hoffman discuss his experience implementing wide-row corn in a conventional and organic system and how he’s penciling out the practice.
New Poultry Processing Ventures in Iowa
Exciting new poultry processing ventures are taking place right here in Iowa! Attend this session and learn about the diverse ways Iowa poultry producers are expanding their processing options. Tony Wells with Stacyville Poultry Processing will speak about the new plant in Stacyville, Iowa. Explore on-farm processing options as Jason Grimm discusses his new on-farm processing setup.
Nitrogen Management in a Soil Health System
As nitrogen prices rise, this nutrient can make or break your bottom line. Eric and Frank Rademacher have aggressively managed nitrogen in their extensive cover cropping system. Learn how they use a nitrogen mineralization map for variable-rate application and a Y drop for precision. They’ll share insights on microbial nitrogen fertilizers and their recent trials on heavy legume covers ahead of corn and beans. Hear why soil quality and nitrogen management go hand in hand.
Stress on the Farm: Resources and Support
The unique pressures of farming can trigger stressors that activate depression, anxiety and substance use. During this session, David Brown and Demi Johnson will discuss the importance of mental well-being among farmers and farm families. They will review opportunities for learning how to identify, understand and respond to signs of suicide risk, mental illness and substance use disorders. They will also share additional resources available to farmers and farm families.
Grazing Native Systems to Benefit Wildlife and Livestock
Managed grazing of native ecosystems like prairie can provide win-win scenarios for livestock as well as wildlife. Hear more from John Rock and Amy Crouch about the mutually beneficial relationships John and others have built in northwest Iowa to graze native prairie landscapes managed by The Nature Conservancy. Learn the ways managed grazing can benefit native plant communities and the potential advantages for producers.
Winter Greens Production
Dan Fillius | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
A major key to the financial success of the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm is year-round vegetable production and marketing. From winter greens, to early and specialty crops in high tunnels, to main-season and storage crops from the fields, CSA boxes are packed 48 weeks every year. Explore the nuts and bolts of this production system with Dan Fillius, who managed the farm from 2010 to 2015.
Landowner-Tenant Conversation Café
Jean Eells | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
For farm renters and landowners alike, starting conversations about conservation and sustainable farming practices can be daunting. During this interactive session, you’ll gain tips and advice for communicating with renters and landlords. Then put those skills to practice in a friendly space and get feedback in real time from other farmers and landowners. This session will be facilitated by Jean Eells and PFI staff.
Enhancing Flexibility With Silvopasture
Raising livestock in a silvopasture system can foster a deeper relationship with native ecosystems while enhancing the bottom line. Join Bailey Lutz and Heidi Eger as they speak to their experience and highlight how silvopasture has enabled small ruminant meat production on limited forage. Learn why silvopasture offers benefits to livestock systems and how it can improve livestock management through different scenarios.
Friday Session 3 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
How to Diversify Your Farm Without Overextending Yourself
Anna Geyer | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Adding diversity to your farming operation can offer sustainability and variety, but adding more can mean doing more. From her years of experience, Anna will share how you can add new agritourism enterprises to your farm and still set boundaries with your time, space and energy. She will share tips for getting clear on your goals, designing a plan, streamlining your processes and finding your marketing style to effectively share what you do.
Manure and Cover Crops
Wondering how to maximize the value of liquid manure on your farm? Cover crops are a powerful way to manage nutrients. Brian Dougherty and Pete Bardole will share tips on manure application, maintaining equipment and establishing cover crops. Hear the research on cover crop nutrient uptake, manure application timing, nitrification inhibitors, yield and water quality. The session will also explore soil health and carbon storage.
Carolyn King | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Harvesting two cash crops in one growing season is a compelling proposition. For many, it’s paid off. After experimenting with relay cropping – planting beans into cereal rye before rye harvest – agronomist Carolyn King has helped refine this system and scale it to a substantial portion of Mitchell and Brian Hora’s soybean acres. Come hear Carolyn talk through these practices, share what has and hasn’t worked and talk about what’s next.
The Chicken and the Egg: Raising Chickens in the 1900s
Doris Montag | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Doris Montag will share her collection of artifacts showing how chickens were raised in the early 1900s. Her session will discuss the transition from the farm flock to the caged housing system and the evolution of the egg carton. Doris will demonstrate the float test to judge a fresh egg, explain how an egg is laid and share many little-known facts about chickens and eggs. She will address the question her audiences expects to have answered: “How do chickens do it?” This is a lighthearted learning session.
