OMAHA (DTN) -- Practical Farmers of Iowa is expanding the reach of its 2023 field day season with 43 events across a five-state area between June and November.
To help connect farmers with farmer-led learning, field days is a hands-on showcase of farm operations of all sizes and production practices that will take place in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
This year, field days events explore conventional and organic field crops, cover crops and small grains; livestock systems of differing scales and species; vegetable production, flowers and orcharding; urban farming; efforts to add habitat conservation practices; farmland transfer; marketing and more.
In an interview with DTN, Liz Kolbe, senior farmer-led education manager at PFI, said the request to host field days outside of Iowa has been put on hold due to resources, until this year.
"Until recently, our organization didn't have the resources to serve all of Iowa and expand into surrounding states. We've been able to widen our field day footprint. We're excited to bring PFI field days to several other states this year and look forward to supporting and serving even more farmers," Kolbe said.
Designed for conversation and curiosity, field days are free and open to nonmembers of the organization. For young and beginning farmers, the benefit of touring other farms, networking and having an opportunity to step away from their own projects can help them gain insight from others.
"Many times, I've seen farm partners or couples looking intently at a very specific project -- a water system, a piece of machinery, a trellis system -- and talking about how it might be adapted to suit their own farm," Kolbe said. "Even when things are busy on the farm, taking the time to attend a field day -- taking that brief step back from your own operation to walk around another farm and chat with other farmers -- is rejuvenating, and can give a little boost to projects or ideas you've let sit."
Upcoming field day events include:
-- Rockwell City, Iowa, June 9: Profitability with Cover Crops hosted by Hepp Farms.
-- Cambridge, Iowa, June 13: No-Till Organic Relay-Cropping hosted by A&W Farms.
-- Fort Atkinson, Iowa, June 17: Creating a Soil Health System with No-Till, Cover Crops and Livestock hosted by Kurash Family Farm.
-- Mitchell, Iowa, June 18: Maximizing Opportunity in a Small Town hosted by Twisted River Farm.
-- Spencer, Iowa, June 21: Creating On-Farm Habitat to Foster Wildlife Diversity hosted by The Prairie Flower.
The full roster of events and additional information about PFI field day policies and logistics is available at https://practicalfarmers.org/…. RSVPs to any of the 43 field days are appreciated to help with event and meal planning.
Susan Payne can be reached at email@example.com
Follow her on Twitter @jpusan
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