Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days June 18 and 26

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Nate Anderson hosts a Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day on his farm near Cherokee in 2010. Photo: Courtesy Practical Farmers of Iowa

Whether you’re a farmer or a wannabe, the Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) Field Days may be of interest to you. Two upcoming events, June 18 and June 26, are geared for farmers (and farmers at heart) who strive for sustainability along with production.

June 18: Improving a Perennial Pasture

What does it take to establish and care for a pasture with perennial plants? One that is good for grazing a growing herd of cattle? Come find out from farmer Nathan Anderson of Cherokee.

Nate Anderson surveys his perennial pasture on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. Photo: Courtesy Practical Farmers of Iowa

Together with his dad, Randy Anderson, and his fiancée, Sarah Joachim, Anderson participates in a Practical Farmers of Iowa project to monitor “ecological productivity and financial indicators” related to improving pastures and grazing systems.

Anderson’s talk will include:

  • Utilizing multiple techniques to improve a pasture
  • Making decisions for long-term grazing improvement
  • Monitoring and tracking pasture improvements
  • Observations of rotational grazing
  • Planning for future herd increases

The event begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at Anderson’s Farm near Cherokee and will conclude with supper. RSVP by calling 515.708.5199 or sending an email to

Directions to Anderson’s Farm

Address: 1944 520th Street, Cherokee, Iowa

From the intersection of Iowa Hwy 3 and Hwy 7 east of Cherokee: Drive west on Hwy 3 for two miles, turn north (right) on county blacktop M-10 (T Ave.). Continue north one mile, turn left (west) on 520th (gravel) and drive about half a mile. The farm site will be on the left (south) side of the gravel road.

June 26: Building a Vegetable Farm

Have you ever wondered how the folks at the farmers’ markets got started producing those beautiful, healthy vegetables and fruits? Is it profitable? How much work it is? The risks? The benefits?

Sara Hanson will speak to Practical Farmers of Iowa about how to start a small vegetable farm. Photo: Courtesy Practical Farmers of Iowa

If these questions interest you, don’t miss the field day hosted by Sara Hanson of Wesley, Iowa at her Prairie Sky Farm.

From 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 18, visitors will learn about Sara’s successes and challenges in starting her own vegetable farm, including:

  • Hoophouse construction
  • First-year vegetable production
  • Record-keeping
  • Marketing

Sara will also talk about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Come to learn about:

  • Organic transition
  • Cost-share experiences/opportunities
  • Prairie field borders
  • Hoophouse production and record-keeping
  • Start-up vegetable farm experience

Directions to Prairie Sky Farm

Address: 2505 220th Avenue, Wesley, Iowa.

From Wesley: Drive west on Hwy 18 approximately 1.5 miles until you reach 220th Ave. turn north onto 220th Ave. (gravel road). Drive approximately 3.5 miles north. the farm is located on the west side of the road (yellow farmhouse, hoophouse visible from road).

From Algona: Drive east on Hwy 18 approximately 8.5 miles. turn north onto 220th Ave. (gravel road). Drive approximately 3.5 miles north.

About Field Days

Most field days hosted by PFI are free and open to the public. For a copy of the Field Day Guide, which lists all 30 of the 2011 Field Day events, call the PFI office at 515.232.5661. Or, download the pdf version at

For more information about upcoming Field Days, visit the Practical Farmers of Iowa website:

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living