Field Days & Workshops




Friday, January 26th

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Now is the perfect time to think about crop insurance plans for the 2018 growing season. Join the Iowa Organic Association and crop insurance specialist Monica Nedved for a free webinar that will inform participants about making the right crop insurance decisions for their farms. Topics will include crop insurance deadlines, Whole Farm Revenue Protection for Diversified Farms, and other tools offered by USDA's Risk Management Agency. The webinar will be hosted live on Friday, January 26th at 2:00 PM. Please RSVP here

Webinar: Mechanical Weed Management 

Tuesday, February 6th

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM 

Get a jump start on weeds by learning more about mechanical weed management techniques. On Tuesday, February 6th, the Iowa Organic Association will host a free webinar for farmers who are interested in learning more about using equipment to manage weeds. Experienced organic farmers Paul Mugge and David Nees will share their cultivation techniques, equipment recommendations, and their favorite strategies for keeping fields clean. This webinar will be hosted at 7:00 PM. Please RSVP here.


Workshop: FSMA Certification Course

Saturday, February 17th

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Iowa Memorial Union - Purdue Room

*NOTES* Location change: Now being hosted at Iowa Memorial Union in the Purdue Room.

This event will start promptly at 8:00 AM. Please arrive ahead of time. 

IOA and the National Young Farmers Coalition will host a PSA Grower Training Course geared to organic farmers on Saturday, Feb. 17 in Iowa City at the Iowa Memorial Union in the Purdue Room. Attendees will receive FSMA certification with course completion.  Register here


Workshop: On-Farm Poultry Processing

Saturday, March 17th

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Fairview Lodge

Grove Ave, Story City, IA 50248

Learn about safe & efficient poultry processing for on-farm exempt processing (fewer than 1,000 birds), from the farm to the freezer. On Saturday, March 17 in Story City, Ty and Bobbie Gustafson of Story City Locker will review safe, small-scale butchering procedures you can implement on your farm. Then we will meet with local organic farmers to see a great processing set-up. Register here


USDA_RMA-highRez.jpg This workshop series is made possible by IOA with help from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency. 





Everyone is welcome to our Annual Meeting!

Join us at the Clinton Street Social Club in Iowa City on Sunday, November 19th from 5:00-8:00 PM. Heavy appetizers will be provided with a cash bar. This event is free and open to the public! Special guest Jim Riddle will speak at 6:00. 

Learn more about the event here 







You're invited to our Summer Celebration! Summer_Celebration_website_image.svg

Join us at Scattergood Friends School on Sunday, August 13th for a farm tour, dinner, and dancing. This event is free and open to the public! Please RSVP so we know how much food to make.

Learn more about this event here. 








Join the Iowa Organic Association for its 2017 Field Days!      

These summer field days, with experienced organic farmers representing diverse farming practices, will be offered by the Iowa Organic Association in all four corners of the state this summer. 



Saturday, June 24th  

1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Radiance Dairy 
1745 Brookville Road, Fairfield, IA 52556


Tuesday, July 11th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Ausborn Family Farm
5388 210th St., Ida Grove, IA 51445


Saturday, August 19th
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Upper Iowa Organics
2251 Oil Well Road, Decorah, IA 52101


Saturday, September 9th
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Rosmann Family Farm
1222 Ironwood Road, Harlan, IA 51537

These events are free and open to the public. A meal will be served at the Ida 
Grove and Harlan field days. To RSVP for the meal, please email Debra Boekholder,, or call (515) 232-5661 by Friday, July 7 for the Ida Grove field day and by Monday, September 4th for the Harlan field day. 


Now is a great time to consider transitioning your land to organic for the 2018 growing season. Join the Iowa Organic Association for a series of field days around the state. These events will inform participants about the process of organic transition. Other topics discussed throughout the field days will include cover cropping with rye, creating organic compost, transitioning acres out of CRP, using EQIP grants, the relationship between landowners and renters, organic dairy, organic hogs, and diversified farming operations.


These workshops are made possible by a generous grant from the USDA's Risk Management Agency and through the cooperation of the Practical Farmers of Iowa. 
For additional support, email






Join the Iowa Organic Association for its 2017 Organic Transition Workshops!      

These organic transition workshops, designed to provide an introduction to organic farming, will be offered by the Iowa Organic Association at three locations in March: 



Friday, March 3rd  
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Jefferson County Extension Office
2606 West Burlington Ave., Fairfield, IA 52556


Friday, March 10th
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Buena Vista County Extension Office
824 Flindt Dr # 101, Storm Lake, IA 50588



Saturday, March 11th
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Room 115
Jennings Dr., Cedar Falls, IA 50613


According to the most recent USDA survey, Iowa has over 600 organic farms with approximately 100,000 certified organic acres. Though Iowa leads the nation in organic corn organic soybean, and organic oat production, overall, U.S. market demand has outpaced supply.

