2022 Beginning Farmer Summit

Feb. 7, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center | 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW Cedar Rapids 52404


Join us at the 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. 2. After Feb. 2, please call the PFI office to register at (515) 232-5661.

Getting started in farming can be hard, but the right support and network can boost your chance of success. 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. This is why we have designed the summit with tailored tracks to support each phase of farming.

These tracks include:

BF RetreatAspiring farmers who have not yet started farming will learn about setting goals related to preparing to farm. These goals will focus on mapping out ways to access farmland and building connections to find farmland.

  • Getting Ready For Land by Greg Padget, Practical Farmers of Iowa
  • Resources For Seeking Land by Hannah Breckbill, Humble Hands Harvest Farm
  • My Land Access Journey by Corbin Scholz, Rainbow Roots Farm and Heidi Eger, Radicle Heart Farm

Beginning farmers with one to five years of experience operating their own farm will discover ways to make decisions based on their current farming operations. Sessions and networking will offer ways to improve their marketing and finances.

  • Introduction to Farm Loans and Lending by Andy Larson, Food Finance Institute
  • How to Leverage Social Media in 2022 to Grow Your Business by Emily Steele, Local Business School
  • Lessons in Getting Started Farming by T.D. Holub, Garden Oasis and Dayna Burtness, Nettle Valley Farm

Intermediate farmers with six to 10 years of experience will focus on business support related to scaling up operations, adding value and hiring employees. Those attending this track will also learn about a new PFI business coaching program that will offer one-on-one support with making farming business changes.

  • Email Marketing From The Ground Up by Emily Steele, Local Business School
  • Farm Enterprise Feasibility: Will This New Business Idea Work for My Farm? by Andy Larson, Food Finance Institute
  • Pivoting Your Business in Face of New Challenges by Jill Beebout, Blue Gate Farm

Farmers and landowners seeking to support beginning farmers will participate in the farmland owner track. These sessions and network activities will help participants set goals focused on providing farmland access to beginning farmers and meeting aspiring farmers looking for farmland to get started.

  • Setting Your Farmland Goals and Visions
  • Communicating Your Goals and Visions by Madeline Schultz, Iowa State University Extension
  • Experiences Helping the Next Generation to Farm by Nancy Brannaman, farmland owner


In addition to learning opportunities, all participants will have the chance to network with others and learn more about resources to support beginning farmers.