Register now for the Midwest Covers and Grains Conference on March 4!
Join Us for Our 2024 Winter Webinar Series
Winter webinars are 60-minute, online presentations that are FREE for everyone. We encourage attendees to come with questions for the chat box! Webinars are held on Tuesdays, from Noon to 1:00 p.m. Central Time from January to April.
How to Participate
Participating in live winter webinars is easy!
1. Test Computer
We use Zoom as our webinar platform. Never used Zoom before? There is a simple, one-time download on whichever device you plan to use. Note: attendees do not need microphone or video capabilities to participate.
2. Register to join using the buttons below that correspond to the winter webinar you wish to attend. Browse our winter webinar (formerly called “farminars”) archive to watch the past recordings or subscribe to our YouTube channel to never miss a webinar!
Revitalizing Soil for a Small-Scale Hemp Farm in Iowa
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speakers: Megan & Scott Booher
In 2016, Scott and Megan Booher bought 40 acres of timber and open fields in eastern Iowa. At that time, the clay-rich soil was depleted of nutrients, so they used compost, biochar, worm castings and trace minerals to amend the soil on a portion of those acres to begin their hemp operation. In the ensuing years, they became certified organic and have experimented with reduced tillage and cover crops. Now called Four Winds Farm, their operation is one of relatively few farms in Iowa licensed to grow and sell various value-added hemp products. Learn about Megan and Scott’s decision to grow hemp in Iowa, what they’ve done to improve the soil on their farm and the hemp products they sell.
Scott and Megan Booher co-own and operate Four Winds Farm near Homestead, Iowa, where they grow hemp for flower production, along with medicinal herbs, on 1.5 acres. They incorporate these into their oils, salves, creams, gummies and more, which are sold at markets in Amana, Iowa, and in online stores. , Megan Booher co-owns Four Winds Hemp Farm with her partner, Scott Booher, near Johnson, Iowa. They grow hemp flowers and medicinal herbs on 1.5 acres, which they incorporate into their oils, salves, creams, gummies and more.
Developing a Meat CSA
Tuesday, March 05, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speaker: Peter Allen
At Mastodon Valley Farm, Peter has developed a unique meat CSA subscription model, which he’s been using for the last 10 years to successfully direct-market his farm’s regenerative meats. Peter will share the details of his system and provide tips and techniques for connecting with customers. He’ll also talk about how to build and manage an e-commerce website, and how to decide the best way to market your farm’s products depending on your context.
Learn more about Peter
Peter Allen is an ecologist-turned-farmer who owns and operates Mastodon Valley Farm, a 220-acre regenerative farm in southwestern Wisconsin. There, he and his wife, Maureen Allen, have built a timber-frame homestead and planted thousands of fruit and nut trees. They also graze cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry across the farm’s fertile valleys, steep hillsides and restored native prairie and savanna pastures. Through a consulting service, Peter also helps people design, build and manage diverse, ecologically functional and economically profitable farms and homesteads.
Building a Farm for Shepherding
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speaker: Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson has designed her farm for rotationally grazing her Isle-de-France sheep. From grazing covers to planting silvopasture, Wendy will explain why she loves the adaptability and resiliency of her wool sheep. She’ll also share how she’s used third-party certifications to build a market for her meat and wool.
Learn more about Wendy
Wendy Johnson and Johnny Rafkin own Joia Food & Fiber Farm, a regenerative, diverse organic farm producing humanely raised meat, eggs and fiber near Charles City, Iowa. Wendy served on PFI’s board of directors and was board president from 2019-2021.
An Alternative Third Crop? Relay Cropping Winter Camelina with Soybeans
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speaker: Robert Harvey
Robert Harvey worked for the last two years with Heartland Co-op’s Ruth McCabe to successfully relay crop winter camelina and soybeans on his Redfield, Iowa, farm. In 2023, Robert harvested his first successful crop of winter camelina from this system and he is looking forward to a prospective third crop that fits in his corn and soybean rotations. Robert has worked with Iowa Cover Crop to germ-test the camelina seed and they will work together to clean it.
Learn more about Robert
Lifetime PFI member Robert Harvey owns and operates Sunny Crest Farm with his wife, Ruth Harvey. They raise cattle, corn, soybeans, hay and cover crops on 700 acres near Redfield, Iowa. They were also recipients of the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award in 2016.
Trees and Bees: How Agroforestry Benefits Insects and Farmers
Tuesday, March 26, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speakers: Ann Novak and Sally McCoy (Bouska sisters) & Zach Burhenn
Adding trees to your farm can help both you and the pollinators on your farm in a range of ways. For pollinators, trees can offer critical habitat for overwintering and vital nectar sources. As farm buffers, they can protect areas of your acreage or home from winds and act as a shield against pesticide drift. In this webinar, the Bouska sisters will discuss some of the conservation practices, such as woodlots and pollinator plots, they have put to use on their farm. Zach Burhenn, of Iowa Native Trees and Shrubs, will offer tips on site and species selection, long-term maintenance and the benefits of planting trees on your farm.
