The nation caught a glimpse of Iowa organic farming when President Barrack Obama visited Morgan Hoenig and MogoOrganic last April as part of his Main Street Tour. Now, participants at the 10th Annual Iowa Organic Conference will learn even more about MogoOrganic and organic production on Nov. 21- 22 as Hoenig, other producers and experts from across the country speak at the conference at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Hoenig produces vegetables, flowers and more.
The annual Iowa Organic Conference is designed to provide information, education and networking opportunities to help producers meet the growing demand for organics. "The world market for organic products reached $35 billion in 2009 and the demand for organic grains and produce continues to exceed supply," says Kathleen Delate, ISU organic agriculture specialist. "Growers everywhere are encouraged to consider the potential for organic production."
Demand for organic food products continues to exceed supply
Delate encourages organic farmers, as well as farmers who are transitioning to organic and those interested in learning more about organic production to attend the Iowa Organic Conference. Bob Quinn, a fourth-generation Montana farmer recently selected for the Organic Leadership Award by the Organic Trade Association, will kick off the conference with his keynote address Monday morning. Quinn converted the family farm to organic production in 1988 and now produces 100% organic crops on the 2,400-acre farm. He speaks with great enthusiasm about his efforts in sustainable agriculture and soil