Peer influence, peer pressure - we are concerned about its
effects on our teens and try to convince them not to cave-in to
outside influences; but are we adults immune? Don't we want our
fencerows, pastures, outbuildings, yards, and homes to look as
good or better than those in the neighborhood? Not to mention
how clean we would like our row crop fields to look! I do often
have to remind myself that how things look on our farm is less
important in comparison to the neighbors than in the progress
(albeit slow) that we see ourselves.
We find satisfaction in working toward our goal of a pleasant
farmstead, good fences, and healthy crops and livestock. Our
farmstead will eventually include a reconstructed prairie patch,
windbreak trees not in straight rows, and brushpiles for the
rabbits and birds. What looks good and is pleasing to me may not
please a neighbor's eye.
Not that I'm oblivious to the "neatness obsession" prevalent on
many north central Iowa farms. Ooooh, did I take some teasing
after hurriedly spading out thistles from our pasture when I
realized how many people would be driving by on their way to a
neighbor's sale! (Well, they needed to be dug anyway!) When I
sometimes get discouraged about our rate of progress, my mother
reminds me that "people won't judge you by how your home (or
farm) looks, but will like you for yourself and how you treat
others." Trust a mother to put things in perspective!
Tom Frantzen, 1155 Jasper Ave., New Hampton, IA 50659.
Ron Rosmann, 1222 Ironwood Rd., Harlan, IA 51537-4102.
Margaret Smith, 972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441. 515-456-4328,
Roger Schlitter, Farm Credit Services, 3 Boulder Rd., Mason City,
IA 50401. 515-423-3081 (home).
Rolling the Cob can also be reached through the PFI coordinators,
2104 Agronomy Hall, ISU, Ames, IA 50011. 515-294-1923.
6^ SHARED VISIONS
Community Group Projects
Six community group project applications were submitted and
approved this past winter. Two of these were from groups that
became involved in Shared Visions last fall, and the other four
were from older groups that submitted reports on 1995 projects
with their new applications.
People wanting copies of these project reports can call Gary
Huber at 515-294-8512. Summaries of these groups and their
Coalition for Holistic Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM)
CHARM members are six farm couples, an NRCS district
conservationist, a community college agriculture instructor, and
a farm credit agency manager. The group's goal is "to achieve a
high quality of life for our families and communities based on
ecologically-sound and economically-viable farming operations."
Members work towards this goal by supporting each other in
decision-making using the Holistic Resource Management (HRM)
planning process. (See article starting on page 9 for a
description of the group.) Shared Visions will provide $850 to
support the group's first project, which will be a September HRM
financial planning workshop for group members.
Contact: Mary Jane Recker
1260 Falcon Trail
Alta Vista, IA 50603
Prairie Talk members are several farmers, a banker, a librarian,
a fabric weaver, and a holistic health manager. The group's goal
is to educate themselves and others about organic farming
practices. Beyond the group's educational goal, members want to
develop relationships between consumers and producers while
supporting small family-centered farms that are diversified and
Shared Visions is providing $2,400 for the group's first project,
with this money being used to purchase a collection of videos,
books, and audiotapes. These resources will be housed at the
Solon Public Library and be available to all public library
patrons through interlibrary loan. The group so far has acquired
14 videotapes, five audiotapes, and 14 books, manuals, and
They are continuing to review other materials for inclusion in
the collection, and they are also developing a system to assure
these materials will be available to public library patrons in
other locations. The group also hosted a March open house to
introduce the public to the new collection. (See article on page
10 for a description of this open house.)
Contacts: Prairie Talk
PO Box 733
Solon, IA 52333
Members of the Audubon Graziers are ten farmers, a veterinarian,
a feed company sales manager, and the County Extension Education
Director. The group received $2,115 from Shared Visions for its
1995 project to collect data on member grazing systems, conduct
pasture walks on member farms, develop a grazing library at the
local Extension office, host a booth at the county fair, and hold
a open house with a meal, mini-trade show, door prizes, and
Group members also attended field days last summer at the CRP
demonstration farm near Corning and the Neely-Kinyon research
farm near Greenfield. Two members also gave a presentation on
the Audubon Graziers at this winter's management intensive
grazing (MIG) symposium in Des Moines.
One lesson learned noted in last year's project report was that
socializing and youth involvement were important to the success
of the pasture walks. Another was that while collecting data on
grazing systems is needed to determine profits, collecting these
data can be complicated by extremes in weather and the more
pressing needs of the farm.
Shared Visions is providing $2,315 for the group's 1996 project.
Components of this project include conducting additional pasture
walks, upgrading the grazing library, providing scholarship money
for MIG training opportunities, and supporting record keeping to
determine MIG grazing systems profits. These activities should
help the group move towards its goal of demonstrating that
alternative farming methods such as MIG can be profitable,
sustainable, and improve the quality of life for their
communities and their families.
Contact: Deanna Hansen
1618 Eagle Ave.
Audubon, IA 50025
Farm Fresh CSA
The Farm Fresh CSA group includes four growers, the County
Extension Education Director, and two other local residents. The
group's goal is to benefit local farmers, consumers, and
communities by helping local growers market fresh produce to
members of their communities.
The group received $1,110 from Shared Visions for its 1995
project to established a CSA. These funds were used primarily
for outreach activities and supplies. Group organizers were
involved in local outreach through presentations to civic groups,
an "open garden" day, and weekly newsletters to members. Press
coverage included articles in the Cedar Rapid Gazette, the
Waterloo Courier, and local papers. This outreach resulted in 23
CSA members receiving weekly deliveries of fresh produce over a
19-week period. Lessons were learned about growing produce and
the importance of a convenient, efficient distribution system.
Challenges included record keeping and developing connections
between growers and members.
Shared Visions is providing $3,182 for the group's 1996 project.
These funds will be used for marketing and outreach activities, a
cold frame study, and the development of a common record-keeping
system to coordinate activities and document the CSA's
performance. As well, developing connections with interested
people in Benton County and beyond will occur through a campout
planned for the weekend of July 13 and 14 at Marion and Virginia
Moser's eight-acre market garden near Garrison.
Contact: Jodi Bierschenk
2678 68th St.
Newhall, IA 52315
Farms Forever members include several farmers, a DNR district
forester, an NRCS wetlands specialist, a retired high school ag
teacher, the Geode RC&D coordinator, an ISU experiment farm
superintendent, and several local residents. The group received
$675 from Shared Visions for its 1995 project to conduct three
evening farm tours that focused on berry production, chestnuts
and timber management, and management intensive grazing.
Attendance grew with each tour, and the interaction between
participants extended each workshop beyond the original time
frame of two hours. The tours also brought new members to the
Shared Visions is providing $915 for the group's 1996 project.
The group is using these funds to develop and distribute a
brochure "detailing producers of Louisa County goods accompanied
by a map of the locations and brief descriptions about the
products and farms." One of the objectives of this project is to
"help create a market for small local producers and help raise
awareness about locally raised produce and other products." The
brochure has been produced and is being distributed.
The group is also using unspent money from its first project to
conduct three additional evening farm tours. The first was held
on May 15th and focused on pasture-raised chicken (see article on
page 11). The second was on June 11th and focused on
agroforestry topics at the tree farm owned by Stan Tate, who is a
DNR district forester and group member.
Contact: Kathy Dice
13882 I Avenue
Wapello, IA 52653
Magic Beanstalk CSA
The Magic Beanstalk CSA group includes several local farmers and
various interested community members. The group's goal is to
create a local food system, build community ties, and expand
awareness of the relationships between food, land and people. In
addition to providing fresh produce to its members, the CSA links
producers of beef, pork, broilers, honey, herbs, and fiber
products with local customers.
The group received $2,988 from Shared Visions for its 1995
project. These funds were used for coordination purposes as well
as field days and a harvest festival, supplies and printing, and
some of the costs of a statewide CSA workshop. Outreach
activities that included coverage by local papers and television
resulted in 27 members receiving weekly deliveries of produce
over a 16-week period. The project report notes that honey was
delivered to 11 families and beef was supplied to approximately
16 families. The report also notes lessons learned, including
the importance of having tasks clearly defined for organizers and
opportunities available for members to be involved in the CSA's
Shared Visions is providing $2,630 for the group's 1996 project.
These funds are being used for outreach, fields days, and
coordination aimed at developing the organizational structure and
processes needed to sustain the CSA into the future. They have
doubled the number vegetable shares from 1995, and a May 2nd
kickoff meeting was attended by about 60 people. They will be
having a tour on June 23rd of the farms of four of the seven
producers involved in the CSA, and a member will be conducting
workshops on topics such as cooking with vegetables and home
Contact: Robert Karp
Ames, IA 50010
Coalition for Holistic Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM)
by Irene Frantzen, CHARM member
Six farm families and three non-farm individuals formed a
management team in 1995. As a part of Shared Visions, our group
meets once a month for daytime meetings to help better ourselves
and our communities.
Our goal is a high quality of life for ourselves and communities
based on ecologically sound and economically viable farming
operations. To achieve this goal we support each other in making
decisions using the Holistic Resource Management (HRM) process.
Meetings rotate among each farm with the host family preparing
the agenda and chairing the meeting. The first Wednesday of
every month we gather together and share our experiences, our
strengths, our hopes and our struggles. We as a group have
authored and use an improved version of HRM testing guidelines
and then monitor our progress towards our goals.
