Are You Interested in Transitioning to Organic?

ISU Extension will hold Sept. 23 workshop for those who want to produce organic food and feed grains.

The increasing demand for organic food and feed grains is a market for Iowa producers who want to take advantage of it. A Sept. 23 workshop at the Iowa State University Neely-Kinyon Farm in Adair County will provide hands-on information about the skills and knowledge needed to meet that demand.

"Transitioning to Organic Agriculture," is a one day, hands-on workshop sponsored by ISU Extension, USDA-SARE and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. It is open to anyone interested in knowing more about the latest developments in the growing demand for organic food and feed grains and Iowa's ability to address that demand.

The workshop will be at the Neely-Kinyon Farm in southern Iowa. This ISU research and demonstration farm is home to one of the largest organic research sites in the United States. The farm is located 2 miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, one mile east and a half mile north. Beginning at 9 a.m., participants will have an opportunity to learn about crops to grow and markets to know.

Training to address organic demand

"Inadequate domestic supply of organic food and feed grains presents a viable economic opportunity to U.S. farmers," says Kathleen Delate, ISU professor of organic agriculture. "Transitioning to successful organic production requires rapid acquisition of production, marketing and financial management skills."

The training will cover these topics plus a session on organic vegetable and fruit production. Speakers include Craig Chase, ISU Extension economist; Lowell Rheinheimer, Organic Valley Producers; Ron Dunphy, organic farmer; Eldon Everhart, ISU Extension horticulturist; and Diane Weiland, the H.A. Wallace birthplace farm's CSA director.

The workshop will be offered free of charge and includes lunch featuring local, organic produce served at the Henry A. Wallace birthplace museum and farm. This historical site consists of organic vegetable and fruit production, a community supported agriculture garden, orchard and many other features that pay tribute to Wallace's life.

To register for the one-day workshop, contact Kathy Rohrig at the Adair County Extension office at 641-743-8412 or e-mail [email protected].

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