The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) is a statewide, 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to organic education, advocacy and cooperation. Our membership is a diverse community of Iowa’s organic farmers, gardeners, food and farm businesses, advocates and consumers who are devoted to building a more sustainable Iowa.


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IOA Field Day: Breeding Mung Beans at ISU, Alternative Crop Options for Organic Producers --- Friday, June 21 @ 9 a.m.

Join IOA for a free field day with Dr. Arti Singh and Iowa State University's Department of Agronomy on Friday, June 21 at 9 a.m. at the ISU Burkey Farm in Boone.

Dr. Singh will share about current research to explore mung bean varieties for drought, disease, and pest resistance while also producing a high source of protein for vegetarian and vegan markets. The goal is to give Iowa farmers another crop option.

Organic mung beans are in high demand and IOA is seeking producers interested in adding a new crop to the rotation.

MORE INFO & RSVP


Registration for IOA Field Days now open

Field Days 2024

Spanning 11 unique events across the state, this year's Iowa Organic Association Field Days offer an incredible opportunity to explore a diverse array of organic farming practices and innovations. Whether you're just getting started with organic farming or looking to transition your operations, our Field Days cover essential topics to support your journey. Join us and connect with fellow farmers and experts as we celebrate and promote organic agriculture in Iowa.


Get exclusive IOA benefits as a Member or Sponsor

IOA become a member

When you commit to a Membership or Business Sponsorship this Earth Day, you are demonstrating a commitment to advancing the organic movement in Iowa. Iowa Organic Association members help us deliver organic programs and resources across Iowa, provide a collective voice for organic advocacy, and foster community among friends, members, and stakeholder partners.

All members and sponsors get reduced pricing for programs and events like Field Days and Farm Crawls. All supporters also receive a free digital copy of the Iowa Organic Resource Directory.

Sponsorships start as low as $100 a year and come with MANY benefits for businesses and opportunities to engage with the IOA network.

SEE MEMBERSHIP LEVELS



Meet Ethan, IOA's New Education and Outreach Coordinator for TOPP

Ethan Book

Ethan lives outside of Knoxville, IA. Ethan, his wife Rebecca, and their six children run Crooked Gap Farm, a 100 acre pasture based farm. They raise hogs, chickens, sheep, and cattle, and rabbits all on pasture, with their cattle and sheep being 100% Grassfed. They direct market their meat to customers through the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, a Meat CSA, restaurant sales, and other direct-to-consumer opportunities.

Ethan is a first generation farmer who loves to learn from other farmers and share his passion for sustainable and organic agriculture. Ethan has been a member of PFI since the beginning of his farming journey in 2007 and is excited to be working with the staff and members of the Iowa Organic Association.

You can reach Ethan at [email protected].

 


Latest edition of IOA's Organic Resource Directory now available

IOA Organic Resource Directory

Almost every year, the Iowa Organic Association team compiles an Iowa-centric directory of listings that can help support you in your organic journey. Members will be receiving a full-size printed version soon but you can download one for FREE even if you're not a member.

The Organic Resource Directory includes a wide range of resources for organic and transitioning farmers to help encourage widespread success. Spanning 40+ pages, the Directory includes over 900 businesses, non-profits, educators and service providers, and serves as a valuable tool for Iowa's organic community to achieve growth and continued success within the organic industry.

GET THE PDF

 


Welcome new IOA Board Members

Lonica Kufner

LONICA KUFNER
Lonica has 25+ years experience working with clients from the USA and internationally, including CPG food companies, co-manufacturers, brokers, grocery retail stores, ecommerce, technical scientists, farmers and consumers. Having started one of the first organic stores in the country. Lonica's passion has led her to enjoy working with entrepreneurs to help bring more organic products to market. As a consultant, Lonica's focus is on the area of sustainable business development strategy including: organic and non-gmo certification, product development, private label, sourcing, manufacturing, pricing, branding, marketing, retail and foodservice. Lonica is also an avid organic gardener, baker, and mother of 4.

Noah WendtNOAH WENDT
From a very young age Noah had deep ties to production agriculture through 4-H, FFA and being actively involved on relatives and neighbors farms. So it's no surprise he graduated from Iowa State University with a major in Ag Business and minor in International Ag. After working in the industry, Noah started farming together with Caleb Akin in 2006, forming A&W Farms. After transitioning to organic production in 2015, over half of their 3000 acres are now organic. Noah's passion for caring for the land and providing a safe food supply continues to be the driving force behind the transition, as well as being able to help others transition to organic, come up with production ag opportunities and solutions, and more. Noah is married to Erin Wendt and has two daughters, Harper and Daphne. In his free time, Noah and his wife enjoy attending their daughter’s events, spending time together, running, boating, snowmobiling, and relaxing.

 


New template tool for crop farmers transitioning to organic

TOPP logo

The National Organic Program has posted a new Transitional Production Plan template that streamlines the organic transition process and helps producers take advantage of all USDA programs more easily.

The TPP template helps new crop producers who are transitioning to organic production to develop the supporting documentation needed to qualify for Organic Transition Initiative services provided through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The template will also help transitioning farmers learn how to document their organic practices in preparation for the Organic System Plan process required when they apply for certification.

This template was created by USDA AMS and available for download on the IOA Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) page.

If you have any questions about transitioning to organic or how this template can help, please contact Susana, IOA Organic Farm Advisor, at [email protected].  

VIEW TEMPLATE

 


Upcoming Deadlines for New NRCS Conservation Contracts

Iowa fieldsHave you applied for the latest program from NRCS? OMS 823 offers technical and financial support for Certified Organic producers as well as those looking to transition to organic.

