Conference Overview

Thursday, January 18

Noon - 1 p.m.  Short Course Registration 
1 - 6:30 p.m.  Short Course 

Friday, January 19

8 - 11:30 a.m.  Short Course Continue 
11 a.m.  Conference registration opens
Exhibit Hall Opens 
12:30 p.m.  Silent Auction opens 
12:30 - 2 p.m.  Session I Friday Workshops
2 - 3 p.m.  1-hour networking break in Exhibit Hall
Support our sponsors! 
3 - 4:30 p.m.  Session II Friday Workshops
4:45 p.m.  Practical Farmers Update  
5:15 p.m.  Sustainable Agriculture
Achievement Award Presentation 
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.  Keynote Address 
7 - 11 p.m.  PFI Potluck, CPMI Event Center 2321 North Loop Dr., Ames

Saturday, January 20

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.  Registration & Breakfast  
7:30 a.m.  Exhibit Hall Opens 
8:30 - 9:40 a.m.  Session I Sat Workshops 
10 - 11:10 a.m.  Session II Sat Workshops  
11:30 - 12:30 p.m.  Lunch 
1 - 2:10 p.m.  Session III Sat Workshops  
2:30 - 3:40 p.m.  Session IV Sat Workshops  
4 - 5:10 p.m.  Session V Sat Workshops  

4:45 p.m. FRIDAY


Get a summary of our work in 2017 and hear plans for 2018 and beyond. We just completed our strategic plan for 2018-2020 and look forward to sharing our mission, vision and priorities for the coming years. Board elections will also take place; please come and vote!

7 p.m. FRIDAY | Meet Old Friends and New!


Please bring a side dish and beverages to share. Practical Farmers will provide a main dish, water and tableware. Potluck party Hosts: Ty and Bobbie Gustafson of Story City Locker, and Donna Prizgintas and Lonna Nachtigal of the DonnaLonna Kitchen show.
You may drop off at Scheman when you arrive for the conference, and we will transport it for you! We can keep food hot or cold.

7:30 a.m. SATURDAY


Show up early for hot food, coffee and tea, and get to know people from all over the Midwest.


Please consider donating quality gifts to this long-standing silent auction. Proceeds provide Practical Farmers with funds to be member-directed. Examples of popular silent auction gifts include books, seeds or plant stock, gift baskets and handmade items.


Are you a certified crop advisor?

Attend Practical Farmers' annual conference to earn up to 15.5 continuing education credits (CEUs) in four categories:

crop management

integrated pest management

nutrient management

soil & water management 

Note: While there are 19 total CEUs, a few sessions run concurrently.

Pre-Conference Short Course: "Soils: Cultivating a Deeper Understanding" (7.5 CEUs -- 3 in nutrient management; 3 in soil & water management; 1.5 in crop management)

"An Economic Evaluation of Cover Crops in Midwestern Agriculture" (1.5 CEUs in crop management)

"Using Habitat to Increase Beneficial Insects on Fruit and Vegetable Farms" (1.5 CEUs in integrated pest management)

"Carbonomics" (1.5 CEUs in soil & water management)

"Soil Health and Grazing - Can They Coexist?" (1 CEU in soil & water management)

"Using the SmartMix Calculator to Develop Good Cover Crop Mixes" (1 CEU in crop management)

"Learning From On-Farm Research: Field Crops" (1 CEU in crop management)

"Off-Target Movement: Can Herbicides Be Kept in Place?" (1 CEU in integrated pest management)

"Using Tea Bags to Assess Soil: A Low-Cost Approach?" (1 CEU in nutrient management)

"Learning From On-Farm Research: Livestock" (1 CEU in crop management)

Soil Health: Continuous Testing, Continual Learning" (1 CEU in nutrient management)