2019 ORGANIC FIELD DAYS SCHEDULE
Join the Iowa Organic Association for our 2019 Field Days!
The following field days, with experienced organic farmers representing diverse farming practices, will be offered by the Iowa Organic Association with support from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Kelli Hanson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 7: EXTEND YOUR GROWING SEASON AND YOUR INCOME IN AN ORGANIC GREENHOUSE
Ben Saunders with Wabi Sabi Farm uses high tunnels and climate-controlled systems inside his diverse 20 acre organic farm and greenhouse. Ben produces organic fruit, vegetables, herbs and transplants. He starts his own plants for the farm and sells a lot more at the Downtown Des Moines Farmer’s Market and at his on-site farm stand. Learn what's needed – from equipment and potting mix to controlling pests and keeping records – for an organic greenhouse.
Tuesday, May 7, 10 a.m. - noon
Wabi Sabi Farm; 10743 NW 142nd St, Granger 50109
FREE and open to the public
WABI SABI FARM is USDA Certified Organic by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). No genetically modified crops are grown and no synthetic chemicals are sprayed. We plant cover crops on fallow ground for soil health, but will also amend this with compost on crop ground.
While being USDA Certified Organic by a third party certifier (IDALS), we also strive to grow with a cooperative attitude toward Nature and encourage wildlife on the farm. We place an emphasis on using more physical controls (bird-netting, re-usable weed fabric, row covers, Surround WSP, etc.) than organically approved herbicides and pesticides (although we do use the pesticides sparingly if needed) as a way to increase our beneficial insect populations and native ecosystems. http://www.wabisabi-farm.com/
MAY 18: ORGANIC PASTURE WALK AND BIRD WATCHING FIELD DAY IN McGREGOR
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 2-5 pm and 5:30-9 pm
Hosts: Phil Specht and Mary Damm; Prairie Quest Farm, 12082 Iris Avenue, McGregor, IA 52157
Grazing is for the birds! Join IOA and Northeast Iowa Bird Conservancy with hosts Phil Specht and Mary Damm in McGregor for an organic pasture walk and bird watching field day in the afternoon, followed by a potluck and fundraising concert in the evening.g
- From 2-5 pm, Phil Specht, grazier, will discuss cattle grazing on his intensively managed pasture system and research on nesting Bobolinks. Paul Skrade, ornithologist and Assistant Professor of Biology at Upper Iowa University, and Jon Stravers, Driftless Area Bird Conservation researcher, will talk about grassland bird conservation and lead walks in the pastures and adjacent forest to see and hear Bobolinks and other grassland and forest birds. Mary Damm, prairie ecologist, will discuss CSP activities implemented on the farm for planting wildlife habitat and lead a walk through a 10-acre reconstructed prairie.
- Following the pasture and bird walk, drive a short distance for a potluck at 5:30, bird conservation program at 6:30 and music by Big Blue Sky from 7-9 at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre,509 US Hwy 18, Marquette, IA 52158. Proceeds from the fundraising concert will go to Northeast Iowa Bird Conservancy.
This important topic of managed cattle grazing for grassland bird nesting success will be the focus of the field day. Grassland birds (Bobolinks, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrows, and Dickcissels) declined by 61 to 93% between 1966-1991 in Illinois due to habitat loss, in part from the conversion of diversified farms with long crop rotations, pastures, and livestock to intensively managed farms of corn and soybeans. However, some grassland birds can successfully nest and raise young on rotationally grazed livestock farms. Bobolinks have nested on the pastures and hayfields of Prairie Quest Farm, a 120-acre organic, grass-based farm, for over a decade, and their nesting success has been researched for the past four years.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers a number of activities for working farms that promote livestock grazing for nesting grassland birds and for planting native grass, herbs, shrubs, and trees that provide additional habitat for the birds as well as for pollinating and beneficial insects.
Hosts Phil Specht and Mary Damm hope that guests will learn how an organic, grass-based farm is a working ecosystem and learn practical cattle grazing and pasture management techniques that are conducive for beef and milk production as well as habitat for the declining, but once more common, grassland birds. They would also like guests to learn how the CSP can financially aid in achieving farm management goals of food production, wildlife conservation, and habitat improvement efforts on a working farm.
