Beginning Farmer Retreat

This annual event brings beginning farmers together to network, plan and discuss ways to improve their farms while helping to build a sense of community among this fast-growing farming demographic.

The first Next Generation Retreat took place in 2009, and it has been an annual event ever since. The two-day retreat has become a popular networking and business planning event that helps beginners share and learn from each other, as well as select experienced farmer speakers. Farm knowledge, food and friendship are freely shared. The retreat takes place each year between November and March and is open to all beginning farmers, regardless of age, enterprise or membership status.


12th Annual Beginning Farmer Retreat

Friday, Dec. 13 at Noon – Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.
Oakwood Road Community Center | Ames, IA

If you are starting or thinking about starting a farm, you should plan to attend this annual retreat. In addition to networking with other farmers, attendees will set goals and create action plans for achieving them. Programming will be offered for both aspiring and beginning farmers, with experts and peers facilitating the sessions and assisting with work time.

Registration for the retreat has closed. If you’re still interested in attending contact Greg Padget at

Retreat agenda
Friday noon – 8:00 p.m.
  • Lunch with Cooperator’s Program
  • Farm Vision Panel
  • Establishing your Foundation
  • Why is Business Planning Important
  • Assessing your Markets
  • Potluck and Social
Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Evaluating your Operations
  • Digging into Finances
  • Pitching your Farm Idea
  • Lunch
  • Putting it all Together
  • Next Steps

Contact Information

For more information about the Beginning Farmer Retreat, or to be added to our beginning farmer email list: contact Greg Padget, at or (515) 232-5661.