With trust building and confidentiality, each one of us has grown
personally, and we have built a real friendship among us. We
have a commitment and great enthusiasm amongst ourselves in
moving towards sustainable management practices through HRM.
To continue our education, we have relied on outside resources,
and it is our hope that we will be able to make an impact beyond
our group. Some of the ways that we hope to share our
experiences are through newspaper articles, particularly the PFI
newsletter, farm tours, and being available to speak to
We've also discussed sponsoring an HRM course, holding an
information night on HRM and our group, and also facilitating the
bringing together of people in Iowa who are interested in HRM.
We are currently preparing a brochure about CHARM which will be
available soon at PFI field days and Shared Visions activities.
For more information, contact CHARM correspondent: Mary Jane
Recker, 1260 Falcon Trail, Alta Vista, IA 50603. Phone:
Prairie Talk Hosts Open House
by Susan Zacharkis-Jutz, Prairie Talk member
On March 12, 1996, Prairie Talk hosted an Open House at St.
Mary's Auditorium in Solon, Iowa, that approximately 200 people
attended. Prairie Talk held this event to introduce their group
and their growing organic library collection to the community.
The evening's activities included an organic supper, a panel
discussion by area farmers and businesspeople, and an opportunity
for open house guests to talk informally with panel members. The
response to the evening's format as well as the event itself was
enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive.
The evening began with serving of an organic supper of sloppy
joes, carrot sticks, corn chips, apple juice, coffee, and
cookies. Every effort was made to buy locally grown and produced
food for the meal. Following the supper a panel of eleven area
farmers and four businesspeople discussed the opportunities in
organic farming and experiences specific to their farming and
Farmers on the panel included those who have been organic for 20
years as well as those who are presently in the transition
process. The types of farming operations were widely varied as
well. Topics discussed by panel members included market
gardening; soil fertility; beef, hog, poultry and dairy
production; herd health issues; row crop production; controlled
grazing; certification; marketing issues; and financing of
alternative agricultural enterprises.
Farms Forever Workshop Report
Farms Forever's first 1996 evening workshop was held on May 15 at
Chestnut Acres, which includes the farms of Bryan and Jill Hoben
and Kathy Dice and Tom Wahl. The focus was learning how to raise
chickens on pasture using movable pens. Techniques for
processing were also discussed and some equipment was displayed.
Close to twenty people attended. Included were people who sold
processing equipment and had received a lot of phone calls asking
for information about this type of enterprise. Also attending
were people who have used this type of system, and at least two
attendees were going to give it a try. The event was a success,
and the hosts were pleased.
Jill Hoben of Farms Forever demonstrates moving the pasture pen
for chickens at the group's first 1996 "evening entree" farm
Group Networking Meeting
Nearly 70 members of groups involved in Shared Visions attended a
networking meeting in Ames the day before PFI's annual meeting.
Prior to the meeting group members were asked what topics they
wanted covered in workshops. Highest ranked topics in order
were: 1) developing alternative markets; 2) current farming
trends, needs and opportunities; 3) ag-based entrepreneurial
skills; and 4) value-added opportunities. The meeting's content
was designed to cover these topics.
Loren Kruse of Successful Farming magazine gave an opening
presentation (see following article). Mary Foley and Betty Wells
of ISU Extension led members in a session titled, "Group
Dynamics: Getting the Job Done in Groups." Phil Hufferd, ISU
Extension farm management specialist, discussed ag-based
entrepreneurial skills, and Gayle Olson, ISU Extension community
development specialist, led the group in a session where they
discussed and analyzed entrepreneurial ideas. The meeting was
capped-off with stories by the Minnesota farmer-storyteller
Summary of Loren Kruse's "Positioning Agriculture for the
By Aaron Steele
(Editors' note: Aaron Steele, an ISU student, provided support to
Shared Visions this past school year.)
Loren Kruse, Editor-in-Chief of Successful Farming magazine, gave
the opening presentation at the January networking meeting for
groups involved in Shared Visions. The title of his presentation
was "Positioning Agriculture for the Future."
Kruse spoke initially about "unreality," which he defined as
"something nearly every one of us in this room would agree simply
could not happen." He continued with some examples:
"Who would have thought...
...in October of 1987 that the stock market could fall 45% in a
matter of weeks?
...in August 1989 that the Soviet Union's domination of the
Eastern Block countries would dissolve by Christmas?
...in August of 1995 that Iowa State would have a first team All
American, Heisman Trophy candidate at running back who would rush
for more than 2,000 yards?"
Kruse noted that "unrealities become realities" and "astounding
positive changes are as possible as negative ones." He then said
that "we ... must keep believing in our abilities to create
significant, positive outcomes for ourselves, for our farms, for
our communities and for the industry of agriculture we love."
Three groups of farmers were highlighted in Kruse's presentation.
One group are farmers beyond age 50 "whose basic objective will
simply be to hold the farm together until retirement." Another
is made up of part-time farmers of all sizes that he feels is a
"one-generational thing" because "Few children of part-time
farmers aspire to be part-time farmers." The last group is
composed of "people with an entrepreneurial spirit" who "can see
opportunity amidst any conditions but also will make the
commitment to earn their incomes full-time in farming."
Kruse noted that solutions and possibilities for success are many
and can be found on peoples' farms and in their communities. He
made several observations about success. These included, "The
way to compete with the megafarms is to make your own farm as
special as a business as it is special in your heart." Another
was, "If we are going to stay in farming in a profitable way, it
will be through our own sheer determination, initiative and
perseverance. We cannot just hope for profit or improvement."
Kruse asserted that profit "is not automatically the result of
intense effort," but that "profit is best earned ... by those
with not only a passion for their work, but also and more
importantly a passion for pleasing the end user or customer of
what they produce."
He suggested that family farmers remember "the needs of the
consumer and end user of our products ultimately drive every
dollar we spend and every decision we make from production
through marketing. It involves more listening than talking."
According to Kruse there are three components that create
perceived value by customers. They are quality, price and
service. "Service is a component with which most of us in
farming have had the least experience, especially as it relates
to the marketing of the products off our farms. We are just now
figuring out in farming how much the service component can
contribute to perceived value to customers and therefore to
Two examples of service cited were "loading hogs for the packer
at 1 a.m." and "sending a Christmas tree tag to customers before
the selling season at my choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm."
Kruse's message about service is summed up in this quote: "to be
prosperous in consumer-driven farming will require a quick
response, flexibility and sensitivity to changing end user and
consumer needs and preferences."
Effectiveness is just as important for farmers when trying to
remain competitive as efficiency. Kruse stated that, "Efficient
means doing things right, while effective means doing the right
Kruse pointed out that megafarms aren't very effective at filling
various market niches. Family farms can come into a play by
filling those niches "for a society that craves variety. With
labor sometimes more readily available to replace higher cost
inputs, family farms can supply the diverse needs of consumers
from specialty vegetables to meat from animals raised without any
Kruse claimed to have developed his own rule of thumb for
predicting which farm enterprises would have the greatest
profitability in the long-run. "It will be those that require
the greatest amount of hard physical work." He tells farmers
that in order to have a profit edge in their farming careers,
they should "choose enterprises that most farmers don't
necessarily like to be in. And usually it is those that require
more physical work."
Profitable enterprises in a consumer-driven market have as
another characteristic, according to Kruse, that they tend to
require higher people management skills and "a higher degree of
marketing and communication directly with the customer or end
Kruse began to conclude his presentation by suggesting that
members of the groups involved in Shared Visions "keep an open
mind to all of the possibilities for creating prosperous farms
and communities." He continued, "Each farm and each family has
different circumstances. Each person has different God-given
gifts and abilities. The ultimate measure of success is how we
use those gifts and abilities to make the most of our resources
and circumstances on our farms, within our families, within our
lives and within our communities."
Kruse concluded by noting, "The challenge is tremendous, of
course. But the biggest rewards will go to those farmers and
communities that will do the things, and take the time to do the
things, that the majority will not do. By being part of the
Shared Visions program you have put yourselves in the minority
willing to make a commitment to yourselves and your communities."
Carolina IFS Networking Conference
Every six months people from the 18 Kellogg-funded Integrated
Farming Systems (IFS) projects attend networking conferences
designed to further the goals of the IFS network. These goals
include encouraging sustainable farming systems, developing
leadership capacity, influencing public policy, empowering local
communities, and fostering institutional change.
Each conference is hosted by an IFS project and has a particular
focus. The conference held this past February in North Carolina
focused on sustaining the network beyond the end of Kellogg
Foundation support. In addition to the time that was spent
developing a vision for the network's future and a roadmap for
achieving this vision, field trips were made to various
agricultural sites throughout the state.
15^ NOTES AND NOTICES
PFI 1996 Member Directory in the Works
Are you signed up for the 1996 Member Directory? The handy guide
will include more than 300 PFI members who have asked to be part
of the directory. The Member Directory is another way PFI
encourages farmer-to-farmer information sharing - and another
service members receive for their very reasonable $10 membership
fee. It includes phone numbers but no mailing addresses, so
members are protected from misuse of the listing for commercial
purposes. You won't be included at all without your permission.
And to receive the Directory, you must agree to take part in it
The Directory is organized into seven tables that allow you to
focus on who has the experience to answer your questions. The
tables are: Member Listing; By District; Interests and Skills;
Crops; Tillage; Fertility and Strip Intercropping; and Livestock.
The 1995 Member Directory ran to 80 pages.
