Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2013 Field Day Guide is freshly printed, and with it, Practical Farmers’ summer field day season is getting underway. This year’s roster of events includes nearly 50 field days showcasing diverse farming, livestock, land management, farm business and on-farm energy and conservation practices at locations across Iowa. The field day guide also lists events from partner organizations.

The guide is available to view or download for free online at www.practicalfarmers.org, and features a map of Iowa showing where events will take place. All field days are open to the public, occur rain or shine and most are free to attend. To request a 2013 Field Day Guide by mail, call the PFI office at (515) 232-5661.

Practical Farmers of Iowa field days give farmers the chance to network with their peers, showcase innovative farming practices and provide the public with a prime opportunity to learn first-hand about the scope and diversity of agriculture in Iowa. Events feature farmer-led discussions, farm or field tours, pasture walks, on-farm research and demonstration projects, and the chance to enjoy local foods.

Kim Alexander, a farmer and grazier in western Iowa who will host a field day on June 5 near Smithland, says nothing compares to the knowledge and experience one gets from attending a field day. “Nothing takes the place of seeing and doing,” Kim says, adding that while he can read about different farming practices or projects, “if I can’t visualize I’m still lost. But if I can see what somebody else has done with my own two eyes, I feel like I can do it.”

This season’s suite of events will cover a wide array of topics, ranging from cover crops, on-farm energy, raising fresh produce through the fall, and livestock grazing and watering to setting up on-farm research, poultry processing, orchard production, brewing and distilling with local small grains and conserving native pollinators on the farm, among many others.