Cost-Sharing for Edge-of-Field Conservation
Edge-of-field conservation practices like buffer strips, saturated buffers, bioreactors and wetland restorations can be expensive to implement and often offer little direct return on investment for producers and landowners. Hear from Ruth McCabe and Mollie Aronowitz about how farm operators and farmland owners can share costs for edge-of-field conservation practices and learn how to make these practices more affordable.
Finding Your People: Peer Mentorship Among Vegetable Farmers
Starting a vegetable farm, like any new business,is challenging in unique and not-so-unique ways. Relationships with peers – those growing at the same time, in similar ways, with similar challenges but individual perspectives – can be especially key to success and sanity. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of peer farmers who will discuss the value of their group and how it has propelled each of them along their paths, both personally and professionally.
Carbon Sequestration: Methods of Measurement
Marshall McDaniel | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
With the recent buzz surrounding carbon removal (or sequestration), there seems to be one common question: How can we best measure it? Join Marshall McDaniel as he explains the science behind carbon removal, highlights the current methods for measuring it and discusses challenges in measuring changes in soil carbon.
Growing Carrots Profitably
Carrots can be deceptively tricky to grow profitably. Choosing the best varieties for a given farm or market, achieving good germination rates, maintaining appropriate moisture levels, managing weeds – all this, and more, goes into the process. In this session, two producers will offer their perspectives and share their successes and goals for this staple crop on their farms.
Saturday Session 1 | 9 – 10 a.m.
Transitioning to Organic With Small Grains
Ryan Tiefenthaler | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Converting land to organic production poses a challenge: How do you generate a solid income on the acres during transition? Ryan Tiefenthaler found a fresh solution to that dilemma by planting small grains for cover crop seed. He’ll share why he went that route, how he’s implemented his strategy and what he’s learned in the process. Learn from Ryan’s experience about the costs and benefits of using small grains to transition to organic.
Virtual Fence: A Solution for Graziers, Animals and Soil?
Oscar Bernsten, joining virtually from Norway, will discuss Nofence virtual fence technology. Nofence consists of a solar-powered collar and mobile app that graziers use to draw their digital fence on a map. This technology lets animals easily access new, healthy pastures while decreasing the grazier’s workload. Hear from Monte Bottens, a grazier in Illinois who uses Nofence. Can this technology be the next best step for farmers, animals and the soil?
All About Legumes Part I: Cover Crops
Katherine Muller | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Want to harness legumes to grow your own nitrogen? Scientists are still working to understand the conditions that promote nitrogen fixation in legume cover crops. Katherine Muller will share cutting-edge research on maximizing nitrogen capture and retaining it in the field. Hear which species are showing promise and why mixing grasses with legumes improves fixation. Katherine will also touch on legume breeding programs and what’s available for farmers.
Q&A With Laura Jackson
Laura Jackson | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Keynote speaker Laura Jackson will be available for a follow-up Q&A. Bring your questions about prairie ecosystems and landscapes!
Vegetable Farm Infrastructure
John Wesselius | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
When it comes to evaluating the structures on his vegetable farm, John Wesselius is a numbers guy. He can spout off the cost per square foot, the amount of production required to pay off construction costs and the expected life of each structure, not to mention the best and worst features of every component of every greenhouse and high tunnel on the farm. Find out the finer points of production structure design and what John has learned in his more than 10 years growing at The Cornucopia.
Flower Farming for Realists: Growing Plants for Versatility and Variety
Meredith Nunnikhoven | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
At Barnswallow Flowers and Produce, Meredith Nunnikhoven’s twin foci are efficiency and plant diversity. To meet both goals, she strives to get the most out of what is available on her farm as many months of the year as possible. In this session, Meredith will describe her approach and highlight some of her favorite plants that each have flexible, multipurpose applications, like flowers, foliage and fruit.
Unique Meat Distribution Economies
Jason Mauck, of Munsee Meats, believes farmers need to build their own economies to drive the local foods movement. Jason will focus on the full-circle story of combining tradition with innovation from the farm to the fork to create a self-sustaining economy that is resilient and can attract consumers. Learn about recent innovations on the farm, like Zack Smith’s stock cropping, and hear about unique distribution options, like automated self-serve meat lockers.
