Practical Farmers of Iowa takes its farmer-to-farmer education format online with its farminar series, beginning Nov. 14 and continuing each Tuesday night through the end of the year. The popular webinar series offers practical knowledge for row crop, livestock and fruit and vegetable farmers and is free for anyone with an Internet connection to participate.


Held every Tuesday at 7 p.m., each farminar focuses on a unique production or business management topic. All presentations are led by an experienced farmer or subject-matter expert, and attendees are able to ask questions in real time using a chatbox while they listen and watch a slideshow.


The first farminar of the season features Jim and LeeAnn Van Der Pol and their experience transferring management and ownership of their farm and pasture-raised meat business to their children. Trying to be fair to off-farm heirs along with the children and grandchildren who work on the farm is a delicate balance.


“Josh and Cindy have been here a long time, and we are trying to reward them for the effort they have put into the farm,” said Jim Van Der Pol.“Two years ago, we made Josh and Cindy 60 percent owners of the LLP — which we are using to edge ourselves out of the farming operation. Our plan is to keep passing over shares until we have a minor share or are out.”


Together with farm transition attorney Rachel Dahl, they’ll offer suggestions to help maintain both family health and business health through a farm transition.


Other farminar topics this season include managing a profitable marketing mix for fruit and vegetable growers; terminating cover crops using a roller-crimper; growing specialty cut flowers; and integrating cattle to make cover crops profitable.


To participate: Go to practicalfarmers.org/farminars and click the “Join in” button and select to sign in as “Guest.” A schedule for all upcoming farminars — as well as the recordings for 138 past farminars — is also available at this link.