Practical Farmers of Iowa is excited to announce its spring lineup of online webinars, or farminars as PFI calls them. This series of farminars, which begin March 2, will have a "Fishbowl" theme: You listen and learn while experienced farmers answer beginning farmers' questions on pastured poultry, vegetable production, and raising grass-fed beef. To register and participate in the farminars, visit www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar.
Farminar technology fosters learning and networking online, allowing viewers to participate from any location that has a computer and internet access. Thus you can tune-in from your home on your computer. Practical Farmers of Iowa hosted 12 farminars last fall and this winter. These farminars have been watched by over 2,500 people from across the United States.
Practical Farmers of Iowa 2010 spring farminars are scheduled
* Tuesday, March 2, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Beginner Fishbowl – "Pastured Poultry": Farmer Tim Daley, Shamrock Acres, raises poultry and pastured lamb near New Hartford, Iowa. He direct markets pastured broilers, eggs and turkeys. Tim will share his extensive knowledge on pastured poultry with beginning farmers Brian and Cheryl Ness from Newton, Iowa. Join in and your questions will be answered, ensuring you will not" fowl-up" your beginning operation.
* Tuesday, March 9, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Beginner Fishbowl – "Vegetable Production": Farmer Gary Guthrie, Growing Harmony Farm, also known as he "Carrot King," has 12 years of experience producing vegetables on two acres of intensively managed land in a 5-year rotation near Nevada, Iowa. Joining Gary will be beginning vegetable farmer Jennifer Zieser from Marion, Iowa. Come with your small-scale "high intensity" questions and learn the system of roto-tiller/hand tool vegetable production. Other topics include cover crops and mulching to manage weeds and add organic matter to the soil.
* Tuesday, March 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Beginner Fishbowl – "Vegetable Marketing": Farmer Susan Jutz of ZJ Farms, raises vegetables and lambs on her farm near Solon, Iowa. She provides more than 300 families with vegetables and herbs through a multi-producer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that has been in operation since 1996. She'll answer questions posed by beginning farmer Chris Corbin of Ames, and you can also learn about marketing techniques that she finds to be effective.
* Tuesday, March 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Beginner Fishbowl – Grass-Fed Beef: Doug Gunnink raises grass-fed beef at Dutch Mill Farms in Minnesota. He runs the Gunnink Forage Institute and educates people on a national level how to successfully raise grass-finished beef. Dave Schmidt is an Iowa native turned Californian who is moving back to begin grazing cattle near Garwin, Iowa. Listen in as they talk about grass-fed beef production and setting up a system for the beginning grazier.
Did you miss the fall and winter farminar series? Keep in mind that all archived farminars are available for you to watch online at www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar.
Practical Farmers of Iowa's spring 2010 farminars are made possible by funding from the Ceres Foundation, the Wallace Genetic Foundation, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and individual donors to Practical Farmers of Iowa's Next Generation Campaign.
Practical Farmers of Iowa includes 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.