Accessing Cost-Share for Grazing and Conservation
Chad Hensley | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) can provide financial and technical assistance to producers interested in conservation practices and managed grazing systems. Chad Hensley will share how he and his wife, Katie, have used government programs to improve and expand their operation while adopting practices that benefit soil health, water quality and wildlife.
Saturday Session 2 | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Roller Crimping Rye in Soybeans
For conventional and organic growers alike, roller crimping a rye cover crop offers the ability to cut passes for weed control, regulate soil moisture and maintain return on investment in soybeans. Come hear Cliff Johnson and Lance Klessig discuss how to put this practice into action. They’ll walk through setting yourself up for success in the fall, proper crimping timing and machinery do’s and don’ts, and they’ll share economic data to back this practice up.
Women Seeding Cover Crops
Fall is crunch-time on the farm. With harvest running full-speed and a narrow window to get cover crops in the ground, it’s a sprint to the finish for these women farmers who are seeding covers. They’ll discuss their strategies for planting cover crops while helping with harvest, keeping farmhands fed and managing all the moving pieces on a family farm. Learn how to integrate covers into your farm – and your family life – successfully.
Construyendo Estabilidad Económica para su Granja / Building Economic Stability for Your Farm
Eleazar Gonzalez | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Nada es más importante para un nuevo negocio agrícola que un buen plan de negocios. Esta es su hoja de ruta para la puesta en marcha, la rentabilidad y el crecimiento. Su plan de negocios ayuda a articular la visión y los objetivos de su granja para obtener fondos de prestamistas, inversionistas o subvenciones. Durante esta sesión, el Dr. Gonalez discutirá los pasos a seguir para crear un plan de negocios que puede cambiar a medida que cambien su visión y circunstancias.
Nothing is more critical to a new farm business than a good farm business plan. This is your road map to getting started, profitability and growth. Your business plan helps articulate your farm vision and goals, and is vital to helping you secure funding from lenders, investors or grants. During this session, Eleazar Gonzalez will discuss steps to creating a business plan that can be changed and adapted as your vision and circumstances shift.
Preparing for Farm Succession With The DIRTT Project
Every farming operation needs a transition plan. Whether your operation is passing to the next generation, to a non-family member or being sold to investors, it takes planning and time to prepare for a smooth transition. The challenge is in finding the tools and professionals to help owners make those decisions. The DIRTT Project is used to set goals, get family members on the same page and assemble a professional team.
Fungicide Discussion: Necessity or Hype?
From seed treatments to aerial applications, there is no shortage of fungicide products on the market. But does fungicide live up to the hype, or is it an unnecessary expense? Join Andy Linder and Steve Saltzman for a discussion fungicides and their impact on yield, soil health and, ultimately, farm profit. They’ll discuss their observations and share findings from their on-farm trials comparing treated and untreated seed. Come weigh in!
Precision Conservation: Finding Opportunities for Habitat on Farms
Cristin Weber | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Farmers using precision agriculture technologies can use data collected in the field to identify areas that are revenue-negative. By choosing not to pour time, effort and money into marginally productive (but never truly profitable) acres, it’s possible to find opportunities for native habitat on farms. Learn more about how this precision conservation approach can benefit your bottom line, water quality, soil health and wildlife.
Producing Organic Vegetables on 25 acres
Dale and Marcie Raasch | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
How do production methods on a large-scale vegetable farm differ from those of a smaller-scale farm? With about 25 acres of their 40-acre certified organic farm dedicated to vegetable production, Dale and Marcie Raasch speak to best methods, as well as schedules, staffing and other factors that make it all work.
Prioritizing a Working Relationship With Your Butcher
A working relationship with your butcher is a necessity for livestock farmers. Elmarie and Manie Nel, owners and operators of Clarion Locker, will discuss how they work to serve farmer customers through innovative practices like mobile harvest and custom labeling. Blake Hansen will discuss why he enjoys working with the locker for beef processing, and how he and the Nels have worked together and formed a beneficial working relationship.
