Summertime is here and so is the season for Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days. Whether you're a farmer interested in controlling disease in your swine herd or a consumer wanting to find sources of fresh, locally produced food, you can find a Field Day for you in 2007.
Among the PFI members who will be featured this summer are:
* David and Susan Gossman and managing trees and row crops for wildlife and profit (Zwingle)
* Laura Krouse and the importance of local foods (Mt. Vernon)
* Tom Frantzen and Conservation Security Program and grazing (New Hampton)
* Dan and Lorna Wilson and feed costs and grains (Paullina)
* Norm McCoy and goat browsing for weed management (Maxwell)
Many more field days are scheduled
There are also many more field days scheduled on other PFI farmers' farms around Iowa this summer.
PFI field days, a 21-year tradition, showcase the innovation and vision of Iowa's sustainable farmers. These field days were originally started to demonstrate members' pioneering work in on-farm research—where farmers conduct research on their own farms to answer their own questions. Today, the field days include much more.
"PFI field days have grown to include much more than just production-based information and demonstrations. Now they also have a focus on our sustainable food systems that nourish people in our towns and cities with healthy and delicious locally grown food. PFI field days really provide a great opportunity for consumers to meet the farmers that grow their food and see how their food is produced," say Joyce Lock, a Des Moines resident and consumer who is interested in sustainable agriculture and local food systems.
Field days have something for everyone
PFI field days oriented directly for consumers include Lonnie Gamble's workshop on artisan foods (Fairfield) and a Buy Fresh, Buy Local tour in Davenport.
"There truly is something for everyone. There's good food, hands-on demonstrations and plenty to learn—whether it be how to grow something better or how to control unwanted pests. As a producer, when I attend field days I get answers to questions I didn't even know I had," claims Angela Tedesco, a Johnston farmer. She is hosting a field day July 21 on heirloom foods, tree plantings, and community agriculture.
Last year more than 1,000 people attended field days held across the state. For details call the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org. Field day guides are available. The field days are free and everyone is invited.
Major sponsors for the 2007 Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days are: the Animal Welfare Institute, Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Valley.
Here's a complete list:
2007 PFI Field Days
June 12, Floyd Boulevard Market Tour, Sioux City
June 20, Managed Grazing on Marginal Land, Corning
June 23, Organic Farming and Flax, Carroll
June 30, Managing Trees and Row Crops for Profit, Soil Quality and Wildlife, Zwingle
July 1, Artisan Foods Workshop, Fairfield
July 7, Small Production Flocks: Breeding, Processing and Preparing for Avian Influenza, Bondurant
July 10, Leopold Center 20th Anniversary Tours, Location varies
July 14, Buy Fresh, Buy Local Tour, Quad Cities Area
July 21, Heirloom Foods, Tree Plantings and Community Agriculture, Johnston
July 23, Biodiesel, Breeding Corn for Quality and Community Gardens for New Americans, Ankeny
July 27, Wild Country Ranching, Lovilia
Aug. 4, Enterprises on a Few Acres, Direct-to-consumer and the Algona Food Cooperative, Algona
Aug. 5, The Importance of Local Foods, Mt. Vernon
Aug. 5, Getting to Know Henry A. Wallace Day, Orient
Aug. 7, Nature Mapping, Hampton
Aug. 9, Swine Herd Health, Conservation Security Program, and Grazing, New Hampton
Aug. 11, Organic No-till Tomatoes, Earlham
Aug. 13, High Tunnel Fruit and Vegetable Production Workshop and Tour, Lewis & Griswold
Aug. 16, Feed Costs, Grazing and Grains, Paullina
Aug. 18, Breeding Corn for Quality, Cover Crops, Paullina
Aug. 22, Sustainable Row Crops, Livestock and Gardens, Greenfield
Aug. 25, Leopold Center Recognition, Flax, Triticale, and Natural History, Sutherland
Aug. 29, A Discussion on Farm Policy, Organic Weed Management and Tree Plantings, Harlan
Sept. 9, Goat Browsing for Weed Management, Illinois Bundleflower, Maxwell
Sept. 15, Hybrids, Flame Cultivation and Grazing for Wildlife, Creston
Sept. 22, Community-based Agriculture, Kanawha
Oct. 6, Heirloom Garlic Tasting, Farm Tour and Dinner, Minburn & Perry
Oct. 7, Farm Crawl, Marion and Lucas Counties