Monday, January 12, 2009

Saturday at the PFI Conference

Saturday at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference was just as great as Friday, but in a different way. Of course because of the snow and the wind I woke up in Marshalltown and didn't have as far to travel to get to the conference, so in a way that was nice. Once I got there I had a great day attending the keynote by Joel Huesby, a session on the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a great lunch containing all Iowa food, my session on websites and blogging, a great little discussion with other beginning farmers, and finally a cluster group on alfalfa and grass mixes. It was a great day filled with lots of information! So, instead of detailing everything I just thought I would share some of the notes I took and then take time to disect things later.
  • Here is the first thing I wrote about the CSP session, "apply through the NRCS". But, after that and lots of questions and discussion from the group I started writing things like this, "this is pretty confusing ... not sure if anyone will ever get it" and this, "there seems to be a disconnect on what is in the 2008 farm bill." That is not to say that it wasn't informational, but rather that things are so confusing that there were many different interpratations represented in the room. It kind of made me dislike governmental bureaucracy a little bit more.
  • "EQIP: more interesting than CSP". Water systems ... inside fencing ... frost seeding clover in released CRP ground ... wind breaks ... need to find out about this.
  • "Iowa Micro Loan Foundation: not ready yet, but very soon."
  • "72 dpi for photos intended for the internet will help dial-up users view your website more easily"
  • "Hmm, Kelli Miller had a quote on the 'Grow Your Small Market Farm' display that was about me! I guess I should attend those classes." (By the way, it looks like we will be signing up)
Like I said, those are just some thoughts and quotes from my notes. Even from that sampling I can tell how useful these two days were for me. Besides the notes I made many good contacts and picked up a bunch of great information. The way that I summed up the weekend for my wife describes it best I think ... "I learned a lot this weekend, and I also learned what I need to learn about". Basically, I did pick up a ton of information and then I also jotted down more information about things I wanted to research. At least I should have good blog discussion fodder for a while now!


BlueGate said...

Was a pleasure to finally meet you at PFI this weekend. I definitely recommend the GYSMF class, we took it several years ago and it was a great opportunity for us.

sugarcreekfarm said...

Okay, trying to remember what I said about you ;)

Glad you had a good time!

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Sugar Creek - Basically you said that GYSMF was a good thing and that you had encouraged a young Southern Iowa farmer who wanted to begin grass based farming to attend ... and that you met the person though your "weblog". That sounds like me :)

I just thought that was pretty funny and a good sign that I needed to go!

Jeremiah said...

I would highly reccomend the EQIP program. We just signed up abot 400 acres on my folks place last year and I signed up my 40 acres this year. The guys running the program are alot of help. We are in Missouri but the program should be basicaly the same. It is anmazing what the government will cost share. It really helped us get started with the rotational grazing and water systems.

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