Growing Organic Expertise Workshop & Farm Tour - Tools for Organic Transition and Production in Iowa

The Iowa Organic Association, Dakota’s Best Seed and Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance are partnering to deliver Growing Organic Expertise, a full day workshop for farmers, ag consultants and others interested in learning about organic production, tools and resources to broaden participation and success in the organic industry.

Organic is the fastest growing agriculture industry in the U.S., increasing 10% annually, and so fast that consumer demand is outstripping some domestic supplies. As the $62B organic market continues to soar – Iowa and Midwest farmers are in a prime position to meet the growing demand for organic production and products while increasing farm profits, ecosystem services and sustainability for future generations.

This full-day workshop will include presentations from organic specialists in the morning, a farm-to-table organic lunch, and an organic farmer panel and field visit at Travis Otto's farm in the afternoon. Travis has been certified organic since 2016 and farms 250 acres in a 5-year rotation of corn/beans/corn/barley with alfalfa interseeded, and one year of alfalfa after the seeding year. Workshop topics will cover USDA organic standards, crop options and rotations for organic transition and production and organic markets. PRESS RELEASE

Dakota’s Best Seed was founded in 1963 and today offers a variety of non-GMO and organic seed and a full range of technical services that support organic and regenerative commercial row crop production that balances the bottom line while advancing soil health. 

Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance was founded in 2019 to help fill a gap for farmers seeking expert advice in private and supplemental insurance products for transitional, organic and conventional crops; while also advocating the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to enhance protections for organic and specialty crop producers across the country.

This workshop provides an opportunity to learn more about organic practices and to network with Iowa’s organic community.  To attend, please RSVP below by August 26 or by calling 515-412-4802.


  • 9:00 a.m. WELCOME
  • 9:15 a.m. About the Iowa Organic Association – Rosalyn Lehman
  • 9:30 a.m. National Organic Program | Organic Certification – Olga Reding (IOA) and Mae Petrehn (Dakota’s Best Seed)
  • 10:30 a.m. Regenerative Organic Certification – Angela Jackson
  • 11:15 a.m. BREAK
  • 11:25 a.m. Crop Insurance for Organic Producers – Megan Vaith (Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance)
  • 12:00 p.m. Organic Programs and Resources - Amanda Weigel (Iowa FSA)
  • 12:30 p.m. LUNCH: travel to farm after lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. Farmer Panel: Travis Otto, Paul Mugge, Dan/Lorna Wilson, Scott Ausborn (IOA) - Moderator
  • 2:30 p.m. Farm Tour: Travis Otto, organic farmer, Cherokee
  • 4:00 p.m. Final Comments/Evaluation/ADJOURN   

COST:  $40 for non-IOA members; $20 for IOA members (includes farm-to-table lunch)

REGISTRATION is required for this event, please RSVP below.

FARM HOST:  Travis Otto



Funder Acknowledgement:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the program agreement with the title "Promoting FSA Programs and Resources Among Women Organic and Small-scale Producers in Iowa". FSA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. 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 FSA and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

August 31, 2022 at 9:00am - 4pm
The Grainery
1969 500th St
Cherokee, IA 51012
United States
Google map and directions
Olga Reding · · 515-412-4802
Stan Buman Mark Schuett Jason Dubberke Kevin Kruschwitz Luke Doerneman Nick Nelson Gary Otto Alura Otto Ben Brady Steve Reinart Scott Ausborn Lorna Wilson Dan Wilson Travis Otto Mae Petrehn Megan Vaith Olga Reding Roz Lehman

Will you come?

$40.00 Non-Member Registration
$20.00 IOA Member Registration