Thank you to everyone who joined the IOA virtual Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020 (and for those that were interested and couldn't make it, you can still check it out)!
We had our largest gathering ever with over 90 people attending. We are so excited to see Iowa’s organic community continuing to grow and come together. The information provided during the presentations and discussions revealed many common experiences, like why farmers choose organic, how farmers want to grow food for their community, but have trouble connecting with local and regional markets, that it is typical for farmers to work away from the farm just so they can farm, or how organic farms were resilient and productive despite extreme challenges faced this growing season. The continued growth of the organic movement reinforces the desire for safe, quality food and strong local food systems.
View Annual Meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOK6RDu1bE
IOA Annual Meeting AGENDA
IOA's Annual Meeting provides a great opportunity for members to connect, network, and help strengthen Iowa’s organic community.
IOA board president, Gary Huber and executive director, Roz Lehman will share highlights from IOA's work in 2020 and present an organic farmer panel to share about the impacts of the pandemic, derecho and other challenges experienced over the year. We look forward to hearing from you and a broader discussion and conversation following the presentations.
Kathleen Delate, Ph.D., Iowa State University professor and Extension organic specialist
Dr. Delate leads the ISU Extension organic research and extension program. Her research focuses on nutrient and pest management strategies that enhance production while lowering agriculture’s environmental footprint. She works in Ames, Iowa, and at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Farm in Greenfield, Iowa. In addition to hosting the Annual Iowa Organic Conference each November, she offers a “Transitioning to Organic” course every other year at ISU, starting January 26, 2021: https://www.agonline.iastate.edu/content/organic-agricultural-theory-and-practice
Rob Faux, Ph. D., Genuine Faux Farm, Tripoli, Iowa
Dr Faux owns and operates Genuine Faux Farm, a diversified produce and poultry operation near Tripoli, Iowa. Rob and his spouse, Tammy, have been committed to organic and sustainable practices while producing food for local consumption since 2004. Rob was born and raised in Iowa, returning after working and pursuing further education elsewhere. In a former life, Rob earned doctoral degrees in Computer Science and Adult Education and has worked as a post-secondary educator in the field of Computer Science.
Nelson Smith, Springtown Ranch, Brighton, Iowa
Nelson was raised on a farm and took over the management of his family’s 1000 acre farm in 1996, and started certifying organic crops in 1997. On their farm, they have 200 acres of Forest Reserve, 300 acres in row crops and alfalfa. The farm’s Conservation Reserve Program acres include 44 acres of Pheasant Habitat Restoration with food plot, 25 acres of Pollinator CRP, Riparian CRP planting of 11,000 trees and shrubs, with 4 tiled terraces, 6 ponds, 7 water retaining basins and 5 dry basins. The 4 crop, organic rotation includes soybeans, corn, oats and alfalfa, with buckwheat and rye occasionally injected in the rotation. Nelson utilizes the EQUIP program practice of cover crops, rye aerially applied to standing corn, rye drilled and broadcast in fall. He has 102 acres of Skunk River bottom land that are in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) with enhancements.
Andy Dunham, Grinnell Heritage Farms, Grinnell, Iowa
Andrew is a 5th generation Iowa farmer who farms with his spouse, Melissa, on their 80 acres which has been in his family for 163 years. Andrew and Melissa made the difficult decision to scale back operations in January 2020, going from 20 to 3 acres of certified organic produce. The remainder of the farm includes a fruit and nut orchard, cover crops, habitat, and hay. Andrew began an off-farm job, as the Prairie on Farms Program Manager at the Tallgrass Prairie Center and helps Melissa with farm operations when he can. They are still in the process of deciding what the farm will look like going forward.
Prize drawing for participants - must RSVP by Mon, Nov 30 and be present to win. We want to shake things up a bit and have a little fun during the program. We have six prize bundles to offer, here’s a peek at what to expect:
- IOA organic t-shirt and IOA Klean Kanteen 20 oz insulated water bottle
- IOA Klean Kanteen 20 oz insulated water bottle and a dozen 16 oz Steaz organic teas
- Olga's Organics “Relax” Organic Body Oil and organic cocoa from Lake Champlain Chocolates
- Organic cornmeal and local honey from Early Morning Harvest in Panora and seasonal organic veggies from Grade A Gardens in Johnston
- $25 Gift Certificate to Bluestem Organic in Webster City and an IOA organic t-shirt
- Organic center cut pork chops (4) from Becker Lane Organic in Dyersville and an IOA Klean Kanteen 20 oz insulated water bottle
Thank you to our generous sponsors for donating prizes for the Annual Meeting: Becker Lane Organic, Bluestem Organic, Early Morning Harvest, Grade A Gardens, Olga’s Organics and Ai Wen, IOA board member.