Events Calendar

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  • Tuesday, July 02, 2024 at 10:00 AM
    Grassway Farm in Maynard, IA

    PFI Field Day: Nutrient Management Using Intercropping in an Organic Operation

    PFI logo

    Scott and Catherine Wedemeier own and run an organic dairy and row crop operation called Grassway Farm in Fayette County, Iowa. Scott is the third generation in his family to farm the land, which grew from a small, diversified livestock farm to a larger dairy operation. He has been involved since 2003, growing the herd and row crop acres and initiating the farm’s three-year transition to becoming certified organic in 2017.

    To provide nutritious forage for livestock and reduce weed pressure to cash crops, Scott incorporates polycultures wherever possible and has noted a dramatic improvement in soil quality. Join the Wedemeiers to hear their story, see cover crop mixes and small grain-legume intercropping and learn how these practices benefit the whole farm.

    Meal

    A light meal will follow the field day.

    See & Discuss

    • Intercropping to manage nutrients
    • Replacing corn silage with an 18-way cover crop mix chopped for silage
    • Diversifying rotations with small grains underseeded with legumes
    • Using a baled oats, barley and pea forage mix
    • Equipment for seeding and chopping

    Sponsor

    • Byron Seeds
    • Farm Nutrients
    • Farming for Public Health
    • Iowa State University Organic Ag Program
    • Mad Capital
    • MOSA Certified Organic
    • OCIA Chapter 1 of Iowa
    • Riverside Feeds, LLC

     

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Tuesday, July 09, 2024 at 09:00 AM

    Rodale Field Day: Midwest Organic Center

    Participants will have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Rodale Institute’s Midwest Organic Center staff and team of Organic Consultants, and learn about our research and demonstration projects focused on organic agriculture and tailored for farmers in the Midwest. This event is ideal for researchers, students, educators and all farmers, whether you are interested in learning more about organic farming, have an interest in consulting services to transition to organic, or are currently a Midwest organic farmer.

    Attendance is free, but registration is required. Food trucks will be available to purchase lunch during the event.

    Rodale field dayABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE

    Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education. Our groundbreaking science and direct farmer-support programs serve as a catalyst for change in farming and food production worldwide. Over our 75-year history, we have proven that organic farming is not only viable, but essential to humanity’s survival.

    Since 1947, Rodale Institute has taken the lead in developing a better, natural, and more responsible way of modern farming by conducting research into the cultivation of healthy, living soils. Rodale Institute is home to the longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic vs. conventional farming practices (the Farming Systems Trial, started in 1981), and their research focus areas include developing organic solutions to pests, disease and weeds, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and growing nutrient dense foods.

    HOW TO ATTEND

    Cost to join: Free
    Webinar facilitated by: The Rodale Institute

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Tuesday, July 09, 2024 at 09:30 AM
    A&W Farm Operations in Cambridge, IA

    IOA Field Day: Getting Started - Organic Field Equipment with A&W Farm Operations

    Join us at A&W Farm Operations in Cambridge for a free field day on Tuesday, July 9th at 9:30 a.m. to explore equipment needed for organic row crop production.

    Noah Wendt will discuss their farm history and the various crops they produce in their organic rotation and share about (and possibly demo) the equipment used to manage tillage, planting, weeds, and more in their organic operation. You will also hear how Noah and Caleb Akin have refined and upgraded their equipment as their needs change and as they have learned what works best on their farm. 

    Whether you're just starting out in the world of organic agriculture, or a seasoned organic farmer looking to upgrade your equipment, this event will be a great opportunity to learn about the tools of the trade from A&W Farm Operations and from other participants attending this field day. 

    About the Farm

    In 2006, and Caleb Akin and Noah Wendt started farming together forming A&W Farms. From 2006 to 2015 A & W Farms was able to build a successful farming operation as first generation farmers. In 2015, they decided to begin to aggressively transition from conventional row crops to organic row crop production. Since 2015 Noah and Caleb have transitioned over half of their 3000 acres to organic production.

    Field Day Topics

    • Field Preparation Equipment
    • Weed Management
    • Beginning Organic Farming
    • Crop Rotations

    Exhibitors

    Email [email protected] if you wish to set up a table at this event.

    Funding Acknowledgement

    This material is based upon work that is supported by the USDA's Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the TOPP and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 02:00 PM
    Rodale Institute Online Webinar

    Rodale Institute Webinar: What, When, and Why's of Choosing to Farm & Expanding Your Operation

    Choosing to farm is a huge decision for beginning farmers and can be a very difficult one. In this presentation we are going to be looking at an overview of the type of operations a farmer can choose from. We will discuss infrastructure, timeliness for profitability, market channels, and the types of practices that define who and what a farmer is.

    ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE

    Rodale webinarRodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education. Our groundbreaking science and direct farmer-support programs serve as a catalyst for change in farming and food production worldwide. Over our 75-year history, we have proven that organic farming is not only viable, but essential to humanity’s survival.

    Since 1947, Rodale Institute has taken the lead in developing a better, natural, and more responsible way of modern farming by conducting research into the cultivation of healthy, living soils. Rodale Institute is home to the longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic vs. conventional farming practices (the Farming Systems Trial, started in 1981), and their research focus areas include developing organic solutions to pests, disease and weeds, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and growing nutrient dense foods.

    HOW TO JOIN THE WEBINAR

    Cost to join: Free
    Webinar facilitated by: The Rodale Institute

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 10:00 AM
    Blueberry Bottom Farm in Brighton, IA

    PFI Field Day: Organic U-Pick Blueberries and Day-Neutral Strawberries at Blueberry Bottom Farm

    PFI logo

    Kim Andersen’s operation at Blueberry Bottom Farm has seen incredible growth in recent years since planting 5 acres of organic blueberries in 2017. The demand for her fruit and the enthusiasm of her customers has increased steadily, giving Kim the opportunity to learn many production and marketing lessons. From managing crop pests (including furry critters!), to irrigation and variety selection, to issues like what to do when demand exceeds supply and how to communicate clearly about U-pick hours and practices, these lessons have helped Kim successfully grow her business. For the coming season, Kim is branching out from blueberries with day-neutral strawberries and is excited to share what she’s learned about this new venture.

    Meal

    A light lunch will follow the field day.

    See & Discuss

    • Establishing and maintaining organic blueberries
    • Pest control methods for blueberries, including OMRI-labeled products and exclusion fencing
    • Running a successful U-pick operation

    Location Notes

    For drivers coming from the west: Due to construction on state Route 78 west of Brighton, you will need to take an alternate route to reach the farm. Instead of Route 78, take state Route 92 to Washington, then take state Route 1 south to Brighton. Turn east onto Route 78 and continue to Blueberry Bottom Farm.

    Farm Info

    Website | Facebook | Instagram

    Sponsors

    • Iowa Farmers Union
    • Iowa Organic Association
    • Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association
    • Iowa State University Organic Ag Program
    • OCIA Chapter 1 of Iowa
    • Sustainable Iowa Land Trust
    • Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN)

     

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Thursday, July 25, 2024 at 09:00 AM

    IOA Field Day: Organic Dairy Processing at Kalona Dairy

    Join IOA and our hosts Kalona SuperNatural for a tour of their creameries in Kalona on Thursday, July 25 at 9:00 a.m.

    Take a tour of the Farmers Creamery where they process their fluid milk and butter products, and the Kalona Creamery where they produce Cream-top Yogurt, fudge, ice cream, and their world famous Squeaky Cheese Curds. In addition to the the creamery tours we will also hear from Phil Forbes, Kalona SuperNatural Farm Liaison, about the farms that they work with and how Kalona SuperNatural is growing and excited to work with more farmers.

    Phil Forbes is also an Iowa Organic Association Organic Mentor that is currently available to support a transitioning or organic mentee. If you are interested in organic dairy farming and need a little extra support, be sure to attend this field day and reach out to IOA about your interest in working with Phil through the Organic Mentorship Program.

