Practical Farmers’ 2022 annual conference features Spanish-language sessions and support – Jan. 21-22 in Ames, Iowa

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AMES, Iowa (Dec. 30, 2021) — Spanish-speaking Iowans and farmers are invited to attend Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2022 annual conference, “Facing the Horizon.” The event, which will include multiple Spanish-language sessions and support, is part of PFI’s efforts to make its 2022 annual conference more accessible and welcoming to Latino farmers and other Spanish-speaking attendees.

The conference takes place Jan. 21-22 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa, and will feature a range of sessions for beginning and aspiring Latino farmers, as well as support for Spanish speakers, including:

  • seven sessions that will be offered either bilingually or with live Spanish interpretation on topics ranging from marketing and business planning to farm diversification, infrastructure and production, among others

In a session on Saturday, Jan. 22, for instance, Hilda Moreno will share how she developed her 3-acre diversified poultry, emu and vegetable farm from scratch over the past few years in Fremont, Nebraska, as well as the lessons she has learned and her plans for the future.

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  • Spanish interpretation of the keynote address by restoration biologist Laura Jackson, and the Saturday storytelling sessions featuring PFI farmers
  • simultaneous interpretive headsets available for free to access sessions not available in Spanish
  • Spanish-language version of the conference website and program book, and conference directional signage in Spanish
  • Special “Hablo Español” stickers that staff, exhibitors and speakers will wear to make it easy for Spanish-speaking attendees to identify others who speak Spanish. Other attendees will have the option as well.
  • a conference registration booth staffed by at least one fluent Spanish speaker at all times

Practical Farmers is also offering scholarships for free entry to monolingual Spanish speakers who have never attended a PFI conference before. To apply, visit practicalfarmers.org/espanol2022 and use the registration form at the bottom of that page. You can also download and print the Spanish-language version of the brochure, available at that link, and fill out the paper form on page 17, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661.

Scholarships are also available for first-time attendees, regardless of language status, who are beginning or aspiring farmers; Black, Indigenous, Latino or other farmers belonging to historically underserved and marginalized groups; military veterans; and farmers with limited resources. Apply at practicalfarmers.org/espanol2022 or practicalfarmers.org/2022-annual-conference, or by calling (515) 232-5661.

“We know that over 130,000 Iowans speak Spanish at home, and many are involved in agricultural and food system work. Offering Spanish-language sessions and content will make our conference more accessible and welcoming for this audience,” says Liz Kolbe, PFI’s education and engagement director. 

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“We also want to empower Latino Iowans who aspire to farm with the knowledge and networks that can help them reach their goals. The sessions we’ve chosen to offer in Spanish cover vital beginning farmer issues, like business planning, marketing and starting out with enterprises that can be successful at a smaller scale.”

Other conference highlights include: 

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  • A keynote by Laura Jackson, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at University of Northern Iowa and co-author of the book “The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems”
  • 61 farmer-led sessions exploring conventional and organic field crops, small grains, horticulture, livestock and on-farm habitat, as well as sessions planned for landowners, non-farmers and beginning farmers
  • on-site childcare both days of the conference
  • a silent auction of special experiences offered by PFI farmers and members
  • a local foods lunch on Saturday, free breakfast on Saturday and snacks sourced from PFI members and local businesses
  • A tradeshow and many opportunities to network with other participants

The cost for those who don’t qualify for a scholarship is $75 per day for non-PFI members, or $55 per day for PFI members – but one ticket covers up to 10 people listed under farm and household or lifetime memberships. 

Rates increase after the pre-registration deadline of Jan. 13, after which all registrations are walk-in only. The student rate is $30, regardless of membership status, which covers entry for both Friday and Saturday with a valid student ID.

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COVID-19 Policy: Properly worn face masks will be required indoors for all attendees over age 3, regardless of vaccination status, except when actively eating or drinking. More details about the COVID-19 safety precautions we’re taking at the conference are at practicalfarmers.org/espanol2022.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2022 annual conference is supported by several major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Clif Bar; Grain Millers, Inc.; Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health; Niman Ranch; Peoples Company; Regenerative Agriculture Alliance; Sunderman Farm Management Co.; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.

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About Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit http://practicalfarmers.org.

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