The group “Practical Farmers of Iowa” is preparing for its annual conference the next week in Marshalltown. P-F-I executive director, Teresa Opheim, says it’s a milestone conference. She says 2010 is the group’s 25th anniversary and they plan to honor their past as well as focus on the next 25 years of agriculture in Iowa.
Opheim says the group started as a way to improve farming among farmers. Opheim says the group was started in 1985 by a couple of farmers in central interested in doing on-farm research and demonstrations on problems to come up with solutions on their own. Since then, she says they’ve done all kinds of trials and demonstrations as well as other programming.
Opheim says the group has expanded through the years. She says in the last five years they’ve had an influx of fruit and vegetable producers and there have also been a lot a “consumer” members who want to support farmers and believe farmers are valuable members of Iowa’s landscape.
The annual conference runs January 8th and 9th at Marshalltown Community College, and you can sign up at their website. Opheim says the address is: www.practicalfarmers.org, and she says there is a deadline to get a lower cost. You can also show up that day, but she says it’s important to sign up on-line so they know how much food to have on hand.
The deadline is today (December 31st) to get a reduced registration fee. The topics of this years conference range from getting the most out of your fertilizer to shaping the future of agriculture.