When you renewed you membership, you were provided the
opportunity to sign up for the Directory on the Member Agreement
and Information Form. If you missed that chance, you can use the
form below. The 1996 Directory will come out soon, so reserve
State, Zip ____________________________________________
(Note: You must be a member of PFI to participate in the
directory, and you must participate in the directory to receive
An Event at Sinsinawa
Pastoral Implications of the New Farm Bill: Thursday, July 11,
1996, Churches' Center for Land and People, Sinsinawa, WI 53824.
For information contact Miriam Brown, 608-748-411, ext. 805.
A New New Farm Magazine?
Since the Rodale publication New Farm Magazine ceased publishing
in May, 1995, several former editors of the magazine have been
investigating the feasibility of a new publication under
different auspices. Craig Cramer and Chris Shirley have received
a planning grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation to develop a
The new publication could face some of the same economic
realities that brought down New Farm. For example, there are
already a number of other information sources farmers can turn to
in sustainable agriculture. And advertisers can be reluctant to
spend money on a publication read by notorious penny pinchers!
A further difficulty has surfaced recently - access to the
mailing list of the old New Farm. Anthony Rodale has been
unwilling to release the list, which could be crucially important
to the fledgling publication. The dispute has become public and
New Farm Magazine was a unifying force, and it helped give
readers the courage of their own convictions. Issue after issue,
in interviews and farm profiles, the publication showed that
there are real winners in sustainable farming. The need for that
kind of journalism has not diminished.
Cramer and Shirley can be reached through the Committee for
Sustainable Farm Publishing, 609 S. Front St., Allentown, PA,
18103, (610) 791-9683.
Wanted: Ideas for the Winter Meeting!
It's not too early to be planning for the next annual PFI winter
meeting, January 4, 1997. The tenth anniversary meeting was
terrific because lots of people got involved. Your ideas and
energy will help PFI discover what it wants to do - and can do -
next time. In particular, we need a very organized person to
coordinate! You are invited to an afternoon planning meeting,
probably Saturday, July 20, at the Iowa 4-H Camping Center south
of Boone. If you can't come to the meeting, talk to one of your
board members beforehand. Thanks!
The Waste Management Assistance Division of the Iowa Department
of Natural Resources is compiling a list of producers involved in
on-farm composting. They are interested in the types and amounts
of material managed through composting, and they have funds that
might be used to help producers expand or upgrade their
composting. In case you're wondering, WMAD is a nonregulatory
agency, and they assured us the information will not be used to
make anyone "jump through hoops." Contact Chris Diggins or Garth
Frable in the Waste Management Assistance Division, 515-281-3402.
PFI Joins Iowa Environmental Council
Practical Farmers of Iowa recently became a member of the Iowa
Environmental Council, a coalition of about 50 organizations
working in agriculture, natural resources, and consumer issues.
The IEC, which is only a few years old, reaches nearly one
hundred thousand Iowans through its member organizations
according to Executive Director Linda Applegate.
As some PFI producers have become more interested in direct
marketing, there has been growing interest in communicating with
consumers. The IEC will provide PFI potential links with Iowans
interested in locally-raised food and enthusiastic about
sustainable agriculture from an environmental standpoint.
IEC member organizations have received a special welcome to two
of the PFI field days this summer: the July 31 field day of
Robert and Mary Jane Recker and Tom and Irene Frantzen; and the
August 29 field day of Ron and Maria Rosmann and Vic and Cindy
Madsen. The July 31 event, north of New Hampton, will include
direct marketing, diversified farming, and a streambank project.
The August 29 field day, near Harlan and Audubon, will feature
warm season prairie grasses, organic farming, and deep-bedding,
hoophouse hog production.
Free Booklet Helps Farmers and Land Owners Protect Natural Areas
The Iowa Natural Heritage Association is offering farmers a free
booklet that will help them protect their woodlands, wetlands,
prairies and natural areas. The updated edition of The
Landowner's Options is a resource for rural landowners and the
professionals who advise them.
The 64-page booklet features true-life examples and clear
explanations of 18 legal methods of land protection in Iowa.
Farmers who want to permanently protect their natural areas -
whether they wish to retain ownership, pass it on to others or
create a public area - will find methods of protection. Many of
the options provide the owner with compensation or tax benefits.
Since it was first published in 1982, more than 11,000 copies of
the booklet have been distributed. The Landowner's Options was
partially funded by a REAP Conservation Education Program grant
through the Iowa Department of Education. For a free copy of The
Landowner's Options, contact the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
at 515 Fifth Ave., Suite #444, Des Moines, IA 50309,
A Better Row to Hoe Wins Award
A year ago newsletter readers received the executive summary of A
Better Row to Hoe, the report of a five-state study of
sustainable agriculture in which Practical Farmers of Iowa and
ISU were participants. (See also Karl Stauber article on page
22.) Many PFI members have also picked up the full report. A
Better Row to Hoe recently won the Wilmer Rich Shields Award for
Excellence in Reporting, sponsored by the Council on Foundations
and the Communications Network in Philanthropy. The judges'
comments noted the comprehensive dissemination strategy that
accompanied the report's release, as well as the range,
readability and organization of materials, and the large media
response. "The foundation carefully considered its audiences and
got the report out to them," wrote one judge. "The message is:
sustainable agriculture works." A Better Row to Hoe, both the
full report and the executive summary, can be obtained through
the PFI coordinators, 515-294-1923.
PFI-Sponsored FFA Environmental Science Proficiency Award
For the last five years, PFI has sponsored an annual sustainable
agriculture award. This past year the Iowa FFA Foundation asked
PFI if it would change its sponsorship to the FFA Environmental
Science Proficiency award, and the PFI board agreed. This year's
first and second place winners of the award were Derek Miller of
Marengo and Brian Steinlage of Jesup. Derek and Brian received
their awards at the state FFA convention in April. ]
19^ BUILDING BRIDGES: FARMS, TOWNS, AND NATURE
1996 PFI WEEKEND CAMP FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES
FOR WHOM? PFI youth, friends, and others, ages 8 and up
- parents & families welcome, activities for ALL ages!!!
- children under 8 are welcome with parents
- parent helpers would be appreciated
- teen counselors 15 years and up attend freeand receive a
$20 stipend. (Counselors will come the morning of Aug.
16 for a training workshop to learn skills in working
WHAT? A chance for youth and families to have fun and learn from
- Hike across the swinging bridge for an overnight campout
- Share with eachother (nature studies, music, crafts,
animalsphotography, art, writing, and other activities
- Campfires and storytelling
- Explore ponds, prairies and forests with naturalist Mike
- Group challenge course
- Swimming, canoeing, archery and rapelling
WHERE? The Iowa 4-H Education and Natural Resources Center near
WHEN? August 16 - 18 (Friday afternoon - Sunday afternoon)
COST? $40 per participant
PLEASE REGISTER BY AUGUST 1, 1996. COMPLETE, CLIP, AND MAIL THIS
REGISTRATION FORM AND A CHECK MADE OUT TO IOWA 4-H CENTER TO:
Dick Thompson, 2035 190th St., Boone, IA 50036.
If you have questions, please call Gary Huber at
More information will follow receipt of the registration.
COMMUNITIES OF LIFE CAMP REGISTRATION FORM
Names and ages of campers: _________________________________
Names of Parents: __________________________________________
Address and Phone Number: __________________________________
Check if interested in helping as a teen counselor _____;
as a parent helper ____.
Please indicate projects or activities you would be willing to
share with others at the camp and materials needed.
Indicate any special needs or requests (e.g. activities, meals,
20^ PFI WOMEN'S 1996 WINTER GATHERING
Margaret Smith, Hampton
Women of PFI gathered this late winter at the Iowa 4-H Camping
Center near Madrid to share experiences, ideas, and philosophies
about sustaining land, sustaining communities, and sustaining
ourselves. Twenty-five women from all corners of the state and
from various backgrounds and professions came together on March
16. Those arriving early that Saturday had the opportunity to go
hiking with a naturalist from the Center and enjoy the nearly
(Semi)formal introductions were made by people sharing three
things about themselves, one of which was not true. It was
amazing how much we learned about each other, including the fact
that Jeri Neal (from the Leopold Center for Sustainable
Agriculture) does NOT have a husband named Coco! Our first
workshop, "Designing a Sustainable Community," was led by Betty
Wells, Extension Sociologist from Iowa State University. Small
groups proposed some great ideas about linking farm, food, and
community, and they developed excellent symbolic graphic
representations of these social interactions and community
growth. After a candlelight dinner Saturday night, we shared
favorite writings by women authors.
There was pleasant spring weather Sunday morning, perfect for
early morning hikers. There was also time for spiritual
reflection, reading, and friendly conversation. A mid-morning
discussion began with a reading from Virginia Woolf's A Room of
One's Own. Regina Streigel, doctoral student in psychology from
the University of Iowa, shared personal and professional insights
into women's psychological health and moderated the discussion on
The weekend Gathering closed with a discussion of Practical
Farmers of Iowa - what we are, where we are going, and what roles
may women assume. Participants shared their written comments
about the Gathering including, "This is the best thing I've done
for sustaining myself in fifteen years!" and "This should be a
Plans for next year's Women's Gathering have already begun.
