Cultivating Connections – PFI Annual Conference 2019


I think as farmers we have to cultivate connections
all the time. We cultivate connections with each other through
collaboration. We cultivate connections with our crops as
we learn to help our farms become more resilient in different weather patterns and things like
that. Everything that I’ve learned from a production
standpoint in my farming has come through connections with PFI farmers. As farmers we need community and we need to
know that we’re not the only ones out there. There’s just a great vibe when you live in
a rural community where people want to do things to improve the community, to help each
other out. I think cultivating connections is seeing
the connections that are there and not only seeing them but helping to figure out how
to deepen those connections. I really like the exchange of ideas. It’s a little more unique where you feel like
in different ways that you can succeed as a farmer. There’s just an incredible diversity of people,
diversity of ideas. The sessions range across the board and so
you can always learn something, you can always reconnect with individuals you might not have
seen for months or maybe a full year. You can really poke their brains and kind
of connect with those people that are thinking differently that are doing things that interest
you. Maybe you’re not even expecting it, but someone
comes up and asks you a question and there you are involved in a conversation you thought
you would never have. PFI provides that resource for community,
but it also provides a way to learn from each other, to share meals together. I don’t know where else in Iowa you could
get that. I love the PFI conference because it’s a way
to connect with other farmers. It’s one of the only places you can go and
connect with almost a thousand other farmers who are doing similar, yet different things
on their farms all across the state and coming together in one place at one time to share
those resources with each other. And I also go because the food is really really
good.

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