Directions to Prairie Quest Farm:
From Monona: Drive east on Pleasant Ridge Road (County Road B45) for 6 miles. Turn right (south) on Iris Avenue and drive approximately 0.5 miles. The farm is on the left (east) side of the road.
From Marquette: Drive west on US Hwy 18 for approximately 0.5 miles. Turn right (north) on Pleasant Ridge Road (County Road B45) and drive 5 miles. Turn left (south) on Iris Avenue and drive approximately 0.5 miles. The farm is on the left (east) side of the road.
JULY 9: BENEFITS OF GOING ORGANIC AND POLICIES NEEDED TO TRANSITION TO A FAMILY FARM ORGANIC SYSTEM
Tuesday, July 9, 4 to 7 pm, Light meal provided
Patti and George Naylor
288 M Ave. Churdan, IA 50050
Learn about the benefits of organic production, including increased biodiversity, higher carbon sequestration, and potentially higher returns with less up-front investment. George and Patti Naylor have gone beyond the corn-soybean rotation, adding perennials and oats, a pollinator habitat, and an orchard. Field day partner: UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education.
DIRECTIONS: From Churdan: Head east on Harding Street/Highway IA-4 S for 4.9 miles, turn left onto N Ave. Go 2.1 miles, then turn left onto 120th St. Go 1.1 miles to the farm.
JULY 17: ORGANIC ROW CROP PRODUCTION AND MECHANICAL WEED CONTROL (PFI event/IOA sponsor)
Wednesday, July 17, 1 to 3 pm
Paul and Karen Mugge
6190 470th St., Sutherland, IA 51058
Paul Mugge will share his approach to successfully raising crops and managing weeds in an organic production system. Keys to success include crop rotations, mechanical cultivation and cover crops. This field day is the afternoon portion of a two-part field day the Mugges are hosting that is joined by a shared lunch. Attendees are invited to attend one or both field days. The first part (10 am to noon), will explore prairie and beneficial insect habitat on an organic farm. In addition to organic crops, the Mugges’ farm has a restored prairie, prairie strips, and a beetle bank installed in 2018 with Xerces Society. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. Field day partner: UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education.
DIRECTIONS: From Sutherland: Take IA Hwy 10 for 3 miles west (it becomes U.S. 59). The farm will be on the right (north) side of the road, just past Taft Avenue.
JULY 25: MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITIES FOR ORGANIC VEGETABLES
Thursday July 25, 4 to 7 pm, Light meal provided
Mike Bollinger and Katie Prochaska, River Root Farm
1007 Locust Rd., Decorah, IA 52101
Mike Bollinger and Katie Prochaska grow organic vegetables, salad greens, microgreens and cut flowers, and spring transplants for Seed Savers Exchange on a 20 acre farm in the city limits of Decorah. They sell wholesale to grocery stores and restaurants in NE Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hear about their successful marketing strategies and distribution methods using a food hub system.
AUGUST 7: TOUR THE AMERICAN NATURAL PROCESSORS FACILITY
Wednesday, August 7, 1 to 3 pm
Mark and Julie Schuett, American Natural Processors
1510 S 2nd St, Cherokee, IA 51012
In 2000, Mark and Julie Schuett started American Natural Processors, a facility that processed organic and non-GMO soybeans without the use of chemicals or preservatives into high quality soybean meal and edible vegetable oil. Today, they process a wide variety of organic grains and oil seeds including soybeans, canola, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and rice as well as complete organic livestock feeds. ANP has grown to be one of the largest organic ingredient processors in the U.S. with processing plants in Hartley, Cherokee, Galva and most recently Sioux City, Iowa. Tour their state-of-the-art facility in Cherokee.
AUGUST 14: ORGANIC DAIRY PRODUCTION AT PRAIRIE STAR FARM
Wednesday, August 14, 4 to 7 pm
John Palmer, Prairie Star Farm
358 McCabe Drive, Waukon IA 52172
Do you know what it takes to produce organic milk? This is your opportunity to peek inside the barn and stroll through the pasture, while learning some of the best practices of how to operate an organic dairy farm from John and Meghan Palmer. They milk 120 cattle and sell the milk to Organic Valley Cooperative, have 400 acres of crops for livestock feed and manage 200 acres of pasture.