Deanne Hansen and Donna Bauer from Audubon have shared that PFI
District 4 (Southwest) will host next year's event at the
Education Center near Springbrook State Park in Guthrie Center,
March 8 and 9. Anyone interested in joining the planning
committee please call Deanne at 712-563-4051 or Donna at
712-563-4084. Donna would also like input from women about what
they would like to see on next year's program. Write Donna at
1667 Hwy. 71, Audubon, IA, 50025.
21^ NORTHWEST DISTRICT MEETING COVERS ENERGY ISSUES
Paul Mugge, Sutherland
"Contrary to popular wisdom, there is no trade-off between the
economy and the environment, at least not where renewable energy
is concerned. Rather, a well-designed strategy to boost
renewable energy development will boost employment, and
strengthen the region's industrial base as well. In the
Midwest's search for new strategies to rejuvenate its industrial
base and secure its economic future, renewable energy is a good
place to start."1 That statement from Powering the Midwest, the
report of a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) study, introduced
the subject at the Northwest District PFI winter meeting in
Cherokee, on March 9.
Following a meal and conversation, Lara Levison, energy program
field representative from the UCS Washington, D.C. office and
Heather Rhoades of Des Moines with the SEED campaign presented
information and led discussion with approximately 60 people.
Some additional facts:
1. Iowa's energy bill is $2.3 billion per year, and 2/3 of it
leaves the state.
2. The sun delivers enough energy to the Midwest in 15 hours to
power the region for an entire year 1.
3. Eleven Midwest states have wind energy potential to supply
more than the total current electricity consumption of the entire
4. Sulphur dioxide emissions from Midwest power plants alone may
result in $25 billion a year in health-related costs 1.
5. Under the most aggressive scenario (50% of the nation's total
energy needs from renewable sources by 2030) - net monetary
savings to consumers would equal $2.3 trillion over the next 40
6. With current technology 1:
a. electricity can be produced from wind for as little as 4/kWh;
b. electricity can be produced from biomass for as little as
7. "Global energy markets are beginning a rapid move to more
efficient, decentralized, and cleaner systems, echoing the shift
from Mainframe to personal computers during the 1980s."3
Obviously, there is tremendous potential for providing some of
our energy needs with renewable sources. There is also a
tremendous accompanying potential, perhaps not so obvious, to
provide much needed economic development in rural areas.
Unfortunately, realization of that potential depends to a large
degree on the extent to which government (especially state
government) encourages or squelches it's development. The SEED
(Sustainable Energy for Economic Development) campaign has been
organized to influence policy regarding renewable energy. If you
are interested in becoming involved in this effort, they can be
contacted through Heather Rhoades at 515-277-5077.
With good reason, there is currently considerable interest in
renewable energy development in Iowa and surrounding states, and
several projects are in progress. The northwest district PFI
library is accumulating information and resources in this area,
available through Paul Mugge at 712-446-2414. Also, if you
missed this meeting, another, larger one is being contemplated in
conjunction with UCS and several other organizations for later
this year. Your PFI newsletter will provide notice of that and
other events as they approach.
1 Powering the Midwest, Union of Concerned Scientists, 1993.
2 Landowner's Guide to Wind Energy, Izaak Walton League of
3 Power Surge, World Watch Institute, 1994.
22^ STAUBER RETURNS TO NORTHWEST AREA FOUNDATION
Karl Stauber will be returning to the Northwest Area Foundation
of St. Paul as its new president, effective June 17, 1996.
Stauber, currently Under Secretary for Research, Education, and
Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a former vice
president for programs of the Northwest Area Foundation, will be
the Foundation's fourth executive officer since its creation in
During his time at USDA, Stauber's work has focused on the 1996
Farm Bill, refocusing federal agricultural research and education
policy, and the community development portion of the President's
Northwest Timber Initiative. As the first Under Secretary for
Research, Education, and Economics, Stauber has overseen the
consolidation and integration of USDA's "knowledge producing
agencies." Before being nominated by President Clinton for the
Under Secretary position, Stauber served as the Deputy Under
Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. In this role he was
chief strategist for implementing the rural component of the
Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community Initiative.
As vice president for programs of the Foundation from 1986
through 1993, Stauber was responsible for developing new
approaches to economic development, focusing particularly on
rural and other low-income communities. Under his direction, the
Foundation launched programs to provide technical assistance and
expand access to capital as a means of creating businesses in
low-income communities, and to examine the economic,
environmental, and social impact of sustainable agriculture. At
Stauber's invitation, Practical Farmers of Iowa participated in a
region-wide study of sustainable agriculture and its economic and
environmental impacts, a project that Stauber personally guided.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to rejoin the Foundation at
this important time in the life of both the organization and the
region it serves," Stauber said. "Northwest Area Foundation is
one of the leading foundations in the U.S. addressing rural
development. We should build on this success. At the same time,
the Foundation needs to be open to new approaches as
"For example," Stauber added, "as authority and responsibility
flow away from Washington toward state, tribal, and local
governments, the roles and relationships between government, the
for-profit sector, and nonprofit organizations are being
reexamined. Northwest Area Foundation can help in the creation
of new types of partnerships and work to turn problems into
opportunities that benefit all parts of a community." ]
22^ ILLINOIS SOIL QUALITY INITIATIVE UNDERWAY
Farmers, scientists, and representatives from public and private
organizations are working on a project dealing with soil quality
in Illinois. The Illinois Soil Quality Initiative has three
parts: the Soil Quality Dialogue, a Planning and Pilot Study, and
the Participatory On-farm Research Project.
The Soil Quality Dialog formally began with the Soil Health
conference held in Decatur, Illinois last December. The
project's board, which includes farmers, scientists and others,
organizes Dialog events. The Dialog discussions are really where
participants build consensus on the meaning of soil quality and
how to study it.
The Planning and Pilot Study, now in its second and final year,
is the preliminary stage of a statewide soil quality inventory.
At six sites around the state, measurements are being made on
adjacent soils: 1) not in use, 2) under non-tilled management,
and 3) farmed with tillage. This disturbance gradient will allow
researchers to compare natural and managed soils and will help
them learn what to measure.
The Participatory On-farm Research Project is examining the
effects of tillage on the farms of 30 cooperating producers
practicing a range of tillage types on a variety of soils.
Twice-yearly measurements include biological activity,
infiltration, bulk density, aggregation, pH, available nitrogen,
conductivity, and soil organic matter. At the end of each year,
scientists and farmers jointly review these data to decide the
usefulness, reliability, and practicality of the different tests.
By the conclusion of this project, farmers and scientists in
Illinois will have a better understanding of soil quality, how to
measure it, and how it is affected by soil type and management.
Scientists and administrators will have a clearer picture of the
soil resource throughout Illinois. And by working through this
project together, the parties will have achieved understanding
and trust that could lead to more collaborations in the future.
23^ SOIL QUALITY WORKSHOP JULY 17-18
What is good soil, what is bad soil, and how do you recognize
them? The concept of soil quality brings in both practical
experience and scientific research into underlying biological,
physical and chemical principles. In recent years both producers
and scientists have found soil quality a useful term by which to
communicate about productivity, sustainability, and management
issues. A national conference in mid-July will bring together
scientists, conservationists, educators, and farmers for hands-on
training and to learn the "state of the art" of soil quality.
The workshop Soil Quality - A Guide to Conservation will run from
1:00 pm Wednesday, July 17 through 1:30 pm Thursday, July 18. It
will take place at the Starlite Village Best Western Motel, in
Ames. The Northwest Area Foundation is sponsoring the meeting
along with the USDA National Soil Tilth Laboratory, the NRCS Soil
Quality Institute, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, and
North Dakota State University.
Organizers for the event include scientists who have worked with
PFI in the past: John Gardner (Carrington Research Station, North
Dakota); John Doran (USDA-ARS Lincoln, Nebraska); and Doug Karlen
(Tilth Lab). Doran is inventor of the soil health test kit
featured in New Farm Magazine several years ago. Also on the
program are Paul Johnson, Chief of the Natural Resources
Conservation Service, and Karl Stauber, departing USDA Under
Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. (See article
on page 22.)
A group of Illinois farmers from several sustainable agricultural
organizations also plan to attend the workshop and hope to visit
with PFI members. They are involved with the Illinois Soil
Quality Initiative, an effort to document and better understand
management effects on soil quality. (See previous article.)
Workshop registration is $50 until July 1, $75 thereafter, and
includes proceedings, luncheon, refreshments, and a field trip to
the Walnut Creek Watershed Project. To register contact John
Gardner, NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center, Box 219,
Carrington, ND 58421 (701-652-2951). A block of sleeping rooms
is reserved at a somewhat reduced rate at the Starlite until July
1. Participants are responsible for making their own
reservations (515-232-9260). Workshop brochures are available
from the PFI coordinators (515-294-1923). ]
24^ SOIL LIFE: THE HEART OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING
Ray Weil, PhD
(Editors' note: Ray Weil is professor of soil fertility at the
University of Maryland. This article is condensed from an
article that appeared in The New Farm Magazine, January, 1992.
Reprinted by permission of the author and the Rodale Institute,
611 Siegfriedale Rd., Kutztown, PA, 19530-9749, 610-683-1400.)
Most farmers have a special affinity for getting their hands in
the soil. There's something almost spiritual about climbing down
from the tractor to feel and smell rich, loamy soil that crumbles
in your palms and tumbles through your fingers. Everyone who
works the soil can recognize that it is a living system, one to
which we are inextricably bound.
