The Beginning Farmer Network, an organization made up of Iowa State University students interested in entering farming, is sponsoring the 2011 Beginning Farmer Conference on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Scheman Center on the ISU campus in Ames. This annual all-day event will feature several keynote speakers this year including Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "The conference gets incoming farmers and exiting farmers thinking about the things they will be faced with as they work together," says Chad Fertig, former BFN president and a conference organizer. "Attending this meeting is an inexpensive way to learn and to get ideas swirling."
A list of knowlegeable speakers will discuss topics of interest
Three sets of one-hour breakout sessions will cover topics ranging from commodity marketing and tax management, to farm succession and land leasing operations. Session speakers from the Iowa Agriculture Development Authority, Farm Service Agency, ISU Beginning Farmers Center, Center for Agriculture Law and Taxation and Iowa State University Extension are on the agenda. "People who attend this conference, after they go home, will feel that they have valuable resources available, along with the information they've gathered at this event, to help them start farming or work for a farmer who is planning retirement and is looking for help and a successor," says Fertig. "The conference helps those people who are going into farming to better understand farm succession, which includes government programs for beginning farmers and commodity markets, as well as production issues like land leasing and machinery sharing." Online registration is available at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/beginningfarmer/register.html. Registration also can be made by calling 515-294-6222. The registration fee is $40 prior to Feb. 1; $50 after that date. Registration includes all conference materials, lunch and networking breaks. A complete agenda for the conference can be viewed at .