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Networking with Other Beginning Farmers

Beginning Farmer Network, Iowa State University - The Beginning Farmers Network was created to provide a peer group for students who plan to enter into farming. We maintain contact with members who are farming through our annual conference, typically held in February. The conference allows beginning farmers the opportunity to sharpen their networking skills as well as to learn from excellent speakers. Monthly meetings on the ISU campus include an informative speaker with relevance to production agriculture. Read more about Networking with Other Beginning Farmers

About Us

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Value Added Ag Program provides unbiased, science-based information to help establish or expand agricultural-related or rural businesses in Iowa. Whether it’s a new start-up, or an established business wanting to expand, the VAAP works directly with the owners of the business. The Value Added Ag Program has been key in helping move Iowa farmers forward with bigger gains and better returns. It’s not just a job. It’s your life. Let us make it a little easier. Read more about About Us


Ray Hansen

Area of Expertise: 
Value-Added Agriculture, Business development

Connie Hardy

Program Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
Business development and technical support, Food Safety

Bob Mortensen

Program Coordinator
Area of Expertise: 
Business development

Linda Naeve

Program Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
SARE, Local foods

Lisa Scarbrough

Communications Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
Women in Ag, Video production

Margaret Smith

Program Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
Specialty agronomic crops including small grains, Organic agriculture, Beginning and transitioning farmers