|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.
Upcoming Deadlines for New NRCS Conservation Contracts
Have 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.
Registration now open for 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
Now Hiring: Education and Outreach Coordinator for TOPP (Transition to Organic Partnership)
The Iowa Organic Association is hiring an Education and Outreach Coordinator to join our team to advance the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program’s (TOPP) objectives and activities. We are seeking an individual who is passionate about expanding organic resources and opportunities in Iowa. The Education and Outreach Coordinator will develop programs and resources to help expand awareness and knowledge about organic transition, certification, inspection, production systems, pest-weed-fertility management, markets and more!
Meet Susana, IOA's New Organic Farm Advisor
Susana Cabrera-Mariz recently graduated from Iowa State University with a Master of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Sustainable Agriculture. Susana earned a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Sciences with a focus in Restoration Ecology and Resource Management from San Jose State University. She was trained in organic and agroecological principles from the renowned Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture, and the Rogue Farm Corps. This is Susana’s seventh year as a mixed vegetable and seed grower. Prior to this position, Susana worked as a seed historian at Seed Savers Exchange where she was responsible for documenting agrarian histories. In her free time, she can be found reading, painting, and hiking. You can e-mail Susana at: [email protected].
Meet Kenna, IOA's New Education and Outreach Coordinator
Kenna Bell graduated from Knox College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology. After college, she worked on a woman-run farm in Illinois before moving to Utah to manage a restaurant at a ski resort. Eager to return to her roots, she moved back to Iowa in 2023 and is currently pursuing a MS in Sustainable Development while teaching undergraduate environmental studies courses at the University of Iowa. Kenna is thrilled for the opportunity to transfer her skills in sustainable development and community organizing to benefit the growing Iowa Organic community. You can e-mail Kenna at: [email protected].
Thank you for attending the 2023 Annual Meeting
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.
TOPP Organic Mentorship Program: Seeking Mentors and Mentees
Podcast: "Farming the Countryside" — Andrew McCrea interviews Noah Wendt
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.
IOA Field Day: Organic Seed Trials and Organic Seed Production — September 7
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.