Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) was founded in 1985, a time when farmers were under great economic pressure. During that time, Iowa agriculture was in a threefold crisis: Evidence of the negative ecological consequences of agricultural practices was mounting; the collapse of commodity prices called into question the economic sustainability of agriculture; and the demise of thousands of farms was draining the vitality of rural communities. Amid the turmoil of that time period, farmers sought ways to bring greater diversity to their farms as a means of reducing the need for costly inputs. A group of like-minded farmers came together looking for answers to how to make crop and livestock diversity work for them. PFI uses farmer-led investigation and information sharing to help farmers practice an agriculture that benefits both the land and people. Their values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration, and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology.