IOA Field Day: Organic Seed Trials & Production

Join IOA and farm hosts Bob and Sara Pearson at Prairie Sky Farm for a field day on Thursday, September 7th at 9:00 a.m., sponsored by Albert Lea Seed.

We are excited to showcase the Pearson's' diverse organic farming operation where they raise soybeans, corn, oats, buckwheat, rye, vetch, alfalfa and grass hay on 240 acres that has been in Sara’s family since 1889; in addition to another 200 acres that is in the first year of organic transition. We will tour the farm’s observational organic corn and soybean plots which feature various corn hybrids and soybean varieties, to see first-hand how the seed purification and development process in the various research plots used to assess plant characteristics of the different seed types (i.e. flower color, pod color, pubescence, maturation), and leaf tissue sampling to ensure purity from GMOs. 

As domestic demand for organic soars and global climate concerns increase, organic production offers farmers a viable market for organic crop production, enhanced on-farm assets, and solutions to address some of our climate challenges.

Since 2014, the Pearson's have worked together developing a certified organic farm that prioritizes soil conservation and soil health using a diverse crop rotation, cover crops, and reduced fall tillage. Bob and Sara will discuss their rotations, equipment used, and conservation practices including prairie plantings, grassed waterways, and field borders for buffer management, that all contribute to building soil health and sequestering vital carbon in the soil.  

“Understanding and utilizing organic farming practices that nurture a healthy soil ecosystem provides a gift of sustenance to our soils, water systems, and the environment in which we all live,” said Bob Pearson.

In addition to the work being done at Prairie Sky Farm, you will hear about the collaborative OREI corn breeding research project being done in conjunction with a cooperating winter nursery site in Puerto Rico, which the Pearson’s had the opportunity to participate in earlier this year with researchers from the USDA and universities including Iowa State. 

The field day will also feature speakers from Albert Lea Seed, who are celebrating their 100 year anniversary, along with assistance and resources from IOA and the NRCS on the new Organic Management Standard 823 and organic transition. 

The field day will conclude with a farm-to-table lunch prepared by Algona’s popular restaurant, Bub's Pie Shop in Algona, featuring produce grown organically from Bode Farm!

Lunch Menu:
Eggplant Lasagna & Garden Pepper Goulash with a buttered bun
Corny Beany Salad
Creamy Cucumber Dill
An assortment of Homemade Pie for dessert

Field Day Registration Options:

  1. Attend the field day (FREE) – register below
  2. Attend the field day and join us for a farm-to-table LUNCH – Please register HERE 
    • ($10/member and $25 non-member)

Funder 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.

September 07, 2023 at 9:00am - 2pm
Prairie Sky Farm
Wesley, IA 50483
United States
Google map and directions
Erika Otto · · 712-215-6851
Andrew Orngard Sara Pearson Bob Pearson Paul Mugge Travis Otto Margaret Smith Enrique Torjesen Mary Kae Hanson Paul Scott Alura Otto Lucas Miller Scott Ausborn

Will you come?