The living organisms in the soil and the organic matter upon
which they feed are at the heart of sustainable farming. The
community of soil creatures that break down crop residue is
exceptionally diverse. Almost any organic compound we add to
soil will be decomposed by some organism that can use it for
food. This holds for proteins, cellulose and even most
pesticides. Most organic material is recycled to the atmosphere
as carbon dioxide and water - much as our own bodies produce
carbon dioxide-enriched breath from our digestion of food and
We often speak about soil organic matter (OM) as if it were a
single substance. In reality, approximately 25 percent of the
soil organic matter is what we call the "active fraction." It is
made up of partially decomposed plant and animal residues and
many of the compounds produced by microbial metabolism.
Generally, active-fraction materials have a half-life (the time
it takes for half of the mass to be lost to decomposition) of a
few weeks to several decades. Soil organisms use active-fraction
materials as their food source, releasing mineral nutrients for
crops through metabolism.
Most of the soil OM is in the passive fraction, made up of
compounds so highly resistant to microbial breakdown that their
half-lives are measured in centuries. This means that much of
the OM in our soils today is derived from forests or grasses that
grew on them long before Europeans set foot on this continent.
The roles of the passive OM in maintaining soil productivity are
more chemical and physical than biological. Passive OM provides
most of the cation exchange capacity (CEC) in organic matter.
This is the property of soils that allows them to hold nutrients
such as potassium and calcium in a form that saves them from
being washed away by leaching water, but still keeps them readily
available for plant uptake. Pound for pound, OM contributes
about ten times as much CEC as does clay. Additionally,
sponge-like humified organic matter in the passive fraction soaks
up several times its weight in water. This effect is especially
noticeable in sandy soil, where an OM level of one to two percent
can make the difference between crop failure and a profitable
yield in a droughty season.
The active fraction plays a very different role in soil
productivity. Under good OM management, the active fraction
provides many benefits:
Nutrient cycling. As soil organisms metabolize, they cycle
nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur as well as micronutrients such as
iron and copper. Even in fields treated with synthetic
fertilizer, most of the nitrogen taken up by a crop is from the
soil OM, not the fertilizer.
Micronutrient chelation. Organic acids produced by living plant
roots and soil microorganisms help eat away at soil minerals,
unlocking a storehouse of nutrients.
Soil tilth. Soil becomes soft, fluffy and crumbly because of
certain bacteria that serve as a waterproof glue to bind tiny
particles of silt, sand and clay to make soil aggregates. When
soil has good "tilth," it is easier for roots to penetrate the
soil, for rainwater to infiltrate and for tillage implements to
prepare a seedbed.
Ecological balance. A soil well-supplied with active OM teems
with bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other organisms. Although
most of the actual metabolism in the soil is microbial, the
larger organisms substantially enhance this activity by
physically chewing the organic particles and providing, in their
guts, an ideal environment for the microbes to work.
Our knowledge of the ecological balance of this living world
within the soil is sketchy. We know that readily decomposable
organic matter, and lots of it, encourages large and diverse
populations of soil organisms that give the soil biological
resilience, making it an ideal medium for the support of healthy
Managing Organic Matter
A soil's current OM content reflects a balance between gains and
losses. The two great enemies of soil OM are erosion and
excessive tillage. Water or wind can physically remove OM, or
the OM can oxidize (biologically, ed.) back into the carbon
dioxide in the air from which it was formed. Minimizing tillage
and maximizing vegetative cover are keys to controlling both
Tillage exposes soil to eroding raindrops. It also speeds
decomposition of organic matter by stirring oxygen into the soil,
stimulating microbial activity and exposing the surfaces of
organic particles for oxidation. On sandy soils these losses may
run as high as three or four percent of the soil's organic matter
per year, a rate that crop residues can hardly replace.
Sustainable farming practices emphasize the addition of new
organic matter to replace the raw material needed for soil life
in the active fraction. Crop root systems offer the best and
most practical source of new OM. Root systems of perennial
grasses and woody plants also contribute as new roots excrete
organic compounds and older ones die and slough off.
Aboveground crop residue can make a major contribution to soil
OM, either on the surface as a mulch or mixed in by tillage.
About 50 to 60 percent of the aboveground dry matter produced by
a grain crop is in the straw. Your decision to bale straw or
harvest silage, and then remove it from the field, has a
significant impact on the OM and mineral balance of the soil.
It is always better to have a growing crop in the soil than to
leave it bare. Cover crops add plant material on the surface and
below ground. For maximum OM benefit, the cover crop should be
killed and left in the field. In addition to enhancing the
active OM cycling in the soil, cover crops protect the soil from
erosion, conserve mineral nutrients that would otherwise leach
away and provide a moisture conserving mulch. In the case of
legumes, they add considerable quantities of nitrogen to the
Conventional farming tends to regard soil as a nearly inert
medium. Sustainable farmers need an awareness of crops and
livestock and how they relate to the living nature of the soil.
Managing soil life gives you long term agronomic stability - as
well as some of the fertility for next year's crop. As you weigh
market prices against production costs, remember the microbes.
25^ PFI LIBRARY UPDATE
The PFI lending library has a new coordinator. He is Mark
Runquist. Mark stepped forward in response to the call in the
last newsletter. Since then he has been in touch with the
district libraries around the state getting the list of new
acquisitions. Mark also contributed a book review of his own for
All of these books and tapes are available free to PFI members.
Nonmembers get one free checkout as well. (Online readers can
download the four-table library listing, files libtab1-5.wmf.)
Contact your district directors, listed on the back of this
26^ FAMILY FARMING: A NEW ECONOMIC VISION
BY MARTY STRANGE
Marty Strange is a cofounder of the Center for Rural Affairs and
is in high demand for his presentations on farm policy. His
book, Family Farming: a New Economic Vision explores many of the
reasons for the decline and resurgence in sustainable, profitable
He begins by placing family farms into a cultural and historical
context. He compares the characteristics of industrial
agribusiness versus the traditional family farming system. Marty
asks "Who will own land, how will they pay for it and who makes
the rules about using it?" He sees little discussion about these
important topics in current public policy.
Strange investigates the prevailing myth of two types of farms -
people living on farms with primarily non-farm income and very
large farms. He critiques the structure of agriculture that only
measures volume of sales. Marty brings evidence to the table
that an increase in acres managed does not equate to increased
efficiency. Ultimately, Marty believes that one system of
agriculture will prevail over the other - the smaller family
centered farm, or the larger corporate agribusiness structure.
He believes the answer, in part, will be a result of one set of
values triumphing over another. ]
26^ MANURED SOILS IN NEW LATE SPRING NITRATE TEST GUIDELINES
ISU continues to refine the late spring soil nitrate test for
corn. This spring the first recommendations specific to manured
soils were released. In 1995 the university published
recommendations for corn following alfalfa. The original
guidelines lumped together all field histories.
The new model, presented in terms of expected net profit,
includes adjustments for rainfall and the cost/price relationship
of corn and nitrogen fertilizer. ISU agronomist Alfred Blackmer
believes focusing on net profit saves producers a step
translating from yields to dollars and makes it easier to
understand the effects of market forces on the optimum N rate.
It can be difficult to decide the point on a graph where yield
ceases to respond to additional fertilizer, but it is hard to
miss the point where profit starts to decline.
The rainfall adjustment calls for less additional nitrogen where
rainfall has been excessive prior to taking the test. This is
because: 1) rainfall may have leached nitrate-N below the
one-foot depth of the soil sample but not completely out of the
rooting zone, and; 2) testing a leached soil may underestimate
its ability to release nitrogen.
Over four years, a total of 148 trials were carried out by
Blackmer on manured fields, including those of some PFI members.
"Manured fields" were defined as those receiving an application
since the previous harvest or at least twice in the previous four
years. Plots received no N besides manure before the late spring
test was taken. Immediately after the test, plots received
either 90, 60, 30, or zero pounds N per acre.
Crop response, expressed as dollars net return to fertilizer and
plotted against soil nitrate, is shown in Figure 1 (graphics file
fig1.bmp). The translation into net return comes out differently
depending on the cost of fertilizer and the price of corn. The
"critical range" is where these curves cross the line of zero net
return to fertilizer. At soil test levels below the critical
range, fertilizer paid dividends, but N applied to soil that
tested higher than the critical range was a waste of money.
Figure 1 also shows that when high rainfall sites are separated
out, the profitability curves shift left, to a lower (critical
Based on these trials, ISU has made the following recommendations
for manured soils.
1) For soil nitrate-N concentrations of 0 to 10 ppm, apply 90
pounds N per acre;
2) For soil nitrate-N concentrations of 11 to 15 ppm, apply 60
pounds N per acre;
3) For soil nitrate-N concentrations of 16 to 25 ppm, apply 30
pounds N per acre if rainfall was not excessive before taking the
test. If rainfall was excessive, apply no additional N
4) For soil nitrate-N concentrations greater than 25 ppm, apply
Figure 2 (graphics file fig2.bmp) shows 1) the standard ISU
sidedress recommendations, 2) those for corn following alfalfa,
and 3) those for corn on manured soil.
Sidedress recommendations for corn on manured soil are generally
more conservative than the standard recommendations for using the
late spring test. That is consistent with the experience of PFI
cooperators who use manure and who often find they can undercut
the standard recommendation. The new guidelines are a first step
at quantifying one of the long-term effects that manure has in
This fall the ISU Extension bulletin Pm-1581 will be updated to
reflect the change. In the meantime, you can request a free
summary of the trials on manured corn fields from Alfred
Blackmer, Agronomy Department, ISU, Ames, IA, 50011. ]
31^ JEFFERSON INITIATIVE TASKFORCE CALLS FOR CROP DIVERSIFICATION
What's wrong with agriculture today? Four agronomists and one ag
economist have published a report, Diversifying U.S. Crop
Production, that relates many of agriculture's ills to the lack
of crop diversity. Publishing under the auspices of CAST, the
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, the authors cite
soil erosion, energy dependence, price fluctuations, and the need
for federal price supports as symptoms that could be relieved if
there were a greater choice of crops.
The report states that U.S. agricultural policy has focused
excessively on increasing the yields of a few favored crops.
New-crop research, it maintains, has been a political orphan
subject to the needs of established commodity groups and
occasional election campaigns. State funding has been
fragmentary and short-term, and "support from agricultural
experiment stations in all states has declined greatly as these
institutions have focused on basic research and biotechnology
funded by national grant programs and private industries."
The report calls for a sustained, national effort to develop new
crops for food, fiber, and industrial purposes. It proposes as a
focus of the campaign the name Jefferson Initiative, in
recognition of Thomas Jefferson's belief in the importance of new
crops. Such a focus is necessary, write the authors, because any
effort to develop a new crop will require the participation of
government, industry, and producers. The report is embellished
with examples of crops that have - or may - become established in
U.S. agriculture (see accompanying article on the soybean in the
U.S.). The most recent successful example is canola, the
low-erucic acid varieties of rapeseed (and the accompanying
industry) developed in Canada.
A summary of the issue paper Diversifying U.S. Crop Production,
is available for $3 from CAST, 4420 W. Lincoln Way, Ames, IA,
50014-3447, 515-292-2125 ]
32^ SOYBEAN: A CASE STUDY IN NEW CROP DEVELOPMENT
BY WILLIAM LOCKERETZ
The recent call for crop diversification, the Jefferson
Initiative, brought to mind a conversation I had with William
Lockeretz on the same topic. Lockeretz is a professor at Tufts
University who writes about and studies sustainable agricultural
issues. He is editor of the American Journal of Alternative
Agriculture and a member of PFI.
We were discussing the difficulties in achieving greater crop
diversity. Willie remarked that I might be interested in
something he had written describing the journey of the soybean
from an agricultural curiosity to the major commodity it is
today. I recently re-read that article, which appeared in the
May 1988 issue of the magazine Food Policy. The soybean story
contains some useful pointers for successfully encouraging any
new crop. It also shows the unexpected turns that can occur.
Here is some information contained in that article.
Development of any new crop is a "chicken-and-egg" situation.
Many different players must be involved and coordinated. These
include plant breeders, processors and food technologists,
agricultural advisors, marketers, and, of course, producers.
Farmers won't grow a new crop if they can't profit from it,
processors won't invest in facilities if there is no assured
supply of product or marketers willing to buy, etc.
According to the article, all these elements came together in a
remarkable way for the soybean, which until this century existed
in the U.S. as a minor forage crop. Importantly, there were
early champions who drew attention and enthusiasm. These
included: David Fairchild, first head of the USDA Office of Seed
and Plant Introduction; Charles Piper, head of the Office of
Forage Crops; and William Morse, who collected thousands of seed
samples in China and founded the American Soybean Association.
These and other pioneers were dedicated to the public exchange of
information and seeds. The article contrasts this approach with
that of England, where soybean research information was
proprietary and where development stagnated.
Along the way, the soybean benefited from some of agriculture's
economic and agronomic problems. Two World Wars deprived the
U.S. of imported soybeans and soy oil, prompting replacement
efforts. In 1921, the war-stimulated export boom for cereal
grains collapsed, prompting interest in new crops that were not
in surplus. In the inter-war period, boll weevils were
decimating cotton in the South. In the Midwest cinch bugs
ravaged corn and small grains, and the European corn borer was
just coming on the scene. Soybeans seemed exempt from insect
attack. Finally, with farm tractors displacing draft horses,
oats were in oversupply. Soybeans were seen as a compatible
substitute for oats in the crop rotation, and they did not
deplete the soil of nitrogen as rapidly as corn or the small
Compatibility was key to the soybean's acceptance. It fit into
the crop rotation, originally as a farm-produced livestock feed.
The crop was shocked with a binder and threshed in a separate
operation. In 1924, some Illinois farmers first modified combine
harvesters for soybeans. Illinois in the '20s was also the scene
of a pivotal effort in the established of the soybean industry.
This was the Peoria Plan.
The Staley Company had established a soybean processing plant in
Illinois as early as 1922, but the facility lost money due to
lack of supply. In 1928, Funk Bros. Seed Company, the American
Milling Company, and the Grange League Federation Exchange (a
farmer cooperative) came together under a plan developed with the
help of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Prairie Farmer Magazine, and
the Agronomy Department of the University of Illinois. The
so-called Peoria Plan guaranteed producers a price of $1.35,
considered reasonable but not exorbitant, and growers had the
option of marketing elsewhere if they could get a better price.
Protected from price swings, farmers had the confidence to raise
42,000 acres of soybeans for the program. This was the supply
that processors and marketers needed to justify investing in
An important factor in the Peoria Plan was that the Grange League
Federation Exchange agreed to take all the soybean meal for use
in dairy cooperatives in New York State. The meal was considered
a by-product at the time. That situation changed with feeding
research undertaken by universities and the USDA. The economic
picture for soybeans is particularly complex because the crop is
fractionated for so many uses. The processing industry was
stimulated when national soybean grades were established in 1926,
followed by grades for soy oil.
In 1930 the American Soybean Association succeeded in
establishing a stiff tariff on imported soybeans, further
encouraging domestic production. Helping to stabilize prices, a
futures contract in soybeans was established in 1936.
Incidentally, the soybean benefited from not being put under the
acreage restrictions of the AAA in the 1930s (by the choice of
the producers). This helped allow the new crop gain at a time
when established crops were suffering under surpluses.
Along the way public and private sector research has played a
critical role. Plant breeders, working with a genetic base of
thousands of accessions, have doubled and tripled soybean yields
and improved other agronomic traits in varieties adapted to
regional conditions like photoperiod. Processors have increased
extraction efficiency and found ways to process soy oil to
improve its palatability in food products. Some of this
technical base grew with the industry, and some of it preceded
The soybean was once thought of as a forage for on-farm use, not
a cash-grain crop. As a grain crop, it was first grown for its
oil. Soybean meal, once considered a by-product, now accounts
for more than half the value of the grain. The soybean was at
one time expected to increase crop diversity in the U.S., not
contribute to the marginalization of other crops. It was
expected to improve the soil because it does not deplete soil
nitrogen, but soybean ground is now seen as vulnerable to soil
erosion. Twists and turns like these may be characterize our
next new crops. The success that the soybean now enjoys is a
tribute to the flexibility and dedication of those farmers,
scientists, and business people who were early proponents of this
If Lockeretz is correct, the soybean became an industry here
because there were early visionaries, publicly shared seeds and
information, and a coordinated approach that included plant
breeders, extensionists, farmers, government bureaucrats,
processors, and marketers. Soybeans benefited from economic
cycles and changes in agriculture when they occurred, but a
steady, long-term effort put the crop in position to take
advantage of those circumstances. That may help put in
perspective the Jefferson Initiative, coming as it does at a time
when high grain prices have eased many of agriculture's chronic
34^ HAY! THAT'S MY NEST!
Many graziers value songbirds for their aesthetic value and as
indicators of a diverse agroecosystem. They often express the
opinion that their farming is assisting those birds, but proof
has been lacking. The latest issue of Pasture Talk (May, 1996)
reports research on this topic. Pasture Talk is a
grazing-oriented newsletter published in Middleton, Wisconsin by
Greenbull Press (800-831-3782).
The article, by Laura Paine, a University of Wisconsin
agronomist, describes a two-year project observing birds in
various kinds of farming systems. Birds were much more attracted
to grass-based farms - whatever the grazing style - than they
were to grain farms or drylot livestock operations. There were
more than twice as many nesting pairs of grassland songbirds in
rotationally grazed pastures as in continuously grazed systems,
partly due to the different grazing style and partly because
rotational pastures tended to be larger and further from human
PFI farmers using strip intercropping found strips may attract
birds only to subject their nests to cultivation or predation.
Likewise, birds in pasture are in danger from grazing,
unintentional trampling, and haying equipment. To remedy this
situation, four of the graziers in this study included in their
pastures "refuges" of 10-40 acres. Grazing was delayed in these
refuges for four to seven weeks in order to miss the peak nesting
In undisturbed prairie, reports Paine, about 60 percent of nests
are successful. In the study, nest survival ranged from five
percent in some continuously grazed pastures to 40 percent in
some refuge areas. Nest survival averaged 25 percent in
continuously grazed pastures, which is still much better than
nest survival in alfalfa hay or row crops.
