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On-Farm: Conversations with Practical Farmers

Practical Farmers of Iowa

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On-Farm: Conversations with Practical Farmers

On-Farm: Conversations with Practical Farmers

Practical Farmers of Iowa

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About Us

Each week, we'll interview a different member of Practical Farmers of Iowa about their farm. We’ll hear practical information from all types of farmers: new and experienced; young and old; small and large; horticulture, livestock and row-crop farmers. We’ll talk with farmers about the issues most relevant to the farming community: the nitty gritty of growing and raising all sorts of plants and animals; on-farm research; protecting and improving soil and water quality; farm profitability; the challenges facing beginning farmers; building community in rural areas; and of course, food.

Latest Episodes

On-Farm, Episode 017: Maria and Ron Rosmann – Rosmann Family Farms

For the final episode of the first season of On-Farm, we visited the farm of Maria and Ron Rosmann of Rosmann Family Farms near Harlan.The Rosmanns have been instrumental in many of the most important agricultural movements of the last 30 years: They were pioneers in organic livestock and row crops, and were among the core of farm families that helped Practical Farmers of Iowa get off the ground in the mid 1980s. On today’s show, we’ll talk about the history of their farm, their upcoming field day on

56 MIN2017 AUG 31
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 017: Maria and Ron Rosmann – Rosmann Family Farms

On-Farm, Episode 016: Jamie Hostetler – Rolling Meadows Farm

This week on the show, we have Jamie Hostetler of Rolling Meadows. Jamie farms with his family near Bellevue in eastern Iowa, where they raise 100% grass-fed beef and sell Red Devon cattle for seed stock. In 2010, shortly after moving to the area, they seeded row crop ground down to pasture and have been practicing high-density grazing to regenerate the soil and produce gourmet-quality, grass-finished beef. On September 16, the Hostetlers will be hosting a field day on their farm focused on all things grass

48 MIN2017 AUG 25
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 016: Jamie Hostetler – Rolling Meadows Farm

On-Farm, Episode 015: Earl Canfield – Canfield Family Farm

This week on the show, we have Earl Canfield of Dunkerton in northeast Iowa. Earl farms with his wife Jane and their four children. The Canfield Family has spent the last two years relearning how to grow small grains in Iowa and they have researched machinery, production strategies and varieties, in addition to seeking potential market streams. One opportunity is to direct-market small grains to small-scale livestock owners as either whole grains or as part of complete mixed feeds. We'll talk about that and

55 MIN2017 AUG 18
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 015: Earl Canfield – Canfield Family Farm

On-Farm, Episode 014: Chris Teachout

This week on the show, we had Chris Teachout, who farms near Shenandoah in southwest Iowa with his wife Janenne. Chris is a fifth-generation farmer, and he and his family have been using conservation practices on their farm since the mid-80s. He raises corn, soybeans and small grains, and has been using no-till practices for over 20 years. Ultimately, his goal is to regenerate his soil with cover crops and biology. On this show, we talk with Chris about how he got started with cover crops, what soil health

55 MIN2017 AUG 10
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 014: Chris Teachout

On-Farm, Episode 013: Kevin Dietzel – Lost Lake Farm

This week, On-Farm traveled to Lost Lake Farm, the farm of Kevin and Ranae Dietzel, to talk to Kevin while he made mozzarella cheese and cheese curds. Lost Lake Farm is a small, grass-fed cow dairy that produces artisanal cheese in an on-farm cheesery. The Dietzels operate the farm with low capital and a small herd. They focus on what they're good at: grazing cattle and turning milk into a high-value product. Their cows are a mix of breeds, but are bred to Normande, a French breed known to produce milk for

92 MIN2017 AUG 3
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 013: Kevin Dietzel – Lost Lake Farm

On-Farm, Episode 012: Tyson Allchin – Allchin Acres

This week on the show, we have Tyson Allchin of Allchin Acres near Columbus Junction. Tyson has spent much of the last 10 years of his life learning everything he can about mushroom cultivation. He's grown a variety of different species of mushrooms, from oysters - which he says are the easiest to cultivate - to shiitake, to lion's mane and many others. He says that mushrooms are relatively easy to grow if you learn a few basic things, and we discuss all of it - from preparing a substrate, to inoculation, t