Deadlines for enrollment are March 1 (for those transitioning to organic) and April 5 (for certified organic producers)

OMS 823 offers both technical and financial support for those who meet the required criteria; incentives start at $210/acre for simple row crop operations, and go up to $1500/acre for more complex systems that can include livestock.

This practice is used to accomplish one or more of the following purposes: improve soil health, reduce soil erosion, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), reduce transport of pesticides and nutrients transported to surface water, groundwater and air, improve moisture management, improve plant productivity and health, reduce plant pest pressure, enhance habitat for wildlife, pollinators, and other beneficial invertebrates, improve livestock feed and forage imbalance, and improve or maintain quantity and/or quality of forage for grazing, browsing and productivity.

Contact your local NRCS office to apply, or email [email protected] if you need assistance through the application process.

SEE DETAILS

 


Registration now open for IOA winter webinar series

IOA Winter Webinar Series

The Iowa Organic Association is facilitating webinars on a variety of topics relevant to organic farmers, producers, consumers, and advocates of the organic movement. The webinars are free to attend and offer a valuable opportunity to ask questions in a moderated forum.

1/17 - TOPP Program Objectives and Resources

1/24 - Tools for Organic Recordkeeping, with Ambrook Financial

1/31 - The Real Organic Project with Dave Chapman and Francis Thicke

2/21 - Organic Corn Breeding Partnership, with Dr. Paul Scott

3/4 - Learn about Seasonal Farm Labor through H-2A Program

3/20 - Options for Enhancing On-Farm Native Habitat in Organic Production Systems

3/25 - Learn about Regenerative Organic Agriculture with Steve McLaskey

3/27 - The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust with Breanna Horsey

SEE ALL WEBINARS


Thank you for attending the 2023 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Board

The 2023 IOA Annual Meeting featured presentations about regenerative organic production as a tool to address climate challenges; hemp regulations and new organic production opportunities for Iowa producers; and the importance and value of mentorship to successfully navigate and implement organic production.

SEE PHOTOS


TOPP Organic Mentorship Program: Seeking Mentors and Mentees

Farmer mentoring a producer

Are you a farmer needing support in organic transition/diversification, or an experienced certified organic producer interested in sharing your expertise through paid mentorship? The USDA invites you to participate in the TOPP Organic Mentorship Program!

LEARN MORE


Podcast: "Farming the Countryside" — Andrew McCrea interviews Noah Wendt

Farming the Countryside podcast

Is now the time to make the switch to organic production in Iowa?

In this episode of the Farming The Countryside podcast, Andrew McCrea explores this question during a visit with Noah Wendt, an organic farmer from Maxwell who has and continues to convert his acres to organic corn, beans and more. The podcast provides tips, tools and resources and for producers interested in organic transition and hear one producer's journey and partnership into organic production.  

LISTEN NOW


IOA Field Day: Organic Seed Trials and Organic Seed Production — September 7

Bob and Sara Pearson of Prairie Sky Farms

Join IOA and farm hosts Bob and Sara Pearson at Prairie Sky Farm for an Albert Lea Seed House sponsored field day on Thurs, September 7 at 9 a.m.

The Pearsons operate a diverse organic farming operation where they raise soybeans, corn, oats, buckwheat, rye, vetch, alfalfa, and grass hay on 240 acres that has been in Sara’s family since 1889; in addition to another 200 acres that is in the first year of organic transition. Bob and Sara also have a unique relationship with Albert Lea Seed House — where they conduct on-farm organic soybean and corn yield trials and produce organic grain for retail sales. 

We will tour the farm to see first-hand how the seed purification and development process is managed and visit the 2-3-acre production plots used to grow the seeds sold to ALOS customers. Participants will learn more about some of their about organic and conservation land management practices used on the farm. The field day will conclude with a farm-to-table lunch, for those that are interested.


IOA Field Day: Hamilton County Farm Crawl & Ag-Experience Bus Tour – Sunday, August 6; 1 - 7 p.m. 

Join IOA for our 1st ever immersive Agri-Tourism Experience event. Guests embarked on a guided bus tour through Hamilton County’s vibrant local farming community. This unique experience started at Backcountry Winery and Brewery in Stratford with stops at Bluestem Organic Mill, Knob Hill Organic Farm, and Bluestem Prairie Organic Hemp in Webster City, Lost Lake Farm near Jewell, and returning to Backcountry Winery for socializing and a farm-to-table dinner featured local products and produce.


IOA Field Day: Iowa Cover Crop Diversification and Organic Transition - July 10

Join IOA and our field day hosts, James and Megan Holz and Joel Lange, in Jefferson as they showcase the benefits of cover crops and soil health and their journeys transitioning to organic certification, while exploring their diversified operations.  Learn the story behind creating their business, Iowa Cover Crop, and visit their brand new facility! Stay for a nutrient-rich farm-to-table lunch with locally sourced organic ingredients, and engaging organic conversation. 


IOA Field Day: Roller-Crimping Demo with Polk County Soil & Water Conservation – Saturday, May 27

Polk County Soil and Water Conservation partnered with the Iowa Farmers Union, Iowa Organic Association, and The Rodale Institute – Midwest Organic Center to demonstrate roller-crimping rye in an organic soybean field at Aaron Lehman’s farm near Alleman on Saturday, May 27.

**Please note there may be a slight adjustment to the event date as roller crimping must occur when the rye crop is in the “boot” or head stage – near the end of the plant growth cycle.  We anticipate the date to be May 27 - please RSVP and we will reach out by email and text to let you know if this date and time will change.   

 


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