“The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) is prepared to help Iowa farmers transition some or all of their grain operation to certified organic to help capture part of this growing market,” shares organic grain farmer Matt Miller, outgoing president of the Iowa Organic Association. 

Cost is $10, payable at the workshop or online. Includes lunch.

To pre-register, click on your desired workshop location below:

Fairfield - March 3rd

Storm Lake - March 10th

Cedar Falls - March 11th 


For additional support, email  


Workshop Schedule

9:45 AM Registration
10:00 AM Welcome and Introduction from Scott Ausborn, President of the Iowa Organic Association
10:15 AM Economics of Organic Grain Rotations and for the Transition Period, and the Organic Certification Process   Presented by IOA Board Members Margaret Smith and former IOA President Matt Miller
12:00 PM Break for Lunch
12:45 PM Transitioning to Organic Grain Production - Strategies, Considerations, Equipment, Weed Control, & Fertility Management       Presented by IOA Board Member, Paul Mugge
2:00 PM Crop Insurance Specialist
2:30 PM Final questions and Farewell 


 These workshops are made possible with the generous support from the Risk Management Agency.   







SUNDAY, JULY 17 • 2–7 p.m.
Grinnell, IA

There are many benefits realized by horticultural and diversified farms that maintain organic certification, yet the process of certification can seem daunting to those looking to start the process. Come tour Grinnell Heritage Farm and see how the Dunhams have implemented organic growing practices. Learn what is necessary to achieve certification on a diversified farm and how to implement organic standards successfully. In addition, this field day will illustrate many of the advantages that come from the processes of organic production.

CELEBRATE!  After the field day, please join us for the first annual Iowa Organic Association Summer Celebration.  Anyone who supports Iowa organic food and farming is invited to join us for dinner, potluck dessert, music, and great conversation.  Dinner will be provided by IOA and guests are asked to bring a dessert to share!   Please RSVP for the celebration

RSVP_Today!_Button.jpgField Day Program 2–4:30 p.m. • IOA Celebration 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. 
Meal served 5 p.m.

Melissa and Andy Dunham • Tammy and Rob Faux
Grinnell Heritage Farm
1933 Penrose St. • Grinnell, IA 50112
Questions: Email: 

Organic certification • Vegetable production • Transitioning to organic • Buffer strips • Organic horticulture • Diversified organic operations • Cover crops • Benefits of organic production

Grinnell Heritage Farm grows 22 acres of certified organic fruit and vegetables annually, and markets produce through a 300-member CSA, to local and regional grocery stores and food co-ops, and at three large Iowa farmers markets.

From U.S. 30: Take Exit 192 and go south on IA Hwy 146 for 9 miles. Turn left onto South Elm Street, which quickly turns left and becomes IA Hwy 146 S. Continue for 10 miles. Turn left onto 16th Avenue; then in 1 mile turn right onto Penrose Street.
From I-80: Take Exit 182 for IA Hwy 146 and travel north for 4.5 miles, then turn right onto 16th Avenue. After 1 mile, turn right onto Penrose Street.






TUESDAY, JUNE 28 • 2-5 p.m.
Boone, IA

Agricultural researchers at ISU and USDA-ARS are conducting exciting research on organic cropping systems. This IOA field day co-sponsored by ISU and USDA-ARS gives you an opportunity to see the field research in action and dialogue with the agronomists about their results as well as research you, as organic farmers, want to see explored in the future.  Farmers and others interested in organic agriculture will view organic field research plots with four researchers, and discuss its impact on farmers’ production options and implications for organic farming in Iowa.  Join us for this unique opportunity to examine cutting-edge research here in Iowa.  Research to be highlighted includes:

  • DrPaulScott.jpgPaul ScottUSDA-ARS scientist, will share his research on organic corn and specialty corn varieties, which focuses on improving nutritional value and breeding for a genetic mechanism that can be used to prevent pollination by unwanted sources of pollen.  He'll cover basic corn breeding and advanced topics as determined by group interest.  Scott will also display different corn cultivar types including inbreds, hybrids and open pollinated varieties.
  • David Weisberger, ISU Graduate Student working with Mary Wiedenhoeft, Professor of Agronomy, will highlight his research on organic oats, an essential low-input crop for organic row crop rotations here in Iowa. This ISU-IOA research aims to add greater precision to organic oat production by testing the effects of population (seeding rate) and seeding date on desirable end goals for organic producers: yield, test weight, forage establishment and weed suppression. This research was made possible by funding from SARE and OCIA.
  • Kathleen Delate, Professor at ISU, will share her research on organic no-till, a crucial research topic as organic farmers seek to add even more soil carbon while reducing or eliminating tillage from their farms. Success with the roller/crimper as a means to terminate cover crops has been mixed  in Iowa. We will discuss the Integrated Organic Program experiment on no-till soybeans which has generated yields ranging from 25 to 37 bu/acre, with higher soil quality than tilled systems.
  • Cindy.jpgCynthia A. Cambardella, USDA-ARS research soil scientist, will discuss the Organic Water Quality (OWQ) experiment, comparing organic and conventional crop rotations and pasture systems on 30 field plots over 10 acres. Fully-instrumented, tile-drained plots isolate tile drainage from each plot and permit comparison of treatment effects on tile flow and tile nutrient concentrations to examine water quality from three cropping systems: an organic C-S-O/A-A rotation, an organic perennial pasture system (bromegrass, fescue, alfalfa, white clover) and a conventional C-S rotation.

