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Iowa Farmers Ready for a Revival

An annual winter conference provides Iowa farmers the opportunity to network and share ideas. (Practical Farmers of Iowa)
An annual winter conference provides Iowa farmers the opportunity to network and share ideas. (Practical Farmers of Iowa)
January 10, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Farming is the heart of Iowa, and growers and producers from across the state have the opportunity to share ideas on how agricultural diversity can help rejuvenate rural communities.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is accepting registrations for its upcoming annual conference, themed "Revival."

Dozens of topics will be examined that highlight diversification and healthy ecosystems.

Along with his wife, Lori, Matthew Weise of Earlham will talk about adding beef cattle to their vegetable and poultry operation.

As a past attendee, he's excited to share his experience.

"I just want to be able to help other farmers that are possibly going to add a beef enterprise or a grass-fed beef enterprise to their farm, because when you're starting out something new, it's easy to miss some details and not necessarily know all the questions to ask," Weise states.

There will be more than 50 sessions led by farmers on a variety of topics including production, marketing, conservation and advocacy.

The conference will be held Jan. 18 to 20 at Iowa State University in Ames, and pre-registration ends Thursday.

Hundreds of farmers, researchers and agriculture supporters are expected to attend.

And Wiese says it's a great way to connect and build relationships with others of like mind and practice.

"The amount of information being shared, ideas being tossed around, ideas being explored between farmers to figure out what's going on or how to solve problems that they're facing or how to improve things,” he points out. “Everybody is so willing to interact with each other and help each other out."

English farmer and bestselling author James Rebanks will deliver the keynote address and share his experience using traditional farming methods in the modern world, and how old farming ways can be the answer to a sustainable farming future.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA