• Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 12:00 PM · 32 rsvps

    FSA Farmer Loan Programs

    Please join the Iowa Organic Association, Brian Gossling and Luke Hawkins from the Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) for a webinar on Tuesday, May 25 at 12 p.m. CST, to learn about a few loan programs offered by FSA.

    Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) provide low-interest financing for producers to store, handle and/or transport eligible commodities they produce. A producer may borrow up to $500,000 per loan, with a minimum down payment of 15 percent. Loan terms are up to 12 years, depending on the amount of the loan. Producers must demonstrate storage needs based on three years of production history. FSA also provides a microloan option that, while available to all eligible farmers and ranchers, also should be of particular interest to new or small producers where there is a need for financing options for loans up to $50,000 at a lower down payment with reduced documentation. 

    • Acquire, construct or upgrade new or used, portable or permanently affixed, on-farm storage and handling facilities;
    • Acquire new or used storage and handling trucks; and
    • Acquire portable or permanently affixed storage and handling equipment

    Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) provide short-term (9 month) interim financing to help agricultural producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. This enables producers to delay selling the commodity until more favorable market conditions emerge. Storing production at harvest allows more orderly commodity marketing throughout the year.

    Farm Operating Loan (FOL) offers a variety of loan options to assist producers with funding their farm operations, including loans to assist operations with transitioning to organic farming. FSA loans can be used to fund operating needs, purchase livestock and equipment, and to purchase or improve real estate. FSA offers beneficial repayment terms and interest rates, including rates as low as 1.5%. Iowa has the largest FSA loan portfolio in the nation with over $2.3 billion in loans and loan guarantees.


    • Brian Gossling is the Director of the FSA’s Farm Loan Programs in Iowa. He has been in lending with FSA for the last 30 years and has been in his current role for 16 years.
    • Luke Hawkins is a Price Support Chief Program Specialist for Iowa FSA. He provides group training and technical support pertaining to the specific program areas to all of Iowa’s field offices that are based in most Iowa counties. Luke has been with FSA for 6 years.


  • Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12:00 PM

    War in Ukraine's Impact on U.S. Organic Markets

    Join the Mercaris team for a presentation on the effects of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and impacts it will have on Organic Agriculture in North America.

    Henry Wilson, Mercaris Economist, will spend 30 minutes presenting an overview of the landscape with 15 minutes remaining for questions on the topic.

    To attend this webinar RSVP here.

  • Friday, June 17, 2022 at 11:00 AM
    Okoboji Organics in Okoboji, IA

    PFI Field Day-Pastured Pigs and Poultry at Okoboji Organics

    Join PFI and Okoboji Organics for a tour of their small certified organic family farm that is raising healthy food for local families. We’ll walk through the pastures to visit pigs, chickens and turkeys; look at how the Mendenhalls process poultry on-farm for direct sales; visit the farm store; and share a pulled pork lunch together. Okoboji Organics was certified organic in 2019.



    See & Discuss:

    • Organic feed
    • Organic certification
    • Chicken and turkey butchery
    • Direct marketing and on-farm sales

    Meal Information: A pulled pork lunch will start the field day.

    To register follow this link here.

    ***IOA is a proud sponsor of this PFI Field Day.***

  • Friday, June 24, 2022 at 09:00 AM · $20.00 USD
    Organic Greens in Kalona, IA

    IOA Field Day: Organic Vegetable Production for Healthy Food and Healthy Communities with Organic Greens

    James Nisly started Organic Greens in 1998 to produce food with a focus on flavor and nutrition, and to foster healthy-living by offering wholesome, organic food options within his community.  The 13-acre certified organic vegetable farm produces organic sprouts and microgreens, as well as various organic field crops such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and winter squash.

    The field day will include a farm tour of the indoor microgreens facility, processing and distribution areas, grazing livestock in the green manure field, various vegetable production plots, a cultivation demo for vegetables ready to harvest, and a farm-to-table lunch prepared with organic ingredients from the farm and local-area producers.  Gary Huber will also share briefly about his work to help James grow his business by adding a light processing enterprise, bringing on new people to help with the work, and developing options for shared ownership and shared profits.  

    The Iowa Organic Association is working to advance organic agriculture and food systems in Iowa.  This field day provides an opportunity to learn more about the organic movement and organic practices, and to network with Iowa’s organic community.

    Registration for the field day event is $40 or $20 for IOA members and includes a farm-to-table lunch prepared with local, organic ingredients from Organic Greens, Boyd’s Bologna, Blueberry Bottom, Radiance Dairy and the Wooden Spoon.  **Please note: we do not want the registration to be cost-prohibitive, we have funds available to assist with registration, please reach out to Olga (515-412-4802) to attend.


