What do cover crops, grazing management, soil tests, refugee farmers, on-farm research and cabbage pests have in common? They're all topics that will be explored during Practical Farmers of Iowa's 2014 field day season. This year's roster of events includes 35 field days showcasing diverse farming, livestock, land management, farm business and on-farm energy and conservation practices at locations across Iowa.
See which events are happening near you in Practical Farmers' freshly printed 2014 Field Day Guide, an annual publication that details on-farm learning events that take place during the spring and summer (PFI also hosts several late-winter and early-spring events that occur outside of the timeline of this guide). This year's field day guide also lists 12 events organized by partner organizations.
The 2014 Field Day Guide is available to view or download for free at the PFI website, and features a map of Iowa showing where events will take place. All Practical Farmers field days are open to the public, occur rain or shine and most are free to attend. To request a guide by mail, call the PFI office at 515-232-5661.
Network with other farmers, learn about innovative practices
Practical Farmers of Iowa field days give farmers the chance to network with their peers and learn about innovative farming practices, and provide the public with a prime opportunity to learn firsthand about the scope and diversity of agriculture in Iowa. Events are hosted by farmers and feature farmer-led discussions, farm or field tours, pasture walks, on-farm research and demonstration projects, and the chance to enjoy local foods.
Mike Natvig, who farms near Cresco in northeastern Iowa, will host a one-day Holistic Management course on his farm on Saturday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Co-organized by Practical Farmers and Land Stewardship Project, the course, "Biological Monitoring with Holistic Management", will teach participants how to identify signs of healthy soil, plant and animals systems, as well as how to judge if land management changes are in line with goals. Pre-registration is required by Friday, May 29. Location details and directions will be provided to course registrants. For full details, visit the PFI website.
PFI field days in 2014 will cover a range of diverse topics
Other field days this season will cover topics as diverse as: three-crop rotations; small grains; grazing cover crops; intercropping in vegetables; using cattle to manage and maintain native prairie and tree groves; collecting yield data; trimming hooves, hair and feathers for animal health and for show; growing watermelons with row-crop machinery; dairy goat management; Tribally Supported Agriculture; on-farm poultry processing; soil stewardship; energy conservation; and more.
Practical Farmers' 2014 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Calcium Products; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Gateway Market and Café; Grain Millers, Inc.; Grassland Oregon; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Cross Seed; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Insurance Corporation; MOSA Organic Certification; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); National Wildlife Federation; Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515-232-5661, visit www.practicalfarmers.org or email Tamsyn Jones at [email protected].
2014 Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days:
May 18: Greenhouse Hydroponic Tomatoes & Ornamentals – Boone
May 31: Biological Monitoring with Holistic Management – Winneshiek County
June 10: Winter Cereal Rye for Cover and Cash Grain – Keota
June 14: On-Farm Poultry Processing – North English
June 19: Three-Crop Rotations, Cover Crops & Prairie for Conservation – Rowley; Brandon
June 19: Fit and Trim: Hoof, Hair & Feather Care for Livestock – Ankeny
June 22: CoolBots & Bees: Walk-In Coolers and Pollinators – Columbia
June 24: Row Crops, Fences and Watermelons – Albion
June 26: Sustaining the Black Gold: Cover Crops, Grazing and Soil Tests –
June 28: Pasture Conversion and Renovation – Red Oak
June 29: Scaling Up: Machines, Markets and Moths – Crescent
July 12: PFI Play Premier: "Map of My Kingdom" – West Branch
July 15: Global Greens: Refugee Farmers in Iowa – West Des Moines
July 17: Farming Across Generations – Gilmore City
July 22: Build a Root Washer for Your Vegetable Farm – Iowa City
July 24: Grazing with More than Profits in Mind – Nevada
July 25: RAGBRAI with PFI in Independence – Independence
July 27: Monitoring Pesticide Drift on a Century Farm – Maysville
Aug. 3: Exploring Possibilities with a Moveable High Tunnel – Atlantic
Aug. 17: Planning, Research & Intercropping on a CSA Farm – Tripoli
Aug. 18: Jim Gerrish Series: Pasture Walks, Talks & Tours – Chariton; Powersville,
Aug. 19: Jim Gerrish Series: Pasture Walks, Talks & Tours – Grand River; Osceola
Aug. 20: Jim Gerrish Series: Pasture Walks, Talks & Tours – Maxwell
Aug. 22: Jim Gerrish Series: Pasture Walks, Talks & Tours – Norway; Monticello
Aug. 18: Jim Gerrish Series: Pasture Walks, Talks & Tours – Donnellson
Aug. 26: Soil Stewardship with Cover Crops, Rotations & Grazing – Hastings
Aug. 26 – 28: PFI Booth at Farm Progress Show and Campfire Social – Boone
Sept. 3: Energy Conservation at Home on the Range – Fredericksburg
Sept. 5: Organic Dairying and Cattle Care – Bloomfield
Sept. 9: Community-Based Farm Start-Up – Tama
Sept. 13: Compost Heat Capture for High Tunnel Season Extension – Nevada
Sept. 21: Makin' Bacon: Pork Processing, Curing and Tasting – Story City
Sept. 26: Stewardship at Seven W Farm – Paullina
Oct. 13: The "Dairy" Beginnings: Basics of Goat Dairy Management – Knoxville
Nov. 15: Milling Small Grains and Aquaponics Production – Panora
2014 Partner Events in Guide:
June 5: Roller Crimper and Strip-Tillage Demo Field Day – Ames
June 12: Cover Crop Workshop – Boone
June 23: Sequence Planting at Red Granite Farm – Boone
June 25: Iowa County SWCD Haney Soil Health Field Day – TBD (Farm in Iowa
July 5: Farm to School Greenhouse with Heat Recapture – Fairfield
July 8: Pumpkin Production at Geisler Farms – Bondurant
July 14: Greenhouse Flowers and Tomato Grafting – Cumming
Aug. 11: 2014 ISU Fruit and Vegetable Field Day – Ames
Sept. 6: Fresh on the Farm in Mitchell County – Mitchell County
Sept. 13: Fourth Annual Farm Cruise in Polk and Story Counties – Polk & Story
Sept. 28: Fresh on the Farm in Franklin County – Franklin County
Oct. 5: 2014 Farm Crawl – Knoxville & Lacona Area