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Scaling-up family farms meeting set

By Staff | Apr 4, 2012

ELKHART – Finding viable ways to farm full-time or integrate multiple generations into the family farm are issues that may keep many Iowa farm families awake at night.

According to Joel Salatin, and farmer and agricultural philosopher, farm families shouldn’t have to worry about farm continuity or choosing between pursuing their passion to farm and making money to pay the bills.

Practical Farmers of Iowa and Grinnell College are bringing Salatin to speak from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., on April 27, at the Tom and Mary Cory farm, at 10941 NE 56th St., in rural Elkhart. The event is free to PFI members and $10 for non-members.

Issues include:

  • “Working With Your Kids So They Will Want to Work With You,” based on the premise that most family farms lose continuity because of the lack of rewarding economic, as well as emotional, relationships between parents and children.
  • “Going Full-Time With Your Part-Time Farm,” will address the reality that many part-time farmers feel: the desire to farm full-time, but there’s an economic need for an off-the-farm job.
  • “Can We Feed the World?” which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on the Grinnell College campus in Grinnell.

The Cory Family Farm raises sheep, goats and grass-fed beef, as well as GMO-free corn and soybeans, and is in the process of converting half his 200-acre farm to grass pasture.

Salatin, Tom Cory said, “makes a living with forestry, rabbits, grass beef and pork and tourism but has buying clubs and supports four families on that farm. We feel that his lifestyle and method ecologically friendly agriculture where agriculture works in harmony with nature and how he incorporates a family into his business is exactly what we want to do as we begin to convert our crop ground into a grass farm.”

Directions: The Cory farm is located at 10941 NE 56th St.,n Elkhart. To reach the farm from the north, take Interstate 35 to exit 96 for Elkhart / Polk City. Turn left and drive 3.6 miles to NE 56th Street. Turn right and drive 2.3 miles. The farm will be on the left. To reach the farm from the south, take I-35 to exit 92 for Ankeny. Turn right and drive 3.8 miles to NE 56th Street. Turn left and drive 1.6 miles to the farm.

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