    About Kalona SuperNatural

    Since 2004 Kalona SuperNatural has been dedicated to supporting small farms, minimal processing of their dairy products, and organic agriculture. Founder Bill Evans recognized a need for great farmers to bring great products to market by focusing on production that cared for the land through organic production models that not only provided superior milk, but also built soils and strengthened small family farms! At Kalona SuperNatural they "keep the milk as natural as possible" by sourcing milk from Organic Grassfed farms, minimal processing, and low-temperature pasteurization.  

    Field Day Topics

    • Kalona Super Natural 
    • Organic Dairy Processing
    • Processed Organic Dairy Products
    • Organic Dairy Markets

    Registration Options

    • To attend the field day only (free), simply register below.
    • To attend the field day including a farm-to-table lunch, register here.
      • $15 for IOA members
      • $25 for non-members

    Exhibitors

    Email [email protected] if you wish to set up a table at this event.

    Funding Acknowledgement

    This material is based upon work that is supported by the USDA's Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the TOPP and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Friday, July 26, 2024 at 09:00 AM
    Seven W Farm in Paullina, IA

    IOA Field Day: Organic Field Equipment & Technology Demonstration

    Join IOA at Seven W Farm in Paullina on Friday, July 26 at 9 a.m. for a free field day and learn how Jaron and Liz Wilson integrate technology on their multi-generational organic farm.

    Jaron will give an overview of the Ag Open GPS software that he uses along with a Guidance Hitch in his planting and cultivation. He will show how he uses precision ag tools to save money and influence results in the field! The Wilson family will also discuss how they work together as the each manage different aspects of the farm business.

    About the Farm

    Seven W Farm is a multi-generational farm in northwest Iowa. Dan & Lorna Wilson, the first two of the "Seven W's", have cast a vision for a sustainable future on their farm! They have also created a legacy of never stopping learning and remembering the value of growing food. Of their five children, three currently work on the farm. Torray, with his wife Erin, operate the organic dairy farm and handle the beef marketing. April is the pig and chicken lady. Jaron, with his wife Liz, complete the team with the organic row crop operation and technology department.

    Field Day Topics

    • Open Source GPS Technology
    • Guidance Hitches
    • Utilizing a Tine Weeder
    • Crop Rotation and Weed Management

    Exhibitors

    Email [email protected] if you wish to set up a table at this event.

    Funding Acknowledgement

    This material is based upon work that is supported by the USDA's Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the TOPP and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 PM · $60.00 USD
    Radiance Dairy in Fairfield, IA

    IOA Field Day: Jefferson County Farm Crawl

    Back by popular demand! Join IOA for our second annual farm crawl in Fairfield, Iowa on Sunday, July 28. Widely known as a culinary hotspot, Fairfield is a unique community of sustainable farms and businesses that work together to create a vibrant farm-to-table experience. Don't miss this opportunity to experience the best of Fairfield's local organic community! 

    Stop 1: Radiance Dairy

    The day will start with lunch at Radiance Dairy, featuring their farm's renowned dairy products and a delicious taco bar from Fairfield's Taco Dreams. Then, farm owner Francis Thicke will guide a walking tour of Radiance Dairy, showcasing their cattle, unique grazing process, and organic milk, cheese, and yogurt production.

    Stop 2: Pickle Creek Herbs

    Next, we'll board an air-conditioned motor coach and head to Pickle Creek Herbs, where farm owner Jocelyn Engman will provide a tour of her 100-acre family farm. Jocelyn will showcase her herbs, berries, tomatoes, and garlic, discussing her sustainable practices throughout. The tour will end at a pop-up booth, where we'll have the chance to bring home her homemade, herb-infused olive oils, vinegars, soaps, salves, and more.

    Stop 3: Premier 1

    Then, we'll travel to Premier 1 where livestock manager Fiona Harrar will provide a tour of their farm and indoor warehouse. Participants will meet their sheep and explore a variety of cutting-edge farm equipment. Premier 1 has three farms where they raise chickens, ducks, geese, sheep, meat goats and horses. Throughout the tour, we'll learn about how they continually test their products on these farms to ensure high-quality results. 

    Stop 4: Blueberry Bottom Farm

    We'll then drive up the road to Blueberry Bottom Farm, where farm owner and IOA board member Kim Anderson will give a presentation and farm tour of her organic blueberry and newly incorporated day-netural strawberry fields. The visit will end with a U-Pick experience where we'll get to harvest our own strawberries and blueberries straight off the farm. 

