Programs

Start to Farm learning groups form a network throughout Iowa of beginning and early-career farmers looking for an edge in managing and growing their farm business. Groups meet several times each year to address ways to improve business practices and production techniques, tour successful farm operations, and to form a community to share new ideas and profitable farming methods.

Groups are organized by location and/or by production focus, such as livestock or commercial horticultural crops. Start to Farm groups are organized across the state and facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach - Field Extension Livestock, Farm Management, Dairy, and Commercial Horticulture specialists.

Returning to the Farm (formerly known as Ag Link) is a series of hands-on workshops for multigenerational farms. Topics include conflict resolution, goal setting, business analysis, estate planning, farm planning, and management, which are viewed differently because of distinct and sometimes conflicting goals and endowments of capital, labor, technical knowledge, and management expertise. ISU Juniors and Seniors have the ability to apply for course credit for this seminar. For more information on these seminars call 1-877-BFC-1999.

From the Ground Up is an 8-week course to help farmers develop their business strategy for their farming operation. Attendees include aspiring, new, young, and established farmers who want to learn more about assessing their current farm position and develop a business plan. Become part of this learning community in central Iowa—share experiences: pitfalls and success strategies with fellow farmers.

For beginning and experienced farmers to come together, network, and share ideas.

  • The Beginning Farmers Network is a student run organization at Iowa State University supporting all beginning farmers. The goal of the organization is to keep beginning farmers informed on current events in agriculture.
  • The conference will feature speakers on topics including Commodity Marketing, Government Programs for Beginning Farmers, Animal Agriculture, and Farm Succession.

Ag Link is a service to help preserve the family farm business by matching beginning farmers who do not own land, with retiring farmers who do not have heirs to continue the family farm business. Ag Link maintains a database of potential beginning farmers and landowners.