Home 5 Ag Stories Practical Farmers of Iowa releases winter farminar series schedule

Practical Farmers of Iowa releases winter farminar series schedule

Photo Courtesy of Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI)

Practical Farmers of Iowa will offer nine new topics as part of its long-running Tuesday night webinar series, known as farminars, thus continuing its farmer-to-farmer education through the winter. Farminars offer practical knowledge for beginning and experienced farmers raising row crops, livestock, fruits and vegetables, and are free for anyone with an internet connection to participate.

Farminars are held every Tuesday at 7 p.m., and each focuses on a unique production or business management topic. All presentations are led by a farmer or subject-matter expert, and attendees are able to ask questions in real-time using a chatbox while they listen and watch a slideshow.

Topics covered in the farminar series range from technical issues for the advanced grower – such as the March 6 presentation “Planter Technology for Cash Crops Planted Into Cover Crops” – to introductory topics for beginning farmers. For instance, beginning farmers Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn are slated to lead a farminar on Feb. 27 about their experience finding affordable insurance coverage for their young livestock farm.

The couple raise beef cattle, pastured poultry and eggs at L4 Farms near Osceola, and they have struggled to find insurance coverage that fits their farm – a common challenge for beginning farmers. Joining them for the presentation is Rodney Sebastian from the USDA Risk Management Agency, who will discuss current insurance programs and risk assessment tools the Shinns could consider.

The Shinns are lifetime members of Practical Farmers of Iowa and say they have benefitted from hearing other beginning and advanced farmers’ experiences and are happy to share theirs. “It has been great learning from so many people on the farminars. We wanted to be able share our experience as beginning farmers trying to find options to mitigate our insurance risk, yet keep costs down.”

Other farminar topics this season include using permaculture design at the farm scale; growing woody ornamentals to sell as cut flowers; beginning farmer barriers and strategies; red clover as a preferred cover crop; native habitat restoration for pollinators; getting started with niche pork; and direct meat marketing.

To participate, go to practicalfarmers.org/farminars and click the “Join in” button and select to sign in as “Guest.” A schedule for all upcoming farminars – as well as the recordings for 144 past farminars – is also available at this link.