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Iowa Organic Conference Nov. 19-20 Highlights Robust Organic Growth


The 17h Annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held on Nov. 19-20 on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, as a joint effort between Iowa State University and the UI Office of Sustainability. Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into organic production and methods to enhance your organic operations.

“The U.S. market for organic products reached $47 billion in 2016, and even with 21,781 certified organic operations in the U.S., the demand for organic grains and produce continues to exceed supply,” said Kathleen Delate, ISU organic agriculture specialist. “Growers everywhere are encouraged to consider the potential for organic production to reap premium prices and environmental benefits.” Monday’s keynote speaker is Jeff Moyer, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, the first organic institute in the U.S. https://rodaleinstitute.org

Jeff MoyerMoyer is a world-renowned authority in organic agriculture. His expertise includes organic crop production systems with a focus on weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, farm equipment design and modification, and crop-livestock integration. He helped pioneer “Organic No-Till Farming” and has written a book on the subject: https://www.acresusa.com/organic-no-till-farming

 The conference begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 19 in the Iowa Memorial Union with a reception featuring local and organic food and drinks. The conference lunch on Monday afternoon highlights local and organic produce, meats, and dairy products assembled into a gourmet meal by UI award-winning Executive Chef, Barry Greenberg, and his team.

Monday’s break-out sessions include transitioning into organic farming, weed management, organic livestock production, organic no-till for grain and vegetable crops, and exciting, new small grain crops. Nate Palm, a new organic farmer from Montana, will present his story of organic transition and the road to diversity and economic success on his diverse crop/livestock farm: The conference also includes information on soil and water quality research, economic and financial assistance for organic producers, and local food system initiatives, including Food Corps and Grow Johnson County.

“The Iowa Organic Conference is the largest University-sponsored organic conference in the country,” says Delate. Last year’s conference brought over 50 exhibitors, ranging from organic seed sales, to local food system non-profits, to government offices working with transitioning and certified organic farmers. Despite the challenges of wet weather at planting and drought in July in many parts of the state, organic farmers are anticipating successful organic yields with organic soybean prices currently averaging $19 per bushel and organic corn at $8.70 per bushel.

Conference registration is available online at: http://bit.ly/organicconference

Hotel rooms are available at the Iowa House Hotel for Sunday, Nov. 19. Guests may access room reservations by going to iowahousehotel.com and entering group #1280, or call the hotel at 319-335-3513, and mention the Iowa Organic Conference.

For additional conference information and directions to the conference, visit the webpage or contact Kathleen Delate at kdelate@iastate.edu or 515-294-5116. 

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Sustainability at Iowa

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