Practical Farmers of Iowa announces newest class of beginning farmers admitted to the Savings Incentive Program
AMES, Iowa - Practical Farmers of Iowa has selected 25 beginning farmers to enroll into its Savings Incentive Program. This is the third round of enrollees, bringing the total number of beginning farmers being served by the program to 59. The Savings...
AMES, Iowa - Practical Farmers of Iowa has selected 25 beginning farmers to enroll into its Savings Incentive Program. This is the third round of enrollees, bringing the total number of beginning farmers being served by the program to 59. The Savings Incentive Program seeks to support the next generation of farmers by fostering savings and money management skills, providing farmer mentors, helping develop business plans, offering targeted learning opportunities and providing a savings match at the end of the program.
The new enrollees, who will be in the Savings Incentive Program from January 2013 through December 2014, represent a diverse mix of farm enterprises and locations in Iowa. Of the 25 admitted, 12 raise vegetables, four grow row crops, four raise beef cows, three raise meat goats, three raise pigs, three pasture chickens, three grow herbs, two run a dairy, two raise turkeys, two grow cut flowers, two raise sheep, two grow berries and fruit, one raises rabbits and one breeds herding dogs. In addition, one enrollee is a recent immigrant from Laos, another from Sudan. The new Savings Incentive Program enrollees from north Iowa are:
Anne Bohl , Decorah; Kevin and Ranae Dietzel, Jewell; John and Sarah Gilbert, Iowa Falls; Dave Hiler, Rockwell City; Scott Koether, McGregor; Loren Luitjens, Ashton; Tracy Meise, Mason City; Danelle Myer, Logan; Ben Pullen, Spencer; Neal Vellema, Harris; Angela Winburn, Malcom; and Susan Yario, Springville.
"I farm corn and beans and thought that if I got accepted into the Savings Incentive Program, I could try other things, for instance, raising lambs or doing some cover crop work," says Dave Hiler, who farms two hundred acres near Rockwell City with his cousin. "I'm looking forward to networking with other people and seeing if I can do other things that would add value on the farm."
Danelle Myer, who grows vegetables and herbs near Logan, in far western Iowa, says she thinks being part of the Savings Incentive Program will help get her get more engaged with other farmers like her across the state.
"Because of where I'm located, it's hard for me to feel connected to people in Des Moines or eastern Iowa," says Myer, who started her farm, One Farm, two years ago. "This program will be a great way for me to get more engaged in Practical Farmers of Iowa, while offering me the opportunity to acquire something special for my farm." Myer hopes to use the money she will save through the Savings Incentive Program to build a vegetable packing shed on the farm.
The Savings Incentive Program works by encouraging enrollees to save up to $100 per month for two years. Upon completion of all program requirements, participants will earn a dollar-for-dollar match on money saved up to $2,400, for a possible $4,800 to use towards the purchase of a farm asset.
The Savings Incentive Program is part of Practical Farmers of Iowa's Next Generation Program, which helps more than 800 beginning farmers in Iowa and surrounding states to network and learn from each other and experienced farmers through field days, farminars, workshops, retreats and other events. Practical Farmers will open applications for a fourth round of participants next fall.
Educational aspects of the Savings Incentive Program are made possible through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21843 and the Cedar Tree Foundation. Savings match funds were made available through a Practical Farmers of Iowa fundraising campaign, as well as Assets for Independence.