The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) and regional partners will deliver a series of “Growing Organic Expertise in Iowa” organic workshops in January and February 2021 to provide the information, tools and resources needed for agriculture service providers and consultants to support farmers interested in organic transition, diversification and expansion.
This full-day workshop has been condensed to a three-hour virtual program to accommodate for safety and greater accessibility. We hope to offer small, in-person field events in the Spring/Summer (COVID depending) to follow-up these virtual workshops.
IOA will provide information from organic experts and resources about the National Organic Program, organic certification and transition, organic standards and production practices and insight into current organic market trends and demands.
The target audience for the workshop includes: NRCS, Extension, IDALS, FSA, SWCD, RC&D, County Conservation, crop insurance agents, farm lenders, farming organizations, farmers, agriculture educators and students, and others interested in learning more about organic opportunities.
The Kalona-area will be the region of focus (target outreach and promotion) for our first Growing Organic Expertise in Iowa Workshop on Tues, Feb 16 from 12 – 3 p.m. The region focus is to help develop community and support beyond the workshop. You do not have to be from this region to participate – anyone is welcome.
There is no cost to participate, but, you must RSVP to join this workshop. RSVP below.
Registration is now open for this 5-in-1 event that combines the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, GrassWorks Grazing Conference, OGRAIN Organic Grain Conference, the Iowa Organic Association’s Midwest Organic Pork Conference, and Organic Vegetable Production Conference into one virtual conference experience with more than 60 workshops and opportunities to connect through roundtables, meet-ups, and socials. The conference includes a virtual exhibit space featuring suppliers, buyers, certifiers, consultants, and more.
The virtual conference takes place Feb. 22-27, 2021. Admission is $125, with a $25 discount through December. Scholarships for farmers are available. This team approach gives you access to expertise across a broad range of organic and sustainable farming systems without having to attend half a dozen conferences!
All the details are on the Growing Stronger website: https://mosesorganic.org/conference/
2021 MIDWEST ORGANIC PORK CONFERENCE: Despite the 2020 Midwest Organic Pork Conference setback, we are excited to share content from last year’s conference as part of the 2021 Growing Stronger Collaborative Conference.
Organic Pork Topics:
- Workshop: Lessons Learned about Parasites in Pastured Pigs, Diane DeWitt, University of MN
- Workshop: Becoming an Organic Processor, Ty Gustafson, Story City Locker
- Workshop: Economics for the new and transitioning organic pork producer, Dave Stender, ISU
- Workshop: Hazelnut Finished Pork in the Upper Midwest, Pete Lammer, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
- Workshop: Profitable Production Flow for the Organic and Pasture Based Pork Producer, Jude Becker, Becker Lane Organic
- Roundtable: The 10 Alternative Veterinary Tools, Dr. Paul Dettlof
Organic Broadcaster (Nov/Dec 2020): Demand for organic pork creates opportunity for producers plus processors, by Roz Lehman
It wasn’t that long ago when livestock roamed the landscape and rural communities thrived on a local producer-to-consumer food system. We don’t see pig huts or herds of grazing cows along our Midwest highways much anymore, but change is on the horizon. The demand for organic meat is growing, and the U.S. organic livestock sector needs to boost production and infrastructure to meet that demand.
… Currently, the U.S. market for organic pork is pushing American farmers to expand production and transition to organic hog production. Iowa and Wisconsin are the top two states for organic pork, placing Midwest farmers in a prime position to meet consumer demand. The organic market continues to provide consistent and reliable returns for organic products, and we know consumers are willing to pay higher prices for organic food. Likewise, adding livestock to a crop production system can prove profitable by diversifying income streams and utilizing farm resources for feed and land management. The on-farm environmental and regenerative benefits include improved soil and water from a range of practices such as varying crop rotations, grazing, and holistic land and manure management methods. Full Article