Email Discussion Groups

What are the email discussion groups?

PFI’s greatest asset is the knowledge and ideas, generously shared, of our dynamic community of members. Our email discussion groups are a members-only email service that connects you with that network of knowledge from the convenience of your email inbox.

Stay informed, get advice, share events, meet other people interested in diverse agriculture and get the support you need to make practical decisions for your farm.

How do I use the email discussion groups?

You simply send and receive messages like regular emails. You can choose to respond to the individual sender, the whole group or just sit back and read.

Please post your message in only one group – no cross-posting. For example, if you’re selling equipment that may be relevant to livestock farmers but may also be relevant to field crops farmers, please post it in just one group, likely the Announcements group.

You’re welcome to join as many groups as you like.

If you are concerned about too many emails, click the “digest” option at the bottom of any email you receive from the group. This option will provide you with one daily email that contains all the emails sent that day.

How do I join?

You must be a PFI member before you can join a discussion group list. If you are not a member, join here first. Then, email Debra Boekholder at debra.boekholder(at)practicalfarmers(dot)org and let her know which groups you’d like to join.

Email discussion groups:

We have five discussion groups to choose from:

Announcements – Use this group to send messages about topics like seeking machinery, ride-sharing, event notifications, job opportunities, media requests, classifieds and similar bulletin-board-style announcements for farmer-to-farmer sales of used equipment, tools, machinery, extra supplies, etc.

Perspectives – Perspectives is a space for civil, open-minded debate and discussion. This includes farm policy matters and farm policy-related events. Discussing or endorsing individual candidates is not allowed.

Example topics include climate change, pesticide drift, local food systems and the farm bill. All topics must be centered on agriculture. It is critical that members of this group maintain the welcoming and respectful PFI spirit outlined in our civility commitments.

Production lists:

Share your knowledge and get your questions answered in our enterprise-specific production groups. Example topics include troubleshooting, production-related events, notifications, classifieds, etc. Please post in only one group. For example, if you post a topic on our Field Crops group, do not cross-post that same notice in the Announcements group.

Appropriate topics for each production group are as follows:

  • Field Crops – Field crops, cover crops, small grains and seed.
  • Horticulture – Fruit, vegetable, agroforestry and other horticultural crop production; pests; CSAs and other marketing strategies; events; etc.
  • Livestock – Grazing, animal health, sales, etc.


  1. Be civil. Gossip, flaming (abusive, inflammatory language) or lengthy criticism is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Read our civility commitments.
  2. Please remember we are a big-tent organization. Be respectful of different viewpoints and beliefs. Access to the PFI network through email discussion groups is a privilege. We expect participants to exemplify PFI’s “get along, but don’t go along” and knowledge-sharing ethos.
  3. Cross-posting of messages is not allowed. Send messages to the appropriate group and do not send the same message to multiple groups. If your question intersects two of the production groups, choose one or post in Announcements. If your message involves opinion or policy, please share it on our Perspectives group.
  4. Keep topics and discussion related to agriculture. Conversations about agricultural policy should be centered on policy and not politicians themselves. Discussing or endorsing individual candidates is not allowed. References to one’s faith as motivation is allowed, but criticizing others’ views or proselytizing is forbidden.
  5. The email discussion groups are not actively moderated. We expect all group members will be courteous and respectful and will help to cultivate a civil space for dialogue. However, PFI staff will monitor the discussions and adherence to the rules laid out here.
  6. We treasure openness at PFI, if you are unable to abide by the rules listed here, we will issue a warning. Subsequent offenses may result in your removal from the groups as determined by PFI staff.
  7. The email discussion groups are not a platform for advertising a business or fundraising.  This includes the selling of products produced by your farm for profit. However, if a conversation naturally warrants mentioning a service that you or your business provides, that’s acceptable.

Still confused about what is or isn’t okay to post? Reach out to Emily Yaddof at emily.yaddof(at)practicalfarmers(dot)org.