Paid, on-Farm training Positions

Hello ComFoodies,


Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) is recruiting beginning farmers who are looking for on-farm employment and are motivated about learning the business of farming. As part of PFI's Labor4Learning program, there are 12 PFI member farms across the state and from all farming enterprises who are seeking a trainee for the 2015 season.


A news release is attached, copied below, and is available on our website at


Please contact Steve Carlson at for more information, or visit


Beginning Farmers: Get paid farming experience through Labor4Learning with Practical Farmers of Iowa


AMES, Iowa — Are you a beginning or aspiring farmer looking for a paid work opportunity that will offer real-world insights into the business and life of farming? If so, consider applying to Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Labor4Learning Program. The program, now entering its third year, seeks to give beginners who are considering a farming career paid on-the-job experience while helping established farmers attract high-quality, motivated farm employees.

This year, 12 PFI member farms across Iowa are seeking to hire a trainee for the 2015 growing season. Job opportunities range from planting and harvesting row crops at Maple Edge Farm near Council Bluffs, Iowa, to greenhouse production at Salama Greenhouse in Boone, Iowa, and everything in-between. A complete list of participating farm locations and enterprises is included below, and detailed job descriptions can be found at

Benefits: In addition to securing paid employment on a PFI member farm, selected trainees develop a set of learning outcomes with their trainers to focus on throughout the term of employment. Learning outcomes can include farm management such as business planning and financing as well as production practices and hands-on skills. Trainees also:

  • Are eligible for a day of paid time off to attend a PFI event during their term of employment
  • Receive a discounted rate to attend the PFI Annual Conference in January 2016
  • Receive preference for free home-stay lodging during the 2016 conference
  • Have opportunities to connect with other PFI trainees

Experienced farmers benefit from having an employee who is highly motivated to work and eager to learn about the business of running a farm.

Beginning farmer Jack Davis participated as a trainee in 2014, saying “It really worked out great, I was able to really dive into farm training, bee keeping, and financial training. This program gave me the right questions I needed to ask when starting my own farm. Great program!”

Qualifications: To become a trainee, applicants must apply to and be hired by a training farm; have a strong desire to learn about the business of farming; and be a current member of Practical Farmers of Iowa (individual or whole-farm membership types both qualify). Those who want to apply but aren’t currently PFI members can sign up at or by calling Erica Andorf at (515) 232-5661.

For questions about the Labor4Learning Program, contact Steve Carlson at or (515) 232-5661.

2015 Trainer Farms


Jon Bakehouse– Maple Edge Farm – Hastings – MILLS COUNTY
Corn, soy, alfalfa, beef cattle, pasture, small grains

Andy and Melissa Dunham – Grinnell Heritage Farm – Grinnell – POWESHIEK COUNTY
Certified organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef cattle, hay, poultry

Rob Faux – Genuine Faux Farm – Tripoli – BREMER COUNTY
Certified Organic fruits and vegetables, poultry

Rick and Stacy Hartmann – Small Potatoes Farm – Minburn – DALLAS COUNTTY
Certified organic fruits and vegetables, poultry

Ryan Herman – Herman’s Heartland Farm – New Albin – ALLAMAKEE COUNTY
Beef cow/calf, beef yearling grazing, custom beef grazing, sheep

Susan Jutz – ZJ Farms – Solon – JOHNSON COUNTY
Fruits and vegetables, seed garlic, grass-fed sheep

Denise O’Brien and Larry Harris – Rolling Acres Farm – Atlantic – CASS COUNTY
Produce, cover crops, poultry

Jeff and Gayle Olson – J&G Olson Farms – Winfield – HENRY COUNTY
Corn, soybean, beef cattle, specialty crops

James Nisly – Organic Greens, LLC – Kalona – WASHINGTON COUNTY
Mini greens, micro greens, asparagus, cabbage and sweet potatoes

Mike Salama – Salama Greenhouse – Boone – BOONE COUNTY
Greenhouse production: ornamentals, vegetables

Ben Saunders – Wabi Sabi Farm – Des Moines – POLK COUNTY
Certified organic fruits and vegetables

Erik Sessions – Patchwork Green Farm – Decorah – WINNESHIEK COUNTY
Organically grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers


Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit

Publicaton Date: 
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 12:00am
Company Name: 
Practical Farmers of Iowa
Job Type: