IOA Webinar: The Real Organic Project with Dave Chapman and Francis Thicke

On Wednesday, January 31 at noon CST, IOA will host a webinar about the Real Organic Project (ROP) with two distinguished voices – Dave Chapman, a visionary founder of the ROP, and Francis Thicke, certified ROP Iowa organic farmer and member of the ROP Board of Directors. Through rigorous standards and advocacy efforts, ROP certification champions transparency, soil health, and ethical practices, ensuring that the organic label retains its original intent as interest in the organic industry continues to evolve and expand. Register below to learn more about how the ROP continues to preserve the core values of the organic movement.



The ROP was formed in 2018 in the ashes of defeat. Multi-year efforts to reform the National Organic Program to enforce organic standards failed in Jacksonville, Florida at an NOSB meeting in 2017. Despite 60 organic farmers flying in from all over the country, they did not move the USDA toward protecting organic integrity – the USDA now openly certifies CAFOs and hydroponic operations as organic. In response, farmers created the ROP, which started as an add-on label to represent those farms that followed the traditional practices of organic farming based on soil health. The ROP now certifies over a thousand farms across the country. They are also starting a joint venture with Naturland, an international certifier with an add-on label that certifies over 140,000 farms around the world. The ROP has regular conferences and virtual symposia to help educate farmers and eaters about Real Organic. Their podcast series has been viewed over 387,000 times, and their weekly newsletters are read by 8,000 people.



Dave Chapman is a lifelong organic farmer who currently runs Long Wind Farm in Vermont. He grows the best tasting organic tomatoes in the country in the fertile soil underneath a glass greenhouse. He is Co-Director and Board Chair of the ROP and is dedicated to bringing together the organic community. His Real Organic Podcast has provided a platform for many organic pioneers as well as eaters, scientists, authors, activists, and chefs. He was a co-founder of Vermont Organic Farmers and was among those initially certified by the USDA’s NOP. He also serves on the Policy Committee of the Organic Farmers Association and has worked for years as an advocate for reform of the NOP.



Francis Thicke and his wife, Susan, are the owners and operators of Radiance Dairy, a certified Real Organic dairy and crop farm in Fairfield, Iowa. They process their milk on the farm and market Real Organic dairy products through local grocery stores and restaurants. Francis grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and first began farming organically in 1975. He has a Ph.D. in agronomy/soil fertility and previously served as the National Program Leader for Soil Science for the USDA-Extension Service. Francis has served on the Board of Directors of the ROP since 2020.

January 31, 2024 at 12:00pm - 1pm
Kenna Bell · · 3194483081
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Will you come?