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pplications now open for the aspiring farmers

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 10:38 a.m. CDT

AMES — Practical Farmers of Iowa is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Savings Incentive Program. The two-year program seeks to help beginning and aspiring farmers achieve success with their farm start-ups by pairing participants with experienced mentors; offering business plan support and the chance to save money and receive matching funds; access to learning opportunities; and connection to a network of supportive farmers.

Up to 25 beginning farmers will be admitted to this fifth round of programming. Those admitted will be part of the Class of 2016, and are selected by a committee of PFI members using a scoring system that rewards a noticeable commitment to developing applicants’ independent farming goals. Selections will be made in early November.

As part of the program, participants will be paired with a mentor, with whom they must meet in-person at least three times in the first year.

To be eligible, applicants must either be farming on their own now and have farmed for five or fewer years, or have some experience working for a farm business. This includes, but is not limited to: internships, apprenticeships, working as an hourly or salaried employee or working on the family farm. 

Applicants must also reside in Iowa or farm in the state (out-of-state residents are eligible, so long as they are farming in Iowa), and be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Applications will be accepted now through Oct. 3.

To access an application online, visit www.practicalfarmers.org, or call the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a copy through the mail.

For questions, contact Sally Worley at (515) 232-5661.