56 MIN2017 JUL 29
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 012: Tyson Allchin – Allchin Acres

On-Farm, Episode 011: Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres

This week, On-Farm is back on the road and today we’re visiting the farm of Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres – right on the Missouri border in south west Iowa. Several years ago, Russ retired from his job as a herdsman at the University of Illinois’s swine research farm and bought a farm near Bedford. Since then, he’s converted the ground to multispecies perennial pasture and prairie for his sheep, cattle and horses to graze. Although he’s spent a lifetime planning his farm and learning about an

53 MIN2017 JUL 22
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 011: Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres

On-Farm, Episode 010: Wendy Johnson – Joia Food Farm

This week on the show, On-Farm was back on the road, this time stopping at Joia Food Farm near Charles City to talk to PFI Board Vice President Wendy Johnson. Wendy and her husband Johnny own and operate the farm, where they raise a little of everything, from chickens and turkeys to pigs and sheep to organic row crops, and diversity is a tenet of their farm operation. They not only have a diversity of crops and livestock, but they feed their animals diverse feeds.

43 MIN2017 JUL 14
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 010: Wendy Johnson – Joia Food Farm

On-Farm, Episode 009: Marty Schnicker – Schnicker Specialties

Have you ever wondered how they grow those giant veggies at the state fair? This week on the show, we have Marty Schnicker of Schnicker Specialities, who has your answers. Marty, who farms with his wife Mary near Mt. Pleasant in southeast Iowa, knows how to grow really big vegetables. He holds the Iowa State Record for heaviest watermelon grown, tipping the scales at 209 lbs. But watermelons aren’t the only thing – they grow big everythings from cabbage to cantaloupe.

51 MIN2017 JUL 6
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 009: Marty Schnicker – Schnicker Specialties

On-Farm, Episode 008: Scott Ausborn

This week on the show, Scott Ausborn stopped by the KHOI studios. Scott farms with his parents, Jack and Linda, where they raise corn, soybeans, hay and pasture as well as sheep and cattle. He also works for Blue River Hybrids, an organic seed company based in Ames, and he serves as board president for the Iowa Organic Association. Scott and his family are currently transitioning some of their farm to organic, and on the show we talk about that, from why they decided to transition to how the process works.

47 MIN2017 JUN 29
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 008: Scott Ausborn

Latest Episodes

On-Farm, Episode 017: Maria and Ron Rosmann – Rosmann Family Farms

For the final episode of the first season of On-Farm, we visited the farm of Maria and Ron Rosmann of Rosmann Family Farms near Harlan.The Rosmanns have been instrumental in many of the most important agricultural movements of the last 30 years: They were pioneers in organic livestock and row crops, and were among the core of farm families that helped Practical Farmers of Iowa get off the ground in the mid 1980s. On today’s show, we’ll talk about the history of their farm, their upcoming field day on

56 MIN2017 AUG 31
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 017: Maria and Ron Rosmann – Rosmann Family Farms

On-Farm, Episode 016: Jamie Hostetler – Rolling Meadows Farm

This week on the show, we have Jamie Hostetler of Rolling Meadows. Jamie farms with his family near Bellevue in eastern Iowa, where they raise 100% grass-fed beef and sell Red Devon cattle for seed stock. In 2010, shortly after moving to the area, they seeded row crop ground down to pasture and have been practicing high-density grazing to regenerate the soil and produce gourmet-quality, grass-finished beef. On September 16, the Hostetlers will be hosting a field day on their farm focused on all things grass

48 MIN2017 AUG 25
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 016: Jamie Hostetler – Rolling Meadows Farm

On-Farm, Episode 015: Earl Canfield – Canfield Family Farm

This week on the show, we have Earl Canfield of Dunkerton in northeast Iowa. Earl farms with his wife Jane and their four children. The Canfield Family has spent the last two years relearning how to grow small grains in Iowa and they have researched machinery, production strategies and varieties, in addition to seeking potential market streams. One opportunity is to direct-market small grains to small-scale livestock owners as either whole grains or as part of complete mixed feeds. We'll talk about that and

