The 2009 summer field day season is getting underway for Practical Farmers of Iowa, and you are invited to attend these events. The dates, locations and topics to be covered for each field day are listed on www.practicalfarmers.org.
For the first PFI field day, grass-fed beef will be the focus of the event to be held at Wallace Farms near Keystone in east-central Iowa on Monday June 1. Lunch, featuring grass-fed beef and Berkshire pork, will commence at noon. The program will start at 1:00 p.m.
Discussion at this field day will include: barriers to entry in grass-feeding beef; managing intensive grazing; discussion of fencing, foliar feeding, water systems, production costs, leader-follower cattle and sheep feeding systems, grazing warm summer annuals (sorghum, sudangrass). Denise Schwab and Margaret Smith of Iowa State University Extension will talk about the cost of production.
Wallace Farms is a 160-acre farm converted from corn/soybean commodity farming to a biodiverse pasture-based system, a model of cool-season and warm-season grasses with managed intensive grazing. The farm includes cows, calves, ewes, and laying hens.
Directions: Corner of 15th St. and 74th Ave., Keystone. Take Highway 30 to the Keystone turnoff (County Road V42). Go south (away from Keystone) on 15th Ave. (gravel) 1 mile to the T intersection. Turn left on 74th; the farm is on the left.
Sponsored by USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Demonstration Program (SARE), this field day is free and everyone is welcome.
Practical Farmers of Iowa has as its members a diverse group of farmers and nonfarmers. Corn, soybeans, beef cattle, and hay are the top enterprises for PFI farmers, although many have a variety of other operations, including fruits and vegetables. PFI's programming stresses farmer-to-farmer networking through research and demonstration, field days, conferences, and more. For more information, call 515-232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.
PFI event will discuss "How Farmers are Providers"
What do stewardship farmers give to you? They provide: Healthful foods (the best medicine), reduced flooding, improved water quality, local commerce and celebrations, climate change mitigation, and soils that will support our future. Come join this conversation with Teresa Opheim, executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa, and Northwest Iowa farmers Dan and Lorna Wilson at The Market Community Cooperative in Spirit Lake on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Locally-grown food will be provided. This workshop is hosted by the Market Community Cooperative and coordinated by Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Directions: From Highway 9: Turn north (right) at second stoplight after the Spirit Lake city sign (Hill Ave.), which is the downtown main street. The Market Community Cooperative is in the middle of the second downtown block, on the left. From the south on Highway 71: Follow 71 as it turns and heads east at a 4-way stop near Wal-Mart. At the second stoplight (Hill Ave.), turn left (north). Note the new county courthouse is at that intersection. Look for 1610 on your left in the middle of the second block. This field day is free and everyone is welcome.