    Stop 5: Radiance Dairy

    This farm crawl adventure will conclude with a return to Radiance Dairy, where Francis Thicke and his farm team will show us how to make homemade ice cream using Radiance Dairy's milk and the fresh berries picked earlier in the tour from Blueberry Bottom Farm.

    Meal & Transportation

    Farm crawl features a local and organic catered lunch (including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options) and air-conditioned motor coach transportation between farm tours.

    • $60 for IOA members
    • $75 for non-members

    Agenda

    12:00 - Check in and lunch at Radiance Dairy
    12:45 - Welcome and tour of Radiance Dairy
    1:30 - Bus Departs
    1:45 - Tour of Pickle Creek Farm 
    2:30 - Bus Departs
    3:00 - Tour of Premier 1
    3:45 - Bus Departs
    4:00 - Tour of Blueberry Bottom Farm
    4:45 - Bus Departs
    5:15 - Return to Radiance Dairy for homemade ice cream

    Exhibitors

    Email [email protected] if you wish to set up a table at this event.

    Funding Acknowledgement

    This material is based upon work that is supported by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the program agreement with the project number 15061 titled "Risk Management Outreach and Education for Beginning, Transitioning and Organic Producers". Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the RMA and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 04:00 PM
    Bridgewater Farm in Bridgewater, IA

    PFI Field Day: Growing Opportunity - Season Extension, Organic Production and Scaling Up at Bridewater Farm

    PFI logo

    Dale Raasch started growing vegetables commercially in 2007. Since then, Bridgewater Farm has grown into Iowa’s largest certified organic vegetable farm, with 25 acres in production, four high tunnels operating for the past 10 years and eight more high tunnels newly built in spring 2024. Dale and his crew grow a wide variety of produce, including tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, spinach, peppers, carrots, summer and winter squash and more.

    Bridgewater Farm produce is sold at farmers markets in Omaha and Des Moines and at about 15 Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, though the number of stores is expected to at least double with the extra high tunnel space. As an Iowan and a farmer, Dale is passionate about increasing Iowa’s food security by growing food for our state. And he is eager to share and inspire beginning and emerging farmers to do the same.

    Meal:  A meal will follow the field day.

    See & Discuss

    • The potential of season extension to increase production and profit with tomatoes, spinach, greens and (new in 2024!) day-neutral strawberries
    • Pest management through crop diversity, multiple plantings and higher tolerance to avoid spraying and save on labor
    • Companion planting and interplanting to increase diversity and maximize production
    • Equipment to increase efficiency and capacity

    Farm Info

    WebsiteFacebook

    Sponsor

    • Iowa Farmers Union
    • Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association
    • Iowa State University Organic Ag Program

     

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Sunday, August 04, 2024 at 01:30 PM
    Buffalo Ridge Orchard in Central City, IA

    PFI Field Day: Adaptive Marketing Through a Collaborative CSA, Value-Added Products and On-Farm Sales at Buffalo Ridge Orchard

    PFI logo

    Farmers Marcus and Emma Johnson are in their 13th year of production at Buffalo Ridge Orchard, where they raise 5 acres of vegetables, 2 acres of pears and 15 acres of apples. Their business approach has been strategic, creative and collaborative, benefitting other farmers as well as customers in their local food ecosystem. They built a collaborative CSA by aligning crop planning with nearby farmers; developed products with sensitivity to their market context, thus adding to the local product mix without creating direct competition; and pivoted toward delivery and on-farm sales when farmers markets were not an option. In short, Marcus and Emma have made their farm thrive and brought others along on their journey.

    Meal:  Pie and ice cream will follow the field day.

    See & Discuss

    • Using adaptive marketing to be efficient and competitive

    • Managing a collaborative CSA

    • Developing value-added products with dried apples

    • Building planning systems to manage complex operations

    • Viewing an apple processing demonstration

    • Touring the farm store, apple orchard and vegetable fields

    Farm Info

    WebsiteFacebook

    Sponsor

    • Iowa Organic Association
    • Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association

     

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER