Our Background

Partners IN Food and Farming (PIFF) grew from a need for a more connected farming community and a more resilient food system for Hoosiers. The work started with the great folks at Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition (HYFC), a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition. They got to work connect beginning farmers across the state by hosting farm tours and potlucks; running programs like their Fellowship; and highlighting under heard farmer voices. Their work proved that there was a need for more farmer-to-farmer programming in Indiana but they started to hit the boundaries of what else they could take on as an all-volunteer group. Their work was critical to our launch because it showed the need for a full-time, stand-alone organization serving Indiana's food and farming community.  HYFC and NYFC lent their support, and PIFF blossomed out of this incredibly strong foundation.

In 2021, PIFF received a huge boost when the Northwest Indiana Food Council included PIFF's launch as a major deliverable of their Regional Food Systems Partnership grant (more information about that grant can be found here). PIFF was founded to be the network of networks and a way for farmers to receive peer-to-peer training. We provide farmer-to-farmer programming and services that help our sustainable farmers build community as well as the skills to ensure the viability of their farms. We believe in creating a stronger farming and food community through the creation of training and networking opportunities throughout the state. 

Currently, we offer programs focused on farmer-to-farmer learning, including our mentorship program and field days.  Our mentorship program just finished its inaugural run, and round two of this pilot is underway. The mentorship matches beginning farmers with more established farmers, and gives them paid time to learn from each other. Our field days focus on learning the nuts and bolts of production AND on building a sense of farmer community. Last year, we hosted two field days on bale grazing and a seven-part series on season extension. For more information on those and all of our future events, please visit our Events webpage.

We're also exploring ways to being a connector in the larger food and farming landscape. Currently, we co-host the Indiana Farmland Community of Practice, in an effort to bring together folks whose work intersects with farmland access and farmland conservation, and find solutions for Indiana. Our goal is to have PIFF  play this "convener" role to help catalyze and amplify good work that is happening across Indiana.

As PIFF grows, we will begin to add more services such as business development and grant support for farmers and other nonprofits, a speaker directory, and more. We are grateful to the many individuals and groups who have helped make our launch possible, including the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition, Purdue Extension, Urban Soil Health, Northwest Indiana Food Council, and other organizations across the state.