AMES, Iowa — Registration is now open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2022 annual conference, “Facing the Horizon,” which will take place Jan. 21-22 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa. All are welcome to attend.
As we embark on 2022, the conference will reflect on the challenges farmers have faced over the past two years while inspiring new ideas and horizons of possibility for improving farms and communities going forward.
With more than 60 farmer-led sessions, including general sessions, roundtables and lighting talks spanning the agricultural spectrum, there’s something for everyone. Full details are at practicalfarmers.org/2022-annual-conference.
Conference highlights include:
- A Friday keynote by restoration biologist Laura Jackson, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at University of Northern Iowa and co-author, with Dana Jackson, of the book “The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems.” Laura has been on the UNI faculty since 1993, teaching courses in conservation biology, applied ecology and environmental studies.
Laura’s keynote – “The Past, Present & Future Iowa Landscape” – will explore Iowa’s rich past, the story it tells about the Iowa of today – and how together, even in the face of climate change, we can move towards a common horizon in an ecosystem that will provide joy and sustenance to future generations.
- 61 sessions on topics that span the agricultural spectrum. Full tracks of concurrent sessions featuring farmers as presenters are offered for conventional and organic field crops, small grains, horticulture, livestock and on-farm habitat. Additional sessions are planned specifically for landowners, non-farmers and beginning farmers.
- Spanish-language sessions, offered either bilingually or with Spanish interpretation available.
- An afternoon of storytelling by PFI farmers sharing skillfully narrated true stories.
- Livestreaming of selected sessions, free breakfast on Saturday morning and a silent auction of special experiences offered by PFI farmers and members.
- A local foods lunch on Saturday, along with snacks sourced from PFI members and local businesses.
- Certified crop advisor credits for 56 sessions.
- Many opportunities to network – including through a new PFI Faces photo board and a message board where guests can post advertisements, pop-up meeting ideas, invitations and other notes to one another.
- Presentation of PFI’s 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award.
The cost is $75 per day for non-PFI members, or $55 per day for PFI members. For those with PFI farm and household or lifetime memberships, one ticket covers up to 10 people listed on the membership.
Rates increase after the pre-registration deadline of Jan. 13, after which all registrations are walk-in only. The student rate is $30, regardless of membership status, which covers entry for both Friday and Saturday with a valid student ID.
Scholarships are available for aspiring or beginning farmers who have not previously attended a PFI conference.
Farmers who are Black, Indigenous, Latino or who belong to other historically underserved or marginalized groups – as well as farmers who are military veterans or have limited resources – are encouraged to apply.
COVID-19 Policy: In keeping with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, properly worn face masks will be required indoors for all attendees over age 3, regardless of vaccination status, except when actively eating or drinking. More details about the COVID-19 safety precautions we’re taking at the conference are at practicalfarmers.org/2022-annual-conference/overview.
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2022 annual conference is supported by several major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Clif Bar & Co.; Grain Millers; Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health; Niman Ranch; Peoples Company; Regenerative Agriculture Alliance; Sunderman Farm Management; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.
— Practical Farmers of Iowa