Beginning Farmer Summit

Feb. 13, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: Harvest Vineyard Church | 320 S 17th St, Ames, IA 50010

We are inviting all beginning farmers and landowners to join us at the annual Beginning Farmer Summit for an opportunity to reconnect with friends and peers and make new acquaintances. The event is free, and farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and open online until Feb. 8.

Getting started in farming can be hard, but the right support and network can boost your chance of success. Furthermore, having the land you need to farm is equally important and challenging. Practical Farmers of Iowa recognizes that beginning farmers need different support and resources as they move through different stages within their first 10 years of farming.

With this in mind, we have designed the summit with tailored tracks to support each phase of farming. Pick one of the following tracks to dig deeper into this subject. You will have plenty of time for networking with farmers and landowners. This year’s summit will also feature a farm plan pitch session where beginning farmers can pitch their farm idea to a panel of experienced farmers, bankers and others for feedback.

Register by Feb. 8

Program Tracks

Beginning Farmer Track

Enterprise Budgeting for Decision Making

Knowing what it costs to raise a particular product is an important first step when looking at your farm financials. An enterprise budget allows you to look at details you can use to make decisions about improving profit, quality of life or achieve some other business goal. This budget, paired with a cash flow projection, can set your financials up for success. In this session, Paul Dietmann, lender with Compeer Financial and co-author of “Fearless Farm Finances,” will share more about enterprise budgeting, cash flow projections and how you can use them to make farm decisions.

Fundamentals to a Marketing Plan

Knowing who is going to buy your farm products and where they’re located is essential for beginning farmers starting out in direct marketing. In this session, Anna Geyer will share the fundamentals of creating a marketing plan to reach your customers where they are shopping. You will leave with some tools and action steps to create your own marketing plan to guide your marketing efforts this next growing season.

Farm Plan Pitch

In this session, you’ll have a chance to pitch your farm ideas to a panel of experienced farmers, bankers and other professionals. They will share feedback and resources to help you build your farm business. If you’d like to pitch a farm plan idea during this session, reach out to Greg Padget at greg.padget@practicalfarmers.org.

Land Access Track

Getting Ready for Land

Land access is a journey that requires finding the right piece of land at the right time. Be sure you’re ready for it. In this session, Iowa farmland access navigators Amber Mohr and Hannah Breckbill will help you learn how reflecting on your experience and identifying your networks, skills and values can help facilitate that process. The right opportunity may be just around the corner.

Setting Goals and Taking the Next Steps for Landowners

What was your farm like 30 years ago? What do you want your farm to be 30 years from now? In this two-part landowner session, we will talk about the importance of setting goals for transition. You’ll have time to reflect on what you what your farm transition to look like, talk though several models of farm transition and think about what your next steps should be based on your retirement goals. We’ll also give you strategies for communicating your goals to others.

Land Access Networking

Members of Practical Farmers tell us connecting with members is one of the best parts of our events. If you are a beginning farmer, non-operating landowner, a farmer looking to transition your land or just thinking about the possibilities, this networking session is a special opportunity to meet and learn from others who have land access questions, needs or experiences. You’ll have a chance to connect with a variety of famers, hear about their challenges and learn from their perspectives through a variety of facilitated one-on-one conversations.

Register by Feb. 8

Questions?

Contact Greg Padget at greg.padget@practicalfarmers.org or by calling the office at (515) 232-5661.