Thanks to all of our members, sponsors, donors, and supporters who helped make 2017 a huge success. We've summarized our program accomplishments in this Annual Report. Last year we continued to advocate for the needs of organic farmers in Iowa. We connected family farmers to educational events and resources about organic transition. And we expanded a supportive organic community through friendship, networking, and shared knowledge. Learn more about our year by reading on!
In 2017, the Iowa Organic Association developed a policy process and agenda for state and national organic interests. State level issues included Pesticide Drift, and at the national level, IOA was elected to represent the North Central Region of the Organic Farmers Association’s Policy Committee. This appointment influences national policy work to help meet the needs of Iowa organic farmers.
- IOA worked with the Pesticide Drift Coalition to monitor dicamba drift and called for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to issue a temporary ban on the application of soybeans to protect both conventional and organic farmers from its pervasive spray drift.
- IOA participated in the National Farmers Union Lobby Day in Washington, DC where we talked with Iowa legislators about the needs of organic farmers. This lobbying effort resulted in Representative David Young signing on as an early Republican to the Organic Research Act (HR 2436). A win!
- IOA worked with the Iowa Pesticide Drift Coalition to encourage IDALS Pesticide Bureau to commit to shorter lab tissue testing turnaround time to 2 weeks from a reported 6-8 month waiting period.
IOA POLICY RESOLUTIONS
- At our 2017 Annual Meeting the membership ratified IOA policy positions on the Organic Checkoff, Dicamba, GMO Contamination, Industrial Hemp, Neonicotinoids, and Organic Hydroponics. See our website for full policy resolutions.
IOA strives to celebrate and foster a growing organic network and organic farming community. This year, we held our 2nd Annual “Summer Celebration” with friends, new and old, from around the state. Over 35 farmers and supporters gathered at Scattergood Friends School in West Bend for an afternoon of farm tours, good music, and local food. Friend and organic pioneer, Jim Riddle, delivered a keynote address to a packed house at the Clinton Street Social Club. IOA invited members and the community to participate at the annual November meeting.
With the help of a USDA Risk Management Agency grant, we developed our 2017 educational programming to help farmers make informed decisions during their farm transitions. We held nine field days/workshops in 2017. We started the year by hosting two workshops at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference. We developed a half-day training course for organic transition that we delivered to farmers in Fairfield, Storm Lake, and Cedar Falls. IOA also hosted four field days and our "Summer Celebration."
- Two organic workshops at the 2017 Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference
- Three transition training workshops in February and March
Four field days throughout the state:
- Innovative Farming: Rotational Grazing, Roller Crimping Cereal Rye, and On-Farm Energy Systems
- Transitioning to Organic Crop Farming: Tips to Help You Succeed
- Explore Upper Iowa Organics: Composting, Landowner/Renter Partnerships
- Heritage Breeds Organic Crop and Hog Production and Water Quality Practices
- 2nd annual "Summer Celebration" at Scattergood Friends School in West Bend
- We published our organic small grains research focusing on production and marketing techniques to help make the oat rotation in commodity crops more economically viable for Iowa farmers. This 3-year project was completed in the spring of 2017. Read the results here.
Like what you see? Become a member (or renew your membership!) with the Iowa Organic Association. We achieved our goals because of your support, guidance, and desire to see a strong Iowa Organic Association. We are proud of our members, donors, and the mutual support we offer each other. Together we will grow a strong Iowa organic movement!
Please join IOA in 2018 and keep growing Iowa's organic farms!