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Registration open for 2016 PFI annual conference

By Staff | Nov 28, 2015

AMES – Practical Farmers of Iowa is now accepting registrations for its 2016 annual conference, “Farmers Teaching Farmers,” which will take place Jan. 22-23 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

Those who pre-register by Jan. 14 will save $10 per day. Special rates are also available for students and PFI members. Register online at practicalfarmers.org, or contact Erica Andorf: erica@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661.

This year’s theme celebrates the farmer-led approach that has been Practical Farmers’ hallmark for 30 years.

The conference features:

A). A keynote address by John Kempf, farmer and founder of Advancing Eco-Agriculture, speaking on “Common Characteristics of Successful Farmers.” Kempf will explore characteristics of farming operations he views as “extraordinarily successful,” and how farmers can work those same principles into their decision-making.

B). Thirty-one in-depth workshops on topics that span the agricultural spectrum, such as regenerative grazing, interseeding cover crops, farm energy planning, growing vegetables in high tunnels, establishing pollinator habitat, farm transfer strategies, understanding farm rules and regulations.

C). Nine “Ask an Expert” sessions, set up as Q&A roundtables, where attendees will have a chance to engage more deeply and ask detailed questions of experts.

D). The 2016 SARE Farmers Forum, a traveling annual event organized by North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

Practical Farmers is hosting the 2016 forum, which gives farmers, ranchers and others funded by NCR-SARE grants the chance to share information about their research and demonstration projects.

The Farmers Forum is being offered as a special track at the conference.

E). Two pre-conference short courses: “Growing Good Small Grains,” featuring farmers, researchers and small grains marketers; and “Successful Establishment and Management of Orchard Trees,” featuring tree crop farmer and agroforestry expert Tom Wahl, of Red Fern Farm.

Both courses run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jan. 21, and continue from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at the Scheman Building.

F). Many opportunities to network and build relationships with other farmers, researchers, consumers and sponsors – including at several regional breakfast meetings on Saturday morning, where guests can meet others from their part of Iowa.

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