Start to Farm new farmer learning network

About Start to Farmimage of farmers learning

Start to Farm new farmer learning networks groups are for beginning and early-career farmers who are 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 or by production focus, such as livestock or horticultural crops.

How to Join

You are welcome to join any group! Some groups meet face to face, others, like the Dairy Edition, meet largely electronically. Registration for Start to Farm groups is requested, but there is no participation fee. Contact individuals for each group are listed below. They can direct you to additional information about upcoming group meetings and to the group facilitators, also listed below. 

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Group Locations


Start to Farm Map

Contact Information



Area Covered


 Group Enterprise(s) Focus 


Email Phone


Lyon, Sioux, O'Brien, Plymouth, Cherokee  and some from Woodbury

Start to Farm: Northwest Iowa

 Diverse Enterprises

Janelle Johnson


2 North Central Iowa Start to Farm: Northcentral Iowa Diverse Enterprises Russ Euken 641.231.1711
3  Fort Dodge area Start to Farm: High Tunnels -West Central  High Tunnels - West Central Jerry Chizek


4 Tama, Benton, Buchanan, Blackhawk Start to Farm: Tama/Benton Beef Beef Denise Schwab 319.721.9624
5 Crawford County Start to Farm: Crawford County Diverse Enterprises Shane Ellis 515.520.0601
6 Carroll, Green, Guthrie and Audubon Counties Start to Farm Diverse Enterprises Shane Ellis 515.520.0601
7 West Des Moines Area Start to Farm Beef Joe Sellers 641.203.1270

Ames - Marshalltown - Cedar Rapids - Quad cities - Ottumwa - Des Moines

Start to Farm: High Tunnels  High Tunnels Joe Hannan



Johnson, Linn, Washington

Start to Farm: Commercial Horticulture

 Commercial  Horticulture

Patrick O'Malley


10 Clinton, Jackson, Jones - open to surrounding counties Start to Farm: Eastern IA Women Beef Producers Beef Denise Schwab 319.721.9624


Montgomery County Southwest Iowa

Start to Farm: Montgomery County


Angela Silva


12 Lenox Start to Farm Taylor County Beef Jenny Ernst 712.523.2137
13 40 mile radius of Mt. Ayr Start to Farm: Ringgold County Beef Dawn Dugan 641.464.3333
14 Knoxville and 50 mile radius Start to Farm: Marion County Beef Patrick Wall 515.540.7665
15 Wapello and 8 surrounding counties Start to Farm: Wapello County Area Diverse Enterprises Charles Brown 515.240.9214


Washington and surrounding counties

Start to Farm: Washington County area  

Tom Miller


  Statewide Start to Farm: Northwest Iowa Diverse Enterprises Janelle Johnson 712.546.7835
  Statewide Start to Farm: Dairy Edition Dairy Jenn Bentley jbentley@iastateledu 563.382.2949