  • Monday, June 27, 2022 at 09:00 AM
    Ash Grove Farm in Hampton, IA

    Growing Organic Expertise with NIACC at Ash Grove Farm in Hampton | OPEN to the public

    Doug Alert and Margaret Smith, Ph.D. operate a 600-acre organic grain and seed farm near Hampton, Iowa.  In addition, a custom grazier manages a cow/calf herd on the farm during the summer months. Margaret is also an agronomist for Albert Lea Seed and worked with ISU Extension as an Agronomy and Value Added Agriculture Extension Specialist for over 25years.  Ash Grove Farm has been certified organic since 1997, however they began implementing organic practices such as diverse rotations and decreasing external inputs long before they were certified, and before some of the USDA organic standards were even developed.  Together they both offer a wide range of experience and knowledge about managing an Iowa organic farm.   

    Doug and Margaret will host NIACC students and others interested in learning more about the U.S. organic movement, the National Organic Program, Midwest organic production options and a range of resources that support organic transition and certification.

    This field day is a part of the Growing Organic Expertise in Colleges across Iowa project funded by the Iowa DNR REAP Conservation Education Program.   

    To be part of this event, please RSVP below.

  • Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 04:00 PM
    Prairie Sky Farm in Wesley, IA

    PFI Field Day-Conservation Practices in an Organic Farming System at Prairie Sky Farm

    Prairie Sky Farm, operated by Bob and Sara Pearson, has been in Sara’s family since 1889. The Pearsons raise soybeans, corn, oats, buckwheat, rye, vetch, alfalfa and grass hay on 240 acres. They also steward soybean and small-grain seed production fields, and conduct on-farm organic soybean and corn yield trials for Albert Lea Seed House.

    Since 2014, the Pearsons have worked together developing a certified organic farm that prioritizes soil conservation and soil health using a diverse crop rotation, cover crops and reduced fall tillage. At the field day, Sara and Bob will discuss their organic field crop rotation; show some of the equipment they use in their organic operation; and highlight conservation practices they use, including field borders, prairie plantings and grassed waterways.

    Don’t miss this chance to learn more about organic production from a diversified Iowa farm family.

    See & Discuss:

    • Organic crop rotation
    • Organic corn and organic soybeans
    • Benefits of cover crops
    • Organic small-grain production
    • Conservation practices
    • Oat harvest and small-grain harvest equipment
    • Row crop cultivation equipment
    • Research plots

    Location Notes: Make sure “Ave.” is input into GPS to arrive at the correct location (about 5 miles northwest of Wesley, Iowa).

    Meal Information: Dinner will be served at the field day.

    To register follow the link here.

    ***IOA is a proud sponsor of this PFI Field Day.***

  • Tuesday, August 02, 2022 at 01:00 PM
    Rosmann Family Farms in Harlan, IA

    PFI Field Day-Weed Control Strategies in Organic Corn and Soybeans w/ Buffalo Equipment

    Join lifetime PFI member Ron Rosmann, Eric Madsen of Audubon, Iowa, and cultivator specialist Dale Kumpf as they discuss all aspects of Buffalo cultivators and planters. During the event, Ron and Eric will share their organic weed control experiences and cultivator know-how while showcasing their Buffalo equipment. Learn how to improve cultivator settings and fine-tune a planter, and see a cultivator in action. Though Buffalo equipment is featured, concepts and strategies discussed will be relevant to any high-residue cultivator. Kathleen Delate will talk about weed control and crop rotations in organic systems.

    Rosmann Family Farms is a multi-generational diversified crop and livestock operation on 700 acres of certified organic land. The farm consists of cattle, hogs, egg layers and a range of crops, including popcorn, soybeans, corn, small grains, hay and pasture, annual forages and cover crops. Maria operates the farm store, Farm Sweet Farm. Ellen and Daniel operate FarmTable Delivery and a restaurant, Milk & Honey in Harlan, featuring local foods.

    Eric Madsen raises organic crops and livestock with his parents, Vic and Cindy, and will join Ron during the field day to provide additional perspective on mechanical weed management.

    At this in-depth organic field day, there is plenty to see and learn, don’t miss it!


    • Kathleen Delate – ISU Extension & Outreach
    • Dale Kumpf – Global Equipment Company
    • Olga Reding – Iowa Organic Association

    See & Discuss:

    • Buffalo cultivators and equipment
    • Oat stubble cultivation
    • Fine-tuning planter and cultivator settings
    • Weed control strategies for organic corn and soybeans
    • A cultivator field demonstration
    • Weed control and crop rotation

    Meal Information: Lunch will be provided following the field day.

    To register follow the link here.

    ***IOA is a proud sponsor of this PFI Field Day.***