Carbon and Ecosystem Service Markets: What Farmers Should Consider
Alejandro Plastina | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Carbon and ecosystem services markets offer an opportunity for farmers to access alternative revenue streams for conservation on farms. As these markets proliferate, however, there are many options and few rules. Join Alejandro Plastina to learn more about key differences between markets and potential pitfalls that farmers and landowners – especially graziers and early adopters – should consider when making decisions about whether to engage with carbon or ecosystem services markets.
Saturday Session 3 | 3 – 4 p.m.
Lightning Talk Rounds #1
Low Stress Hog Loading Into a Trailer with Dave Stender
Rethinking Cover Crop Adoption: Behavior Within Systems with Parker Arnold
An Unexpected Change: Switching From Paper to Plastic Mulch with Terry Troxel
Learning Along the Way: Direct Meat-Marketing Lessons with Natasha Wilson
Communicating With Land Managers and Land Owners with Jacob Bolson
Is This Seeping In? Infiltration Rate’s Powerful Message with Maggie McQuown
Why Are There so Few Black Farmers in Iowa? Narratives and Perspectives From Two Black Iowa Farmers
In this session, Shaffer Ridgeway and DaQuay Campbell, two Black men currently engaged in the initial stages of farming, will talk about how their lives in Iowa led them to begin their farm journey, the farming and urban agricultural work they are currently engaged in and how their agricultural efforts have impacted them and their families.
Tools and Methods of Land Access Roundtable
Finding land access can be challenging and takes a strong network. This roundtable is a place to share and learn about tools and methods land seekers are using to find land. Learn how the Farmland Access Navigator service is helping land seekers and how to use the Find A Farmer land matching site. Bring your ideas and experiences to add to the discussion.
Corn and Covers: To Plant Green or Not to Plant Green
Are you considering planting corn into a living cover? Experienced green-planters Andy Linder and Will Cannon will share their ideal scenarios for cover crop growth and weather patterns when planting green. Hear strategies to set up favorable conditions by using less aggressive cover crops or prioritizing early corn planting. Finally, learn techniques – such as strip-tilling or applying nitrogen at planting – to successfully manage less-than-ideal scenarios.
Oat pros Eric Madsen and Matt Stewart will share tips for a successful oat harvest in both organic and conventional systems. During this session, you’ll hear their management techniques for high yield and test weight and how they’ve adapted (or lucked out) in adverse conditions – like the hot and dry growing season we had this year. You’ll also learn how on-farm trials can help you choose the right varieties for your goals.
Organic Cultivators and Weed Control
For certified organic growers, a mechanical weed control system is one of the most important assets. With decades of experience in organic cropping, Paul Mugge and Andrew Nees have tried multiple tools and techniques, honing the systems on their farms. Hear about the cultivators they’re using now, as well as what has and hasn’t worked in the past. Learn about equipment setup and strategies for weed management in organic systems.
Oxbow Wetland Restoration for Multiple Benefits
Want to learn about a key conservation practice with enormous wildlife and water quality benefits? Join landowner Ben Wallace and biologist Darrick Weissenfluh to learn about the benefits of oxbows, why they are important to Iowa’s landscape and how to restore oxbow wetlands on private lands. You’ll also learn about resources available to landowners interested in restoring similar habitats and features on their properties.
Farm-to-Farm Coordinated Vegetable Production
Does every vegetable farm need to grow every vegetable? Some farmers want to grow a little of everything. But in other cases, what if farmers collaborated early in the season on producing particular crops? What might be possible if they shared resources like labor? This panel offers insight from a range of perspectives to explore this topic and initiate robust discussion and collaboration among growers.
Plant-Based Proteins: Learning From Consumers and Marketers
Sekar Raju | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Plant-based proteins have grown in popularity with consumers for a variety of reasons. What can we learn from this trend? Join Sekar Raju, associate professor of marketing at ISU, as he explores this topic. Learn why plant-based alternatives are so successful, and hear about the strategies used to tap into consumers’ core needs. Sekar will highlight marketing strategies you can learn from and apply with your products.
Saturday Session 4 | 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.