Field Day Program 2–5 p.m. • Begin at Dr. Paul Scott's research plots, walk to Graduate Student David Weisberger's research plots, walk to Dr. Kathleen Delate's research plots.   Carpool to Dr. Cynthia Cambardella's nearby research plots at an adjacent farm. Questions: Email: 

Iowa State University Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Research Farms
1308 U Ave. • Boone, IA 50036

Oats • Crop Rotation • Organic No-Till • Organic Corn Breeding & Genetics • Organic Corn Varieties • Water Quality • Cover crops • Benefits of organic production

Drive 5 miles west of Ames on Highway 30. Turn south on U Ave. and look for signs for parking.


Transitioning to Organic Grain Production Workshopsorganic-corn-field.jpg

March 3: Waterloo, IA

March 4: Storm Lake, IA

According to the most recent USDA survey, Iowa has over 600 organic farms with approximately 100,000 certified organic acres. Though Iowa leads the nation in organic corn organic soybean, and organic oat production, overall, U.S. market demand has outpaced supply.  “The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) is prepared to help Iowa farmers transition some or all of their grain operation to certified organic to help capture part of this growing market,” shares organic grain farmer Matt Miller, president of the Iowa Organic Association.

Transitioning to Organic Grain Production workshops, designed to provide an introduction to organic farming, will be offered by the Iowa Organic Association at two locations in Iowa in March:

Cost to attend either of the Transitioning to Organic Grain Production workshops will be $10, payable at the sessions, which will 


include refreshments.  To pre-register and pay online, click here.


Meeting Agenda

1:00 p.m.

Welcome         (Matt Miller, President IOA)

1:10 p.m

Brief History of Organic Grain Market and Current Demand Outlook in U.S.        (Industry Representative from Grain Millers)

1:50 p.m

Transitioning to Organic Grain Production - Strategies, Considerations, Equipment, Weed Control, & Fertility Management       (IOA Board Members:  Matt Miller (Waterloo) and Paul Mugge (Storm Lake))

3:00 p.m.


3:15 p.m.

Economics of Organic Grain Rotations and for the Transition Period       (IOA Board Members: Tyler Franzenburg (Waterloo) and Matt Miller (Storm Lake))

3:45 p.m.

Getting Certified        (Zach Knutson, Organic and Conventional Farmer)

4:05 p.m.

Discussion, Q & A

4:30 p.m. Adjourn








Basic Crop and Livestock Organic Inspection Trainingsioia.jpg

November 2 – 13, 2015

IOIA and Iowa Organic Association (IOA) will co-sponsor Crop and Livestock Inspection Trainings Nov 2 - 13, in Des Moines. Crop Inspection training is scheduled Nov 2- 6, followed by Livestock Inspection training Nov 9 – 13. 

Whole Farm Revenue Protection Field Day with Tour of Organic Farm: Genuine Faux Farm
Sunday June 28, 2015  2-5pm.  
Tripoli, Iowa.   Bremer County


Photo credit:  Wartburg College

An afternoon field day on Sunday, June 28, will inform producers about new options available to insure a more diverse range of crops and livestock through the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program, or WFRP. The event will take place from 2:00-5:00 p.m., beginning with a presentation at the Bremer County ISU Extension office in Tripoli, at 720 7th Avenue SW.  After a presentation by crop insurance expert Jeff Schahczenski, with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the group will proceed to Genuine Faux Farm nearby, where Rob and Tammy Faux will host the group for a tour, more discussion and refreshments. 



Small Grain Processing

Friday, February 7, 2014;  Grain Millers, Inc. 605 Grain Millers Drive, St. Ansgar, IA 50472GrainMillers-classroom.jpg
Tour of the St. Ansgar small grain processing plant and discussion of how to raise more high-quality small grains. IOA is excited to offer this opportunity to learn more about how the food we produce gets to the consumer. Dr. Margaret Smith, ISU, will present on the economic viability of oats in an organic rotation, provide market information, and share new research in small grains. This event is co-sponsored by ISU’s Value Added Ag extension program and Grain Millers, Inc.