DIRECTIONS: From Waukon: Head south on Rossville Rd/IA-76 S/IA-9 W for 1.9 miles, turn right onto IA-9 W and head west for .8 miles. Turn left onto 9th St. SW/N Fork Hollow Rd and drive 1.5 miles, then turn left onto McCabe Drive. The farm is on the right.
AUGUST 16: CULTIVATING FARM RESILIENCE FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE (PFI event/IOA sponsor)
Friday, August 16, 1 to 4:30 pm
Rosmann Family Farms
1222 Ironwood Road, Harlan, IA 51537
The Rosmanns use nature-based climate resilience practices on their diversified, organic livestock and crop farm. They will highlight how they work small grains into their field crop rotations and use cover crops for rotational grazing. They will also discuss their farrow-to-finish swine operation. Invited speakers for this field day, Art Cullen, Dr. Richard Cruse and Laura Lengnick, will touch on resilient farm planning, water quality and cultivating community resilience. Rosmann Family Farms grows and markets diverse crops and livestock on 700 certified organic acres. 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. A meal will follow the field day, with food provided by Milk & Honey and Rosmann Family Farms.
DIRECTIONS: From Harlan: Go 2 miles west on IA Hwy 44 to Ironwood Road and turn right (north). Go 2.25 miles until you see the farm on the left (west) side of the road. Note: GPS or Google Maps may direct you to minimum-maintenance roads, which may be impassable during rainy conditions.
Join the Iowa Organic Association for its 2018 Field Days!
These summer field days, with experienced organic farmers representing diverse farming practices, will be offered by the Iowa Organic Association with support from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.
Organic Egg Production with Farmers Hen House | Kalona, Iowa
Saturday, June 2nd
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Transitioning to Organic with a Cover Crop Champion | Austin, Minnesota
Tuesday, July 10th
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
New Beginnings: Organic Transition at a Diversified Dairy Farm | Maynard, Iowa
Partnered event with Practical Farmers of Iowa
Saturday, July 14th
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Dual Cropping Systems: An Introduction | Polk City, Iowa
Partnered event with the Iowa Farmers Union
Tuesday, July 24th
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
In Her Boots: Farm Machinery | Decorah, Iowa
Partnered event with In Her Boots
Thursday, July 26th
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Growing Food Sovereignty with Red Earth Gardens | Tama, Iowa
Partnered event with the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative
Thursday, September 13th
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, March 17th
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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.
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.
You're invited to our Summer Celebration!
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.
ORGANIC FIELD DAY SERIES
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
Tuesday, July 11th
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, email@example.com, 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.
ORGANIC TRANSITION WORKSHOP SERIES
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
|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.
TRANSITIONING TO ORGANIC HORTICULTURE & IOA ANNUAL CELEBRATION
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.
Melissa and Andy Dunham • Tammy and Rob Faux
Grinnell Heritage Farm
1933 Penrose St. • Grinnell, IA 50112
Questions: Email: email@example.com
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.
UPDATE ON IOWA ORGANIC RESEARCH
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:
- Paul Scott, USDA-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.
- Cynthia 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 WORKSHOPS
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:
- March 3, 2016, 1:00-4:30pm Black Hawk County Extension Office, 3420 University Avenue, Waterloo, IA
- March 4, 2016, 1:00-4:30pm Buena Vista County Extension Office, 824 Flindt Drive, Storm Lake, IA
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.
Welcome (Matt Miller, President IOA)
Brief History of Organic Grain Market and Current Demand Outlook in U.S. (Industry Representative from Grain Millers)
Transitioning to Organic Grain Production - Strategies, Considerations, Equipment, Weed Control, & Fertility Management (IOA Board Members: Matt Miller (Waterloo) and Paul Mugge (Storm Lake))
Economics of Organic Grain Rotations and for the Transition Period (IOA Board Members: Tyler Franzenburg (Waterloo) and Matt Miller (Storm Lake))
Getting Certified (Zach Knutson, Organic and Conventional Farmer)
Discussion, Q & A
Basic Crop and Livestock Organic Inspection Trainings
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.
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 50472
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.