Lightning Talk Rounds #2
Climate-Smart Vegetables: Impacts of Iowa Food Systems with Tiffanie Stone
Emergency Tube-Feeding Baby Goats or Lambs with Margaret Chamas
Quash Squash Drift Damage: Legal Principles and Recommendations to Manage Drift Incidents with Karen Varley
Making Degraded Soils More Productive With Livestock with Tom Wind
Growing Big in Small Spaces; Lessons from a Community Garden Food Forest with Reid Brown
Planting Into Green Cover with Brian Fager
Creando nuevas oportunidades con empresas avícolas y vegetales / Creating New Opportunities With Poultry and Veggie Enterprises
Durante los últimos cinco años, Hilda ha desarrollado su granja desde cero, criando una criando una numerosa variedad de aves de corral y cultivos de hortalizas en su granja de 3 acres. Originaria de México, Hilda tiene una pasión profunda por cultivar alimentos saludables en su comunidad y familia. Únase a esta sesión para escuchar sus experiencias, lecciones aprendidas y nuevas ideas para el futuro de su granja. Lucia Schultz ayudará con la interpretación.
Over the last five years, Hilda has developed her farm from scratch, raising a diversified poultry flock and vegetable crops on her 3-acre farm. Originally from Mexico, Hilda has a deep passion for growing healthy food for her community and family. Join this session to hear about her experiences, lessons learned and new ideas for the future of her farm. Lucia Schultz will help with interpretation.
Fine-Tuning Planter Settings for Sowing Corn and Soybeans Into Covers
Are you thinking of planting corn or beans into cover crops? Set yourself up for success with the right planter settings for the task. Whether you’re planting into a winter cover crop in a corn-soy system or working with a robust legume in an extended rotation, you’ll learn best practices from Paul Jasa and Mike Holden. Mike will share how he converted his traditional planter to work in a no-till cover-crop system – proof you don’t need new implements to get great results.
All About Legumes Part II: Nitrogen Fixation
Katherine Muller | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Researchers are beginning to uncover the secrets of nitrogen fixation in legumes, and they’ve made surprising discoveries. They’ve also upended some conventional wisdom and past assumptions. Join Katherine Muller for a deep dive into the research on nitrogen fixation. She’ll discuss what we know with confidence and what’s being investigated at a basic, foundational level. We’ll consider how this knowledge can inform on-farm practices and innovation.
Be Our Guest: Hosting an Airbnb on the Farm
Susan & Rich Young | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
As more people seek out experiences, farm-stay vacations are growing in popularity. But what does it take to launch and manage an on-farm Airbnb that fits your lifestyle and goals? During this session, Susan and Rich Young will share how they have found success in creating and managing the Milk House at Lucky Star Farm. They will also discuss what they have learned and what to consider before opening your own guest house – including how to attract guests, balance business, farm and family and manage the business side of the enterprise.
Pollinator Conservation for Homesteads and Backyard Gardens
Sarah Nizzi | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Every action we take, big or small, can impact pollinators and other beneficial insects. Acreages and backyards offer excellent opportunities for providing critical pollinator habitat. In this session, Sarah Nizzi will discuss ways to conserve pollinators in your backyard regardless of size or space. She’ll address habitat layout and design, plant selection, installation and management.
Mechanical Weed Control for Vegetables
Hans Bishop | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Hans Bishop is passionate about machinery. Lucky for him, mechanical weed control is a critical part of his organic vegetable operation. He has tested, tried and taught about many types of cultivators, harvesters and other equipment. Approachable, humble and willing to share his expertise and resources, Hans speaks on subjects such as mechanical weed control and using mechanization on a diversified vegetable farm. Bring your curiosity and your questions!
Watering Systems for Graziers
Dave Schmidt | CCAs: 1.0 CEU credit approved
Water accessibility can be a barrier to grazing and may appear intimidating to install. Learn from experienced grazier Dave Schmidt about the different types of watering systems he has experimented with over the years on his farm, including fixed and mobile water sources. This session will give you a chance to explore options and gain a clearer view of what might work for your grazing system.
Experiences With No-Till Vegetable Production
No-till can benefit vegetable farms in a variety of ways, from improved soil health, to lower weed and pest pressure, to reduced fossil fuel use. But what does it look like in practice? In this panel session, Linda Sturm-Flores of the Rodale Institute Midwest Organic Center and four PFI farmers will share results of on-farm research conducted on their farms. Linda will share how three different crops responded when grown in beds tilled with black plastic mulch, tilled bare ground or no-till bare ground. Jordan, Hannah, Emily and Mark will share results of their research with no-till vegetable beds. Each focused on a different aspect of production – and each has unique insights to share.