Practical Farmers of Iowa to host annual beginning farmer retreat and potluck with The Farming Institute near Iowa City Feb. 6-7

For Release: January 16, 2015

AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa will host its 2015 Next Generation Retreat from noon on Friday, February 6 to 1pm on Saturday, February 7 at the Celebration Farm near Iowa City. All beginning farmers are welcome to attend, regardless of age, farm enterprise, location or size.

The event, now in its seventh year, brings beginning and aspiring farmers together to learn business skills to establish sound farm businesses. This year’s retreat will be led by the Solon-area trio who operate The Farming Institute:  Businessman, entrepreneur and farmland owner Dick Schwab, experienced farmer and mentor Susan Jutz, and beginning farmer Kate Edwards—all members of Practical Farmers of Iowa—who will deliver a two-day values-based business planning workshop. Attendees will examine their current situation, values, and beliefs to create realistic goals and an attainable business plan for their farm. Attendees will have an opportunity for one-on-one consultations about personal and farm finances with a financial expert.

The cost is $20 for PFI members and $40 for non-members, plus lodging. Registration fees include all materials and workshop costs, as well as lunch Friday, breakfast and lunch Saturday, and snacks throughout. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share for the Friday night potluck.

In addition to learning how to develop their business, beginning farmers will have the opportunity to meet other Iowa beginning farmers, as well as some area experienced farmers at a social, taking place the evening of February 6 at 6:30pm at the Celebration Farm. Friends of PFi are welcome to bring a dish and attend; RSVP is preferred to

To register and find more information, visit or contact Steve Carlson at (515) 232-5661 or The deadline for registration is January 30th.

The first Practical Farmers Next Generation Retreat took place in 2009, and it has been an annual event since. The two-day retreat has become a popular networking and business planning event that helps beginners share and learn from each other, as well as from experienced farmer speakers.

Support for beginning farmers is a top priority for Practical Farmers of Iowa members. The next generation retreat is part of Practical Farmers’ Beginning Farmer Programming that provides resources and opportunities to support beginning and aspiring Iowa farmers. Other beginning farmer programming offered by Practical Farmers includes: the Savings Incentive Program, Labor4Learning, Find-A-Farmer, beginning farmer field days, farminars, farm transition work, and more.


Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit


Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |