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PFI admits 26 into Savings Incentive Program

By Staff | Jan 12, 2015

AMES (PFI) – Practical Farmers of Iowa has selected 26 beginning farmers to enroll into its Savings Incentive Program. This is the fifth year applicants have been accepted into the program, bringing the total number of beginning farmers being served to 106.

The two-year program pairs beginning and aspiring farmers with experienced mentors, offers business planning support, and gives participants the chance to save money and receive matching funds while learning how to build a profitable farm.

The new enrollees, who will be in the Savings Incentive Program from January through December 2016, represent a diverse mix of farm enterprises and locations in Iowa. Nearly half raise livestock of some kind, from cattle to pastured pork and poultry.

Most intend to add livestock in the future. Five grow or plan to add row crops and over half have horticulture operations. Most enrollees currently run or desire to add multiple enterprises to their farms.

Enterprises range from adding small grains and hay, to raising rabbits and sheep, to specializing in cut flowers and trees.

One beginner wants to start an orchard, and several participants hope to add bees to their farms. In addition, six enrollees are refugee farmers working with Lutheran Services in Iowa’s Global Greens program, including four from Burundi, one from Rwanda and one from Burma.

The 26 new Savings Incentive Program enrollees within the Farm News coverage area are:

  • Cerro Gordo: Aidan Hamilton, of Thornton.
  • Dallas: Jefferson Davis, of Adel.
  • Dickinson: Kate Mendenhall, of Spirit Lake.
  • Franklin: Karen Koenig, of Hampton.
  • Greene: Benjamin Barron, of Jefferson.
  • Plymouth: Jennie Erwin, of LeMars.
  • Polk: Etiene Hacimana, Charles Bizimana, Angelique Hakuzimana, Ta Kaw Paw, Bucumi Simon, Alex Congera, all of Des Moines.
  • Story: Andrew Friend, Eve Iverson, of Story City.

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