Lots To Learn At PFI Summer Field Days

Practical Farmers of Iowa announces 2011 schedule for summer and fall field days.

Published on: May 25, 2011

Practical Farmers of Iowa's 2011 Field Day Guide for this summer and fall is hot off the press and features more than 35 on-farm learning opportunities throughout the state. The guide is mailed to all PFI members and is available now on line as a downloadable PDF at http://practicalfarmers.org/events/field-days.html.  They provide over 35 on-farm learning opportunities throughout Iowa.

PFI field days showcase innovative farming practices, share on-farm research results, provide networking opportunities and build urban-rural understanding. Attendees get a chance to be outside and enjoy Iowa at its best while taking in a variety of topics, tours, learning, entertainment and food that define these events. "PFI field days give me the chance to observe, listen and network with others who have the same interests or goals," says PFI board member Gail Hickenbottom. "I walk away from a PFI field day feeling greatly rewarded!"

You'll walk away from a PFI field day feeling informed & rewarded

This year's lineup includes the latest grazing practices, using high tunnels to extend the growing season and capture rainwater for irrigation, as well as, succession planning for passing family farms to the next generation, four field days that feature a variety of alterative energy forms and many more topics. "When I get my Field Day Guide, I read through every one of the field days and pick out the most pertinent ones that apply to what I'm doing," says PFI member and farmer Earl Hafner of Panora. "I always learn something new."  

Hafner will be hosting a field day this year about Aquaponics. "We're going to see if fish can grow vegetables," he jokes. Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that in Hafner's case combines raising fish (aquaponics) with raising vegetables in water without soil (hydroponics). He's hoping Aquaponics will catch on as a way for farm families to increase their income and have more time together while producing wholesome food.

For most of field days, there's no charge and everyone is welcome

Most of the field days are free, and everybody is welcome to all of them. For a copy of the 2011 Field Day Guide, call the PFI office in Ames at 515.232.5661.

It takes many sponsors to make these field days possible. PFI recognizes the following sustaining sponsors: Albert Lea Seedhouse, American Natural Soy, Iowa Farmers Union, ISU Extension, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Seed Savers, and USDA Sustainable Ag Research and Education. In addition, there are the following major sponsors: Iowa Forage and Grassland Council, Midwest Organic Services Association, CROPP Cooperative of Organic Valley/Organic Prairie Family of Farms and Iowa State University Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture.

Founded in 1985, PFI 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 PFI's network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits, vegetables and more. For additional information, call 515.232.5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

Practical Farmers of Iowa 2011 Field Days

June 18--Improving a Perennial Pasture, Year 2 | Cherokee

June 26--Starting Your Own Horticulture Farm | Wesley

July 8--Raising Multiple Species on One Pasture | Bloomfield

July 9--Hands-on Fantastic Fencing | Audubon

July 10--Food Handling Practices: Key to Great Flavor and Nutrition | Kanawha

July 12--Weed Control: A Balance Between Steel and Herbicides | Minburn

July 16--Fencing and Watering for Organic Beef, Sheep and Dairy | Decorah

July 18--Using High Tunnels to Capture Rain Water for Irrigation | Boone

July 25--Party with PFI at RAGBRAI | Templeton

Aug 3--Juan O'Sullivans Secrets to Successful Salsa | Cumming

Aug 4--The Buzz About Best Pollinator Practices | Boone

Aug 6--Grazing Cattle for Increased Biodiversity | Maxwell

Aug 7--Abbe Hills Open House and Sweet Corn Feed | Mt. Vernon

Aug 9–11--MOB Grazing Tour: 5 Farms, Endless Information | Rose Hill, Grinnell, Kalona, Bonaparte and Princeton

Aug 17--Organic Seed Options and Managing Manure | Keystone

Aug 18--Controlling Weeds, Pests and Livestock Disease Organically | Harlan

Aug 27--What We Learned About Corn, Beans, Canola and More | Sutherland

Aug 27--Dairy Farming Without Fossil Fuels | Fairfield

Aug 30--Committing to Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans | New Market

Aug 31--Corn & Soybean Discoveries For Increased Profitability | Sioux Center

Sept 9--US Testing Network Breeder and Retailers' Showcase | River Falls, WI

Sept 10--Farm Succession, Niche Pork and Energy | Elma

Sept 13--Farming Practically, Staying Diverse | Boone

Sept 15--Organic Sheep Ranching and Prairie Restoration | Earlham

Sept 17--Cooking with a Chef Beef Tasting | Ankeny

Sept 18--Mechanics of a Diversified Farm | Van Horne

Oct 1--Farming for Food and Education | West Branch

Oct 2--Fun and Funky Farm Crawl | Knoxville and Lacona

Oct 15--Producing Pasture Based Beef | Kellerton
Oct 21--From Commercial to Organic/Energy-Efficient Farm | Emmetsburg

Nov 11--Aquaponics: Can Fish Grow Vegetables … Profitably? | Panora