Iowa Beginning Farmers Conference "Looks To The Future" Feb. 6

Want to get started farming? Or, are you are an older farmer who wants to help a younger person begin? Plan to attend.

Published on: Feb 1, 2010

Beginning farmers who attend the 2010 Beginning Farmers Conference at Ames on Feb. 6 will be in the company of ag industry leaders as those who want to get started in farming build networks in support of their future.


The Beginning Farmer Network (BFN), an organization made up of Iowa State University students interested in entering farming, is sponsoring the Beginning Farmers Conference on Saturday Feb. 6 at the ISU Memorial Union on the Ames campus. The conference will feature keynote speakers Craig Lang, Iowa Farm Bureau Association president and Paul Lasley, Iowa State University Extension rural sociologist and department chair.


"This year's conference is very much geared to looking at the future,  with speakers that will talk about what's up and coming in agriculture," says Dan Gradert, a BFN member and a conference organizer. "The conference will bring people entering farming -- students and other people with only a few years of farming experience -- together with experienced farmers and agencies that serve as resources for beginning farmers."


It'll be a day of interesting topics, and outstanding speakers


Three sets of one-hour breakout sessions will cover topics ranging from value added agriculture and livestock in the future, to farm succession. Also being explored will be the question of whether or not to and expand or maintain farm operations. Session speakers from the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Agriculture Development Authority, Farm Service Agency, Beginning Farmers Center, Center for Agriculture Law and Taxation, and the Chair of Iowa Ag Committee are on the agenda.


"The conference sets the stage to network with other individuals who are at the same stage of farming or wanting to farm, and those with more experience, and introduces beginning farmers to people in agencies that they potentially will work with in the future," says Gradert.


You are encouraged to register now, on-line or by calling


This annual conference gives you a chance to meet, talk to other young farmers

Online registration is at . Registration also can be made by calling (515) 294-6222. The registration fee is $35 prior to Feb. 1; $45 after that date. Registration includes all conference materials, lunch and networking breaks. A complete agenda for the conference can be viewed at


"Farm Bureau president Craig Lang will share his outlook on challenges facing agriculture in the next 20 years as part of the conference's keynote address," adds Gradert. "Our breakout sessions will feature a variety of topics including tax management, government programs for beginning farmers and expanding and maintaining farm operations. Participants will have time to network with experts and other beginning farmers throughout the day."