Producers did not suffer a great loss from leaving refuge areas
unharvested for at least six weeks. While forage quality
declined somewhat, crude protein remained in the mid-teens and
relative feed value was around one hundred. Pasture with
significant legume content held its quality better. Orchardgrass
presented problems because it headed out quickly. Laura Paine
suggests that paddocks of warm season grasses may be ideally
suited to use as nesting refuges. These prairie species normally
reach the harvestable stage only after the May-June peak nesting
34^ OREGON ON-FARM STUDY OF PESTICIDE RESIDUES
The West Coast organic farming organization Oregon Tilth recently
collaborated with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the
Organic Farming Research Foundation in a study of pesticide
residues in fruits and vegetables. Tilth and some non-organic
organizations like California Clean Growers routinely monitor
produce for pesticide residues for the benefit of consumers. But
why would organic farmers need to worry about pesticide residues?
Most of the agricultural land in Oregon has a long farming
history. Some of the early pesticides used in these fields are
very persistent in the soil. This study focused on the class of
materials known as organochlorine pesticides. That includes the
insecticides chlordane, aldrin/dieldrin, and DDT, all of which
were once used in Iowa agriculture as well.
Some of these pesticides slowly evaporate into the air, but in
general they do not move into ground water. Instead, they are
strongly adsorbed to soil. Held tightly by soil particles, some
of the organochlorines are still detectable in soil 10-20 years
after their sale in the U.S. ceased. These products were
withdrawn because of concerns about long-term health effects.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency views chlordane, aldrin,
dieldrin, and DDT (with its breakdown products DDD and DDE) as
In the Oregon experiment a variety of fruits and vegetables were
grown over a two year period in a sandy loam soil using a
randomized complete block design with four replications. The
soil and the harvested crop were tested for organochlorines and
their breakdown products (Figure 3, graphics file fig3.wmf).
Different crops were grown each year. Soil test levels in the
soil itself varied considerably from year to year, and overall
levels were sometimes at the level of sensitivity of the
instrumentation and research design (around one
The exceedingly small concentrations of environmental pollutants
in such studies is a potential argument against their importance.
Consider, for example, the ambient water concentration of DDT at
which the Environmental Protection Agency places the lifetime
cancer risk at one-in-one-million for a person drinking 2 liters
of water and consuming one-quarter ounce of fish or shellfish per
day: 0.024 parts-per-trillion (Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry Public Health Statement: DDT, DDE, and DDD).
While individual tissue samples sometimes exceeded the Food and
Drug Administration action levels for pesticide contamination, on
average no crop contained a contaminant at these levels. Oregon
state organic standards are set at 10 percent of federal action
levels, and Oregon Tilth standards are only five percent of
federal levels. These more strict criteria were exceeded in some
of the crops such as beets and spinach (the caryophyllales).
The Oregon researchers were able to conclude that the crops
varied in uptake of different organochlorines. Carrots and
squash contained significantly more chlordane than other crops;
cucumbers, melons, and carrots contained more dieldrin; and
carrots and potatoes contained more DDT than the others.
Broccoli, corn, peas, tomato, lettuce, and beans contained little
or none of the chemicals measured. Uptake for trace residues
differed dramatically from the established literature, indicating
that rates of concentration for trace residues is greater for
many crops than recent applications, and less for others - such
as legumes, which were expected to be large accumulators.
Overall trends within families of plants: cucurbits (cucumbers,
squash) and caryophyllales (beets and spinach) were sensitive to
organochlorine traces in the soil; solanaceae (potatoes and
tomatoes) and leguminaceae (beans and peas) were not sensitive.
Many of the organochlorine pesticides are known to strongly
bioaccumulate; that is, they make their way up the food chain,
increasing in concentration as they go. Plant tissue
concentrations in this study were sometimes greater than organic
standards even though instrumentation did not detect the
pesticide in the soil that year. Thus, concluded the
researchers, "Soils with a clean bill of health one year may
produce crops with levels of contaminant exceeding organic
standards." They suggest that organic growers restrict the kinds
of crops grown on some problem fields.
The report Plant Mobilization of Trace Organochlorine Residues,
by John E. Haapala, Jr., is available from Oregon Tilth at
503-620-2829, email@example.com. ]
36^ SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS REPORT: "PORK MIX PASTURE SYSTEM - JUST
ADD SALT AND WATER"
John and Beverly Gilbert, Iowa Falls
(Editors' note: It's always interesting to read reports from PFI
Sustainable Projects just to see what people learned. We have
preceded this report from John and Beverly Gilbert with portions
of their original proposal. The proposal describes the goals and
methods for this experiment in low-investment hog production.)
A low investment system matching growth stages of crops and hogs
is needed - for producers with limited finishing facilities, for
existing producers who wish to expand production, as a means for
beginners or hobby farmers to generate income in the hog business
seasonally, or to produce a specialty meat product.
The purpose of this project is to experiment with crop mixes in
defined paddocks and use the principles of rotational grazing to
provide a long enough feeding season so the last half of a hog's
growth is made primarily on self-harvested feeds. For this
project we will use two groups of 20-25 litter mates divided as
closely as possible by weight and gender. They will be
spring-farrowed in huts and fed in confinement until division, at
about small grain harvest or brown silk. After weighing, one
group will return to confinement to be finished using a ration of
high-lysine corn, soybean meal, minerals, salt and vitamins. The
other group will be ringed and rotated between two paddocks with
standing crops. (Pigs should be 80-125 pounds.)
Paddocks will be planted in the spring as follows:
Borders of 20-36 feet will be sown with a succotash mix (oats,
wheat and barley), undersown with alsike clover, alfalfa,
timothy, brome and perennial ryegrass.
The interior will be planted three-fourths to three varieties of
Crow's Hybrids high-Iysine corn (97, 104 and 110-day maturities),
and one-fourth to the succotash mix undersown with berseem and
alsike clovers (one in each grass seed box on the drill) to
compare suitability of each.
Pigs will be rotated between the two paddocks to keep feed
available without damaging the still growing crops. Pigs should
eat the small grains and weeds in the corn the first time
through. Subsequently they should eat ripening corn, lower corn
leaves and clover-grass regrowth. Times of rotations will be
This project is an attempt to mesh pigs' instinctive foraging
behavior with crop development and weather patterns using
controlled grazing techniques. It was inspired by the
performance and behavior of pigs who got free from previous
drylot feeding groups. The "sneaky" pigs that were out a lot
didn't do badly at all. And another group cleaned up a weedy
field of small grains in preference to the feed we provided them.
Feeding market pigs with standing grain and forage crops is
feasible, however results in our first year feeding trial
primarily helped define questions needing further attention.
General observations include: (1) pigs like green feed and given
a chance will eat a wide variety of plants, including most weeds;
(2) growth rates will be slightly slower making this a moderate
intensity management strategy suitable for raising breeding
stock, or as a grower phase (similar to the backgrounding used
with feeder cattle); (3) current quick fencing systems combined
with modern fence chargers facilitate rotating paddocks to keep
feed utilization high; (4) crop and grazing rotations need to
focus on maintaining high protein forages; (5) disposition of the
pigs is probably as important as genetics or body type; and (6)
the economics of such a system comes from using a perpetual
rotation, minimizing crop production and feed processing costs.
In early August, 50 pigs were divided into two groups with as
even a split as possible. One group (average weight 124 pounds)
was left in confinement to provide a baseline on feed
consumption. The other group, at an average weight of 121
pounds, was put in a 1.7-acre field divided into four parts by
electric fence. The field had been planted to Crow's Hybrids
high lysine corn and small grains with clover (see Figure 4,
graphics file fig4.bmp). A feeder was provided in the common
area with the same ration as pigs left on cement. The first
rotation was 5-7 days per section. The two subsequent rotations
were shorter, based on feed consumption and damage to standing
After the third rotation (late September), little remained of any
crop, and the pigs were essentially dry lotted with processed
feed. Some gilts from each group were retained for breeding.
The remainder were sold on a grade and yield basis to Farmland
Economics are a function of feed and slaughter prices. Processed
feed cost in August and September averaged about 6, cents per
pound. Consumption 'till standing crops were exhausted was about
2,900 pounds. The confined group ate about 7,100 pounds. Weight
gains average 83 pounds per head on pasture and 96 pounds per
head each for those on cement. Using an average price of $41.25
per cwt. for hogs means the pastured group increased in value by
$856 with $181 purchased feed. Confined hogs increased $991 with
$444 feed. Gross after feeding cost: ($856 - $181) - ($991 -
$444) = $128 in favor of foraging. Value harvested per acre:
$856 - $181 = $675, divided by 1.7 acres = $397 gross per acre.
Pigs quickly learn to forage and consume everything green.
Stocking rate of 12-15 head per acre is a good target. Electric
fence (1 polywire and 1 Maxishock) was effective in holding
trained pigs even when battery was removed for charging. Toppled
cornstalks were a problem. Small grains as a standing feed
mature before the corn is developed enough to stand up to pig
traffic. Parallel strips, with one year idled to establish a
forage strip, would require mechanical harvesting of a small
grain nurse crop, but would probably provide better overall
Feed provided should be more of a supplement than a complete
ration. Ground feed was provided free choice and was used as an
indicator of when to move pigs. Providing optimum nutrition
levels in such a system will require careful forage monitoring or
some other strategy, because given a choice between green
vegetation and dry feed, pigs choose the greens first.
Time and labor for the two systems were comparable. Fencing and
water hauling were about equal to manure removal of those
confined. However, the type of work and the amount of help
required favored grazing. There was no odor and few flies in the
field. After the first move, switching paddocks through the
feeder/waterer area was no problem. Pigs actually became more
friendly, less excitable and easier to handle as time progressed.
