Saturday, January 12, 2008

Practical Farmers of Iowa Gather in Des Moines for Annual Conference

The Practical Farmers of Iowa gathered in Des Moines Friday and Saturday for an annual conference featuring a full schedule of educational seminars.

The organization serves Iowa farmers by promoting ecologically-sound and profitable farming techniques. There are approximately 700 members of the organization in Iowa and neighboring states.

Workshops held at the conference included sessions on soil quality and organic farming, a discussion on the new federal farm bill and a seminar exclusively for beginning farmers.

On Friday, the organization held a screening of the documentary film "King Corn," followed by a session hosted by the film's director Aaron Woolf and co-star Curt Ellis.

One of the major initiatives led by PFI is an effort to create a new "Iowa Food Cooperative" that would operate as an internet-based food distribution system linking farmers and consumers. The cooperative would bring together Iowa's existing farmers' markets and community-supported-agriculture programs to help put fresh Iowa foods on the tables of Iowa consumers.

Iowa Independent visited with PFI executive director Teresa Opheim, who explains the organization in this short video:

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