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Frequent information updates for agricultural audiences

Iowa Organic Conference November 13-14

Posted by John Fulton -

There is still time to register for the 16h Annual Iowa Organic Conference that will be held on Nov. 13-14 on the University of Iowa (UI) campus in Iowa City, as a joint effort between Iowa State University and the UI Office of Sustainability. At this year's conference there will be Farmer-Mentor Round-Tables, which will offer farmers interested in transitioning to organic, or with specific organic questions, to meet one-on-one with organic farmer and organic certification experts. Expert advice on organic Grain Crops, Vegetable Production, Fruit Cultivation, and How to Get Certified will be available on Sunday, November 13, from 2 to 5 PM. "The U.S. market for organic products reached $43 billion in 2015 and 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." Attending last year's Round-Tables, new organic farmer, Jay Franzen, found them to be extremely valuable for picking up cultivation tips from veteran organic farmers, among other discussions.

The Farmer-Mentor Round-Tables and a keynote address by Dr. Caroline Halde of Laval University, speaking on "What it Takes to Be a Successful Local Food Entrepreneur" will kick off the conference on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 2 to 5 PM, in the UI Memorial Union. Monday's sessions start at 8 AM with the keynote speaker, Fred Iutzi, of The Land Institute, encouraging everyone to look at the benefits of perennial plants for their farms/landscapes to help increase soil quality and biodiversity: https://landinstitute.org

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.

Despite the challenges of erratic weather again this year in many parts of the state, organic farmers are harvesting successful organic yields with organic soybean prices currently averaging $18.50 per bushel and organic corn at $9 per bushel. Growers are encouraged to bring their grain samples to the grain buyer exhibitors at the conference. Over 50 exhibitors, ranging from organic seed sales, to local food system non-profits, to government offices working with transitioning and certified organic farmers, will be on site all day Monday to meet with producers. Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into organic production, weed management, livestock production, and methods to enhance your organic operations.

Conference information is available online at: https://sustainability.uiowa.edu/2016-iowa-organic-conference/

with the link to registration at: https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/116550

For additional conference information and directions to the conference, visit the webpage or contact Delate at kdelate@iastate.edu or 515-294-7069.

Conference partners include Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, New Pioneer Co-op, Organic Valley and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Caption: Organic farmers get questions answered by the experts at the Iowa Organic Conference.



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