The Cooperators’ Meeting is a two-day event where our farmer members gather to discuss past research and plan on-farm research for the following year.
Like our annual conference, our Cooperators’ Meeting is an annual event rooted in the Practical Farmers ethos of farmers generating independent solutions to on-farm challenges through farmer-led on-farm research and demonstration projects — and then sharing that knowledge freely with other farmers. Cooperators’ share results of recently finished projects at the meeting. The Cooperators’ Meeting is the central place to ask new questions for future projects and set research priorities. The cooperators’ Meeting process allows PFI staff to respond directly to farmers’ needs with practical projects that help farmers improve their profitability, environmental impact and community.
Unlike our annual conference, however, participants in our Cooperators’ Program must be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa. All farmer members are welcome to become participants, suggest research projects they are interested in conducting and join their peers to help decide the roster of on-farm research Practical Farmers will carry out over the coming year. The two-day-long event is punctuated by a dinner open to all members (not just research participants), during which the annual Master Researcher Award is presented to a member who has conducted 20 or more on-farm research trials and hosted at least five Practical Farmers field days to share knowledge gained over the years.