Events Calendar

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  • Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 01:00 PM

    OFA Webinar: NRCS Organic Practices 823 Strategies & Best Practices

    OFA logo

    The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), is partnering with the Organic Farmers Association (OFA), and National Organic Coalition (NOC) to host a series of virtual farmer-to-farmer networking sessions, Seeds of Success. These facilitated events will be interactive, informal spaces for farmers to share their challenges and successes, and will give farmers an opportunity to have open conversations on topics most relevant to them.

    During this session of the Seeds of Success series, OFA will explore NRCS Organic Practice 823 on July 24, 2024, at 2PM ET.

    The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has many programs to help farmers convert to organic farming operations. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands. Under EQIP, Organic Transition Initiative 823 (OTI) is specifically meant to help those transitioning to organic operations, by cost-sharing and providing technical support on practices organic and transitioning farmers want to implement on their farms. Seeds of Success series

    This program is relatively new, and a little different than other NRCS practices. Join us to hear directly from ag professionals and farmers about their experiences with 823 and their ideas regarding how to best utilize this valuable conservation planning tool.

     

    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.

    Kalona SuperNatural Kalona SuperNatural

    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

    • Albert Lea Seed

    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 catered meal with local and organic ingredients 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.

    Radiance Dairy Radiance Dairy Taco Dreams lunch

    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. We'll have the chance to sample her homemade, herb-infused olive oils, vinegars, soaps, salves, and more.

    Pickle Creek Herbs Pickle Creek Herbs Pickle Creek Herbs

    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. 

    Premier 1 Supplies Premier 1 Supplies Premier 1 Supplies

    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-neutral strawberry fields.

    Blueberry Bottom Farm Blueberry Bottom Farm Blueberry Bottom Farm

    Stop 5: Radiance Dairy

    This farm crawl adventure will conclude with a return to Radiance Dairy, where we'll enjoy homemade ice cream and berries 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
    5:00 - 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

  • Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 03:00 PM

    PFI Field Day: Honing Pasture Management With Rotational Grazing + Cover Crops

    PFI logo

    David Rosmann operates Rosmann Family Farms in Harlan, Iowa, with his wife Becky and their two daughters, Maggie and Ellie, his parents Ron and Maria and other family members. Their 700-acre certified organic farm is a mixture of field crops, pasture, popcorn, small grains and hay as well as cattle and hogs. David is a lifetime member of PFI currently serving as president of PFI’s board of directors. His parents were among the first PFI members and on-farm research cooperators.

    Strong proponents of rotational grazing, the Rosmanns pay close attention to the health of their pastures at all stages of their grazing calendar. At this field day, you’ll learn how the Rosmanns manage pasture outside of grazing periods. David will discuss the cool- and warm-season planting mixes that accompany each grazing period. He’ll share how the farm lowers its overall inputs by composting manure. You’ll also hear how the Rosmanns seed rotational cover crops, such as hybrid rye, for livestock feed and as a supplement for cattle and hogs.

    Meal

    Dinner will follow the field day.

    See & Discuss

    • Timing rotational grazing practices based on farm and livestock needs
    • Rotating and interseeding cool- and warm-season small grains for continual grazing
    • Converting cropland to pasture and deciding on pastureland duration
    • Using compost and cattle on the land to reduce inputs in the soil
    • Using rye and hybrid rye as supplemental feed to reduce corn feed, and deciding which is best for you

    Sponsors

    • Farming for Public Health
    • Iowa Organic Association
    • Iowa State Department of Agronomy
    • Iowa State University Organic Ag Program
    • OCIA Chapter 1 of Iowa
    • Premier 1 Supplies
    • Riverside Feeds, LLC
    • Sustainable Iowa Land Trust
    • Wheatsfield Cooperative

     

    SEE DETAILS & REGISTER

  • Monday, August 12, 2024 at 01:00 PM
    Lanehaven Farms in Waterloo, IA

    IOA Field Day: Transitioning to Organic -- Farm Tour and Discussion

    Blake and Sally Hollis are inviting us to their farm in Waterloo on Monday, August 12 at 1 p.m. for a hands-on opportunity to learn tips and tools to help with a successful organic transition.

    This free field day will include a tour of Lanehaven Farms, a cover crop demonstration, and discussions with the Black Hawk County NRCS and SWCD about resources available for new organic producers. 

    About the farm

    Since 1947, family-owned Lanehaven Farms has championed innovation, stewardship of the land, and care for the people who work there. Farm owners Blake and Sally Hollis have become well-known in their community, receiving several county and state-level awards for their commitment to conservation and stewardship. The farm started transitioning to organic in 2022 and now produces certified organic corn, soybeans, and winter wheat in addition to their sustainably grown pork and row crops.

    True to their innovative roots, Blake and Sally have made numerous partnerships over the years to manage the risk of adopting conservation-based practices. These partnerships have allowed them to experiment with strategies such as no-till soybeans, bioreactors, roller crimping, and wetland restoration -- all while building a supportive network and model that can be transferred to other newly organic operations. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from Blake, Sally, and and their community about tools and techniques for organic transition!

    Exhibitors

    • Albert Lea Seed

    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.

  • Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 09:00 AM

    IOA Field Day: The Ins and Outs of Grass Fed Organic Dairy Production with Phil Forbes

    Meet us back in Kalona at Kalona SuperNatural on Thursday, August 15 as Phil Forbes, Farm Liason, takes us on a tour of two dairy farms that produce organic milk for Kalona SuperNatural.

    Our farm tour will include visits to Howard Nisley's organic dairy and Milford Ropp's organic grassfed dairy.  At each farm we will learn about their organic production models, herd health protocols, cow grazing and feeding, and how Kalona SuperNatural works with their small(er)-scale farmers to succeed in the dairy industry. If you are interested in organic dairy production, grazing, cow health, and even organic markets this will be a great field day to attend!

    Phil 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

    • Grassfed Organic Dairy
    • Cow Health at an Organic Dairy
    • Feeding on a Grassfed Organic Farm
    • Organic Dairy Markets

    Exhibitors

    • Albert Lea Seed

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

    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

    Iowa Organic Association members and sponsors receive exclusive pricing on events throughout the year, with membership starting at just $50 for the year. To take advantage of member-pricing, become a member today!

    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.

  • Tuesday, August 20, 2024 at 04:00 PM
    Iowa State University Neely-Kinyon Farm

    ISU Field Day: Organic Ag Program at Neely-Kinyon

    ISU logo

    Join Iowa State University for its annual Organic Field Day at the Iowa State Neely-Kinyon Farm in Greenfield, Iowa. 

    Event details and agenda to come.