AMES, Iowa --- The Beginning Farmer Network (BFN), an organization made up of Iowa State University students interested in entering farming, is sponsoring the Beginning Farmers Conference on Feb. 7, at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. The conference will feature keynote speakers Loren Kruse, editor-in-chief of Successful Farming magazine and Brian Gossling, USDA Farm Loan program director.
“Many beginning farmers are unaware of the opportunities they have with loans, technology and marketing their products,” said Chris Bone, BFN member and a conference organizer. “At this conference, beginning farmers will hear from speakers who are specialists in agriculture and who have conducted research on these topic areas. We believe the information presented at this conference will create an awareness of opportunities and help attendees set attainable goals.”
Three sets of one-hour breakout sessions will be held during the day and feature ISU Extension specialists John Lawrence, Mark Hanna, Antonio Mallarino and Roger McEowen, as well as Paul Mugge, Practical Farmers of Iowa; Eric Walhof, chair of Iowa Ag Committee, and Chad Hart, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. Mike Duffy, ISU Department of Economics, serves as adviser to Beginning Farmers Network.
“The practices touched on at the conference would be helpful to anyone in agribusiness, but especially important to those beginning to farm,” said Bone. “Everyone is welcome to attend.”
Online registration is available at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/beginningfarmer/home.html. Registration also can be made by calling (515) 294-6222. Registration fee is $35 prior to Feb. 2; $45 after that date. Registration includes all conference materials, lunch and networking breaks.
A complete conference agenda can be viewed at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/beginningfarmer/schedule.html. Listen to co-organizer Chris Bone talk about the conference during an interview with Extension communications specialist Doug Cooper.