The Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa will be hosting six workshops for local food farmers. All six workshops are meant to help farmers answer the important questions and make sound decisions as they start a farm business.
To Register print the registration form and mail your form and fee to the Iowa Valley RC&D
Small Farm Planning 101, December 10th, 2011
Iowa City, IA - Johnson Co ISU Extension - 9 am - 1 pm
Come and join others like yourself who want to start or improve a business of growing and selling local food to consumers. Andy Larson, ISU Extension program specialist for small farm sustainability, and Dave Baker, ISU Beginning Farmer Center - Farm Transition Specialist, will help you write and design a vision for your local food production business, inventory your resources and evaluate your next steps to becoming a successful local food producer. A panel of two veteran producers will be available to share their stories and dreams, offer suggestions, and answer your questions.
Business Management and Decision Making on the Farm, Postponed due to lack of pre-registrations and weather concerns
Trying to decide when to purchase a piece of equipment or simply decide the proper product mix to match your income goals? Craig Chase, a Farm & Ag Management Field Specialist, will show you how to use enterprise budgets to make pricing, product mix, and production changes, use partial budgets to make investment decisions like machinery and land and how to use whole-farm records to evaluate how our business is doing and make educated business decisions.
Legal Strategies of Land Acquisition and Transfer for Beginning Farmers, Feb. 4th, 2012
Iowa City, IA - Johnson Co ISU Extension - 1 - 4pm
Are you a beginning farmer trying to find land to start a new farming business or just expand a existing business? Come and listen to Matt Russell from the Drake Ag Law Center. Matt will share ideas about different forms of purchasing, leasing, and renting land. Matt will also give details into land transfers and share tools that are available.
Creating a Food Safety Plan for your Farm, Feb.11th, 2012 Grinnell, IA - Ahrens Foundation (1510 Penrose St) - 9 am - 3 pm
Come and learn about a farm’s food safety plan and how to begin creating one for your new farm. Food safety plans are important when creating a product that will be sold as food to customers. Many institutions and other food buyers require certification of Good Agricultural Practices and creating a food safety plan for your farm is the first step towards completing a GAP audit. Whether you are going to get audited or not a food safety plan is still important to have in place. At this workshop, part of the day will be in the classroom and the other part will be at a local farm where participants will be able to do a mock audit of a farms packaging facility and record keeping procedures.
Planning Your CSA: Presentation & Tour, Feb 28th, 2012 Solon, IA - ZJ Farms (5025 120th St NE) - 4 - 7 pm
How does an experienced CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmer make sure to have enough quantity and variety for CSA members every week of the season? Come enjoy an afternoon at ZJ Farm where you can learn from two experienced CSA farms on cover crop scheduling, deciding on a fair share size, what to do about crop failure and excess, how to fill the space between the end of spring crops and full production of summer crops, and fall season extension without a high tunnel.
Laura Krouse from Abbe Hills Farm (www.abbehills.com) near Mount Vernon and Susan Jutz from ZJ Farm (www.zjfarms.com) will provide a tour of the farm, provide a lite dinner and provide a presentation on how they plan their CSA each season.
Capturing & Organizing Data for Organic Certification, GAPs Compliance, & Other Endeavors, March 17th, 2012
Marion, IA - Marion Public Library (1095 6th Avenue) - Noon - 4 pm
Paperwork can be the bane of the certified-organic, GAPs-audited, and financially-aware
farmer. Learn how to capture information, get on top of your paperwork, and wow your
inspector, auditor, and banker. Rock Spring Farm’s Chris Blanchard will provide an overview
of the basic techniques he and his crew use to gather information and keep it organized for
easy access with a minimum of effort.
Merchandising and Marketing, TBD
As you plan your farm business what types of markets are you hoping to sell your products at? Do you want to sell at farmers markets, your local grain elevator, to restaurants, wholesale to groceries, distributors, or even schools? Come and learn from Andy Larson, ISU Extension program specialist for small farm sustainability, and Nick McCann, Agriculture Marketing Specialist for the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Nick and Andy will give you the pros and cons of each marketing option and introduce you to best practices with each option.