Learn more about Peg and Zach
Peg and Carol Bouska are lifetime PFI members and farmland owners. In partnership with their sisters Ann Novak and Sally McCoy, they own 435 acres of land they grew up on near Protivin, Iowa. The sisters are active in farm transfer planning and regularly hold family meetings to work on the farm transition process.
Zach Burhenn joined Iowa Native Trees and Shrubs, based in central Iowa, in the spring of 2016 after graduating from Iowa State University’s forestry program. He enjoys working in his market garden, climbing, fly fishing in northeastern Iowa and being a naturalist.
Establishing and Grazing Native Perennials
Tuesday, April 02, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speaker: Kevin Fulton
Including native perennials in your grazing system can have a range of benefits, from boosting drought resilience in a forage chain to adding important wildlife habitat. However, these native grasses and forbs require adaptive management to thrive. Drawing on over 50 years of experience, Kevin will share how he establishes native perennial pasture, and tips for grazing it successfully.
Learn more about Kevin
Kevin Fulton owns and operates Clear Creek Land & Livestock, a holistically managed organic farming and grazing operation in the Loess Hills of central Nebraska. The farm has hosted visitors from around the world and been featured in numerous publications, documentaries and videos. Kevin has held leadership positions in various farm organizations on state and national levels. He has also lectured at events from New York City to Los Angeles while educating consumers, farmers, advocacy groups and university faculty and students.
Precision Conservation: Increasing Profitability and Conservation on Your Farm
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speakers: Jacob Bolson & Stephanie Nelson
Have you ever wondered when it’s best to remove portions of your field from crop production? Farm-specific ag data can pinpoint marginal areas of your farm where it costs more to grow a crop than what you’ll earn from those acres. Join row crop farmer Jacob Bolson as he leads a live virtual tour of his acreage, which is enrolled in a new five-year contract with the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program for pollinator habitat.
Stephanie Nelson, of Pheasants Forever, will then explain how yield and satellite data lends itself to conservation analysis. She’ll also discuss the services and incentives Pheasants Forever can provide if you are considering conservation changes on your farm.
Learn more about Jacob and Stephanie
Jacob Bolson lives with his wife, Lindsay Bolson, and their four children on an acreage outside of Hubbard, Iowa. In 2021, the couple used PFI’s Find A Farmer program to rent their first farm. Jacob and Lindsay maintain full-time careers and are actively engaged with Lindsay’s family farm in Hardin and Wright counties.
Stephanie Nelson is optimistic about opportunities for vibrant habitat to coexist with profitable farms in Iowa. As the Iowa precision agriculture and conservation specialist for Pheasants Forever, she analyzes data for farmers and landowners to help identify unprofitable areas they can target for conservation practices. She is a PFI member and the farmer owner of Tuuli Farm near Turin, Iowa, where she continues to create a diversified landscape.
Diversifying Pollinator Habitat on a Multi-Generational Illinois Farm
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Noon-1 p.m.
Speakers: John & Nancy Brannaman
Are you looking to diversify your pollinator habitat? Are you tired of the endless mowing of brome and bluegrass? Do you want information on local, hardy seed sources? Join Nancy and John Brannaman as they showcase the ongoing conservation efforts on their Illinois farm.
Over the years, the Brannamans have added native prairie mixes, Conservation Reserve Program wetland mixes and Conservation Stewardship Program pollinator plots to their land. More recently, they’ve contracted with Pheasants Forever to seed another 13 acres of CRP pollinator habitat. In this webinar, Nancy and John will discuss how they do this work. You’ll learn about the seed and equipment they use, like extenders for small seeds. They’ll also explain how they prepare the seed bed and handle mowing, weeding and burning.
Learn more about John and Nancy
Nancy Brannaman is a sixth-generation farm owner actively working to bring young farmers to her land. Throughout her career, Nancy was a pioneer for women in agriculture. Her roles spanned topics and the globe, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, to agricultural development in post-Soviet Ukraine and Russia, to multiple roles at the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service in seven different countries.
Goat Milk? Dairy Goats 101
Are you interested in raising dairy goats? Join us for a Spanish-interpreted webinar with Emily Morgan, who will share how she started Aiyana’s Empire Dairy Goats and how she uses value-added products in her operations.
¿Está interesado en criar cabras lecheras? Acompáñenos para un seminario web interpretado en español con Emily Morgan, quien compartirá cómo comenzó Aiyana’s Empire Dairy Goats y cómo utiliza productos de valor agregado en sus operaciones.
Turning Point: Key Moments for Two Farms Over Two Decades
Speakers: Jill Beebout, Blue Gate Farm, Chariton, IA, and Rob Faux, Genuine Faux Farm, Tripoli, IA
Over the course of 20 years, practically anything can and will happen on a small-scale, diversified farm that specializes in growing vegetable crops, raising poultry and selling quality food locally. In this webinar, you’ll have a chance to hear two experienced PFI horticulture farmers talk about key moments and important decisions that made a difference, for good or bad, in their operations. Don’t miss this chance to learn vicariously through someone else’s experiences!