IOA strives to offer information to our members and the general public on a variety of topics related to organic and sustainable agriculture. If you have a resource to share, please contact us to make a suggestion.
IOA assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any omission or error in the information available.
Table of Contents
- Organic Certification
- Transition to Organic Agriculture
- Organic and Federal FarmBill Programs
- Pesticide Drift
- Organic Marketing
- Organic Education- General
- Organic Livestock
- Organic Crops
- Federal Commodity Check-off & Organic Exemption Forms
- Avian Flu & Organic Production Resources
- Beginning Farmers
- Organic Gardening
- Healthy Living
National Organic Program (Organic Regulations, NOSB, Certification, and more information)
Vegetable Farmers Guide to Organic Certification (National Young Farmers Coalition)
Making the Transition to Organic: Ten Farm Profiles: Written by the University of Minnesota, this publication highlights organic opportunities and offers strategies to address the unique challenges that transitioning producers face. It features livestock, crop, and vegetable producers who were in the process of transitioning or were recently certified organic between 2012 and 2015.
Organic Transition Course (Rodale) -FREE ONLINE COURSE: Organic Transition Course is a 15-hour online program designed to help you understand the National Organic Standards and use them as your framework for making the transition to organic production.
Organic Transition Guide: This guide, created by Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), will walk you step-by-step through the transition process. It explains the organic standards, methods organic farmers use to produce high quality organic food, and the certification process.
Organic Transition Workbook: This workbook, created by Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), uses a whole farm planning process to walk you through developing an organic management system, and ultimately an Organic System Plan that will prepare you to apply for certification.
Sensitive Crops Directory: A voluntary Iowa registry for organic, sensitive crop, and aviary sites.
IDALS Pesticide Bureau Pesticide Investigation and Enforcement: Details how the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) handle pesticide misuse.
Protect Your Right to Farm: Pesticide Drift Response Guide for Iowa's Farmers and Rural Residents: A brochure detailing what to do if you or your farm has been sprayed by pesticide drift in Iowa.
Private Labs for Pesticide Residue Testing: Compiled by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), these private labs can often get farmers' their test results in a matter of weeks, compared to the 6-8 months it typically takes IDALS to return the testing information.
Summary of Public Record: IDALS Pesticide Bureau Case Files for Alleged Spray Drift to Organic, Fruits and Vegetables, and Horticulture. 2008-2012: A Practical Farmers of Iowa report on Iowa Pesticide Drift Incidents.
Kids on the Frontline: A report by the Pesticide Action Network that includes a rigorous assessment of dozens of independent studies documenting links between pesticide exposure and children’s health harms. The science linking agricultural pesticides to childhood health harms — particularly leukemia, brain tumors and developmental disorders — has grown increasingly strong. While children across the country are exposed in various ways, those living in rural, agricultural communities are on the frontlines of both pesticide exposure and the associated health risks. This report highlights Iowa as one of the 4 states included in the report.
University of Minnesota Organic Dairy Extension: Lessons from experience at the University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center. Includes information on all aspects of organic dairy farming.
Iowa State University Organic Program Research Results by Year: Includes organic research results on the longterm organic vs conventions study, corn seed coating, compost, edamame, soybean diseases, soybean fertility, soybean staining, soybean varieties, sweet corn, open-pollinated corn, organic corn hybrid varieties, soil quality, cover crops, organic no-till, organic economics, wheat, flax, grapes, squash, green beans and peas, tomatoes, tillage, soil amendments, apples, broccoli, fruit, and more...
All organic producers are now exempt from federal commodity checkoff programs. You must apply for your exemption annually to each individual checkoff board. The exemption forms for the various commodities can be found here: https://www.ams.usda.gov/resources/rp-organic-exemption For more information about the new 2016 regulation, read this document.
Biosecurity Guide for Poultry and Bird Owners (USDA APHIS)
Biosecurity for Birds: Avian Influenza (one-page poster in both English and Spanish)
Avian Influenza Findings Emphasize the Need for Good Biosecurity (USDA APHIS 2-pager)
Biosecurity in USDA Organic Poultry Operations (USDA AMS 2016)
Guide for Beginning Farmers (Greenhorns) is designed to help young people develop careers in agriculture. It highlights helpful readings and resources about land access, financing farm businesses, and building technical skills.
Starting or Diversifying an Agricultural Business (Penn State Extension) reviews all the steps of starting a business, from analyzing business opportunities to getting off the ground.
Getting Started (Cornell Univ. Northeast Beginning Farmers Project) This guide focuses on identifying your goals, skills, and resources to build an enterprise.
How to Begin Your Small Farm Dream (New Entry Sustainable Farming Project) This guide provides a clear overview of the benefits and challenges of owning a farm, as well as the resources to realize those benefits.
Start a Farm in the City Guide (ATTRA) A guide for starting an urban farm, touching on soil testing, finding markets, and resources specifically for urban farmers.
A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers (ISU) Geared for people interested in teaching a Beginning Farmer Training program. The curriculum in this manual is divided into three parts: production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning/basic finances. Each module is organized by learning objectives and includes narrative, hands-on activities, and links to worksheets and additional resources.
Consumer Guides: Environmental Working Group: The Environmental Working Group annually evaluates products for healthy living including pesticide residues on food, children's cereals, sunscreen, body products, household cleaning products, insect repellent, water filters, seafood, etc.
What’s On My Food? is a searchable database from the Pesticide Action Network designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable. You can search any US produce and find out the probable pesticide residue and health affects.