55 MIN2017 AUG 18
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 015: Earl Canfield – Canfield Family Farm

On-Farm, Episode 014: Chris Teachout

This week on the show, we had Chris Teachout, who farms near Shenandoah in southwest Iowa with his wife Janenne. Chris is a fifth-generation farmer, and he and his family have been using conservation practices on their farm since the mid-80s. He raises corn, soybeans and small grains, and has been using no-till practices for over 20 years. Ultimately, his goal is to regenerate his soil with cover crops and biology. On this show, we talk with Chris about how he got started with cover crops, what soil health

55 MIN2017 AUG 10
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 014: Chris Teachout

On-Farm, Episode 013: Kevin Dietzel – Lost Lake Farm

This week, On-Farm traveled to Lost Lake Farm, the farm of Kevin and Ranae Dietzel, to talk to Kevin while he made mozzarella cheese and cheese curds. Lost Lake Farm is a small, grass-fed cow dairy that produces artisanal cheese in an on-farm cheesery. The Dietzels operate the farm with low capital and a small herd. They focus on what they're good at: grazing cattle and turning milk into a high-value product. Their cows are a mix of breeds, but are bred to Normande, a French breed known to produce milk for

92 MIN2017 AUG 3
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 013: Kevin Dietzel – Lost Lake Farm

On-Farm, Episode 012: Tyson Allchin – Allchin Acres

This week on the show, we have Tyson Allchin of Allchin Acres near Columbus Junction. Tyson has spent much of the last 10 years of his life learning everything he can about mushroom cultivation. He's grown a variety of different species of mushrooms, from oysters - which he says are the easiest to cultivate - to shiitake, to lion's mane and many others. He says that mushrooms are relatively easy to grow if you learn a few basic things, and we discuss all of it - from preparing a substrate, to inoculation, t

56 MIN2017 JUL 29
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 012: Tyson Allchin – Allchin Acres

On-Farm, Episode 011: Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres

This week, On-Farm is back on the road and today we’re visiting the farm of Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres – right on the Missouri border in south west Iowa. Several years ago, Russ retired from his job as a herdsman at the University of Illinois’s swine research farm and bought a farm near Bedford. Since then, he’s converted the ground to multispecies perennial pasture and prairie for his sheep, cattle and horses to graze. Although he’s spent a lifetime planning his farm and learning about an

53 MIN2017 JUL 22
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 011: Russ Wischover – Windswept Acres

On-Farm, Episode 010: Wendy Johnson – Joia Food Farm

This week on the show, On-Farm was back on the road, this time stopping at Joia Food Farm near Charles City to talk to PFI Board Vice President Wendy Johnson. Wendy and her husband Johnny own and operate the farm, where they raise a little of everything, from chickens and turkeys to pigs and sheep to organic row crops, and diversity is a tenet of their farm operation. They not only have a diversity of crops and livestock, but they feed their animals diverse feeds.

43 MIN2017 JUL 14
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 010: Wendy Johnson – Joia Food Farm

On-Farm, Episode 009: Marty Schnicker – Schnicker Specialties

Have you ever wondered how they grow those giant veggies at the state fair? This week on the show, we have Marty Schnicker of Schnicker Specialities, who has your answers. Marty, who farms with his wife Mary near Mt. Pleasant in southeast Iowa, knows how to grow really big vegetables. He holds the Iowa State Record for heaviest watermelon grown, tipping the scales at 209 lbs. But watermelons aren’t the only thing – they grow big everythings from cabbage to cantaloupe.

51 MIN2017 JUL 6
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 009: Marty Schnicker – Schnicker Specialties

On-Farm, Episode 008: Scott Ausborn

This week on the show, Scott Ausborn stopped by the KHOI studios. Scott farms with his parents, Jack and Linda, where they raise corn, soybeans, hay and pasture as well as sheep and cattle. He also works for Blue River Hybrids, an organic seed company based in Ames, and he serves as board president for the Iowa Organic Association. Scott and his family are currently transitioning some of their farm to organic, and on the show we talk about that, from why they decided to transition to how the process works.

47 MIN2017 JUN 29
Comments
On-Farm, Episode 008: Scott Ausborn
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