Webinar: Bryce Irlbeck, Organic Production - Nov 10, 2020

The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) delivered a webinar on Tuesday, November 10th, where we discussed the economics of running a profitable organic row crop farming operation.

Bryce Irlbeck, Owner of B&B Irlbeck Farms and Founder of AgriSecure, presented on the challenges and rewards of organic row crop farming. Bryce shared his family’s long history of farming in Iowa. He discussed the reasons he transitioned from conventional agriculture to organic production and described the challenges and the rewards of owning and operating an organic farm.

Bryce now runs a 4,000 acre organic operation with his dad where they grow alfalfa, corn, soybeans, peas, barley, canola, and rye. Recognizing that his organic farm was succeeding while many others struggled, Bryce founded AgriSecure in 2018 to help farmers in his community and beyond learn how to profit from organic farming too.

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Webinar: CFAP-2 – Oct 26, 2020

The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) delivered a webinar on Monday, October 26th, regarding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2).

Katie Kramer, the Agriculture Program Specialist with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Iowa, discussed CFAP2, eligibility for reimbursement, how to apply, as well as answered questions about the program and process.

Are you a farmer whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? USDA is implementing CFAP2 for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

CFAP2 payments are available to farmers to partially compensate for losses incurred between April 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020 (or from April 16th for livestock) where prices, markets, and supply chains have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new round of funding expands the time frame of losses covered (CFAP1 was only for mid-January through mid-April).

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP2 that weren’t earmarked in the first CFAP distribution. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP2 and participate in this webinar to learn more about the program. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

The deadline to apply for this program is December 11, 2020, or until funds run out.

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Webinar: OCCSP – Oct 14, 2020

The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) delivered a webinar on Wednesday, October 14th about the UDSA National Organic Program’s (NOP) Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Amanda Weigel, the Agriculture Program Specialist with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) discussed the OCCSP, eligibility for reimbursement, how to apply and answered questions regarding the program and process. The FSA is the fiscal agent charged with administering the OCCSP. There is an October 31 deadline for applying for cost share reimbursement.

The OCCSP provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any organic producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

In 2018, only 373 of 900+ Iowa organic operations applied for cost-share assistance for a total of $270.000.

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Webinar: Organic Markets with Mercaris - Jan 22, 2020

IOA and Alex Heilman from Mercaris delivered a presentation and discussion about current organic market trends and future market projections on n Wednesday, Jan 22. 2020..

As the market continues to grow, and demand for domestic, organic products continues to exceed supply, Iowa farmers and businesses are looking for information and resources that support questions and interest in organic transition and diversification - especially related to financial viability.  

Mercaris established a service to address the gap of organic market support through two types of services. First, to provide up-to-date, accurate information on market conditions for organic and non-GMO commodities. Second, a trading platform that allows buyers and sellers to meet on-line and trade physical commodities.

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