Pigs finished a little slower in pasture, but growth was more
uniform. Three of the 25 in the dry lot suffered slow growth and
weren't market weight even after all of pastured group were
Savings in grain harvest, transport, storage, feed processing,
and manure handling costs are big pluses. Also, preparation for
next crop will require little primary tillage. Ringing of pigs
is highly recommended.
Meat from pigs slaughtered for personal use would be saleable as
a specialty product for people wanting humanely grown pork.
There is basis for the old saying "happy as a pig in clover."
Grade and yield information showed little difference between the
groups, probably because both groups were finished with the same
Pigs quickly learned to take refuge from the heat in cool soil
and shade between corn rows. Stalk breakage was not a problem
until lower corn leaves and other green forage were gone or pigs
reached about 150 pounds. Smaller pigs might be able to enter
this system earlier, delaying the point at which serious crop
damage would occur. No man-made shelter was provided until the
stalks had all been knocked down and fall weather turned cold and
Applications for this system might include:
producing specialty locker pork;
raising gilts for replacements;
4-H or youth projects where facilities are limited;
to rest or repair existing facilities.
Areas needing attention to refine the management of this feeding
strategy include: (1) developing a sustainable rotation providing
high-protein forages (alsike/ladino type clovers and perennial
ryegrass?) on undisturbed soil; (2) determining a better
understanding of when to move pigs to fresh feed; (3) examining
ways to lengthen grazing time and feed production: (4) exploring
specialty markets; and (5) finding the best way to deal with
pests (herbicide grazing restrictions?) and worm, mange buildups.
The left drawing in Figure 4 shows the layout of the 1995
project. Three varieties of Crows Hi-lysine corn were planted
(early SL10, mid SL20, and full season SL48). Plant standability
and size of the SL10 made it too easy for the pigs to knock down.
Population needs to be heavy enough for good yields, but low
enough to get good stalk development (26,400 were planted in
'95). Nitrogen fertility levels returned to the soil will be
analyzed with the late spring nitrate test in 1996. The small
grain portion was planted using a shotgun approach including
oats, barley, wheat, berseem and medium red clovers, and
perennial ryegrass. Although these lodged and were overgrown
with weeds before pigs were introduced, many of the small grain
kernels were eaten. Those missed grew and were consumed as new
growth on the second rotation. The clovers did not survive well
with heavy overgrowth.
A plan for perpetual feeding strips (Figure 4 at right) uses a
seeding year to establish forages for growth the second year.
This system would leave seeding strips to minimize erosion, would
provide mechanical harvests of hay, small grains, and straw, but
would mean half the corn would be following corn. At its best,
this system would require inputs of minimal tillage, seed, and
early season weed control (mechanical or chemical), and machine
harvesting of hay small grains and straw, all of which are
saleable or usable in hog production. ]
40^ FOOTPRINTS OF A GRASS FARMER
Practical Ideas for a Roller Coaster Year
Tom Frantzen, Alta Vista
The early 1970s were known as "gung ho" days for agriculture.
Prices fluctuated wildly, land values rose, and many farmers
became zealously optimistic. Unfortunately, we know that few
farmers ever really benefited from those wild price rides.
I remember those years very well. In 1973, I rented my dad's sow
herd as an initial step to begin farming. We built a hog
finishing facility the following year. Nineteen seventy-four was
a true roller coaster year. As we finished the 128x88-foot hog
facility, I was informed by some local experts that there was no
future in hogs and that both grain and land prices would stay
high. Three years later the facility was paid for and corn was
$1.00 a bushel.
Nineteen ninety-six has the markets flexing their muscles. Land
prices are rising, and at least grain farmers are bullish.
Livestock profits are under pressure. Does this sound like an
old record? Whether you feel zealous or gloomy, the fact is that
good management will be rewarded this year.
What kind of alternative practices would respond with profits in
Cutting gestation sow feed cost with good quality pasture is an
obvious opportunity. Eliminating the protein and cutting the
amount of corn fed by 50% will save 24 per sow per day. With a
10-sows-per-acre stocking rate and a 5-month grazing season, this
practice can net an additional $300 an acre.
Profits from pasture farrowing will be elevated as well this
year. Again, good legume pastures offer opportunities to
eliminate protein feeding and cut grain use. I usually feed 1/3
less grain to pastured lactating sows.
After harvest last fall, I gleaned cornstalk fields with my sow
herd. Modern electric fencing made the job easy. Three weeks of
free sow feed made the task a very profitable one. This year I
am strategically planting corn varieties, planning for a
staggered harvest and immediate post harvest grazing
availability. Electric fencing, underground water systems and
strategic planting are key ingredients for profitability.
Currently we are restoring an old well, installing electric
service, and repairing line fences. When these improvements are
in place, the rest of the work will be minor.
Last fall we moved a six-foot-wide wooden corn crib to a site
along a pen where our sows are kept during the winter. The crib
was filled with high-lysine ear corn. Sow mineral, oats, and
whole ear corn fed both developing gilts and gestating sows last
winter. The gilts grew normally, the sows farrowed the finest
litters in the best condition that I have observed for years.
The protein savings and elimination of handling and drying
expenses made this a very profitable move. The crib worked so
well that we will move another one near a different floor this
Like it or not, farm profitability goes in cycles. This is a
direct contrast with the ever-increasing financial demands for
living expenses. A good management principle is to realize the
inevitable nature of fluctuating profits and to learn from their
impact. When times are tough, learn to cut operating costs and
eliminate overheads. It is difficult to predict when profitable
times will return. Who predicted $8.00 beans this past year?
When profits return, prudent farmers should invest money in
capturing the sun's energy efficiently. They should avoid
investments that rust, rot, or depreciate.
For a farmer to be sustainable long term, strategic investments
during profitable times, combined with routine monitoring of cash
expenses, will advance you toward your goals. ]
41^ FROM THE KITCHEN
Marj Stonecypher, Floyd
Spring is here??? Still feels like winter to me! I've mowed the
lawn three times. None of my garden is in (May 16). Only one
baby calf due. Should arrive any day.
Do any of you have a favorite recipe you would like to see in the
newsletter? Send it to me and I will include it. I also will
try it. I know some of you have some good recipes to share.
Here is one from our daughter-in-law Kelly. And rhubarb is
ready, so here is one from my kitchen.
MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE (from Kelly Stonecypher)
3 cups precooked shredded chicken
8-oz Cheese Whiz or Melted Velveeta
1 Medium size bag Cheese Doritos
1 10-oz can Rotel Chopped Tomatoes
1 10-oz can Cream Mushroom Soup
1 10-oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional)
In a mixing bowl combine soups, cheese and tomatoes. Cook in
microwave until thoroughly heated. In a greased 9x13 oblong pan,
layer Doritos in bottom and sides. Alternate a layer of cooked
chicken, cheese mixture, and repeat. Bake 45 minutes at 350
degrees preheated oven. Add grated cheese last 5 minutes. Let
set 10 minutes.
2+ cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
+ tsp. salt
1, cups brown sugar
+ cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk/sour milk
1+ cups chopped rhubarb
1 Tbsp. butter
+ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix topping ingredients first. Blend brown sugar, oil, egg,
vanilla and milk. Add rhubarb and mix well. Add dry ingredients
and mix only to blend. Put in ungreased muffin tins or muffin
bake cups. Spoon topping on top of muffins and press down with a
spoon. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees in preheated oven. Makes
about two dozen.
42^ CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
Correspondence to the PFI directors' addresses is always welcome.
Member contributions to the Practical Farmer are also welcome and
will be reviewed by the PFI board of directors.
District 1 (Northwest): Paul Mugge, 6190 470th St., Sutherland,
51058. (712) 446-2414.
Colin Wilson, 5482 450th St., Paullina, 51046. (712) 448-2708.
District 2 (North Central): Doug Alert, PFI Vice President, 972
110th St., Hampton, IA 50441. (515) 456-4328.
Don Davidson, RR 1, Box 133, Grundy Center, 50638. (319)
District 3 (Northeast): Walter Ebert, RR 1, Box 104, Plainfield,
50666. (319) 276-4444.
Dan Specht, RR 1, McGregor IA 52157. (319) 873-3873.
District 4 (Southwest): Robert Bahrenfus, 15365 S. 12th Ave. E.,
Grinnell, IA 50112. (515) 236-4566.
Vic Madsen, 2186 Goldfinch Ave., Audubon, 50025. (712) 563-3044.
District 5 (Southeast): David Lubben, PFI President, RR 3, Box
128, Monticello, IA 52310. (319) 465-4717.
Jeff Olson, 2273 140th St., Winfield, 52659. (319) 257-6967.
PFI Executive Vice President & Treasurer: Dick Thompson,
2035 190th St., Boone, 50036. (515) 432-1560.
Coordinators: Rick Exner, Gary Huber, Room 2104, Agronomy Hall,
ISU, Ames, Iowa, 50011. (515) 294-1923.
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Public Relations Coordinator: Maria Vakulskas Rosmann, 1222
Ironwood Rd., Harlan, 51537. (712) 627-4653.
43^ PFI MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORM
Zip Code __________________________________________________
Phone # (________) ________________________________________
This is a:
Do you derive a significant part of your income directly from
farming in Iowa?
Individual or family membership: $10 for one year, $25 for three
Please enclose check or money order payable to "Practical Farmers
of Iowa" and mail to:
Practical Farmers of Iowa
2035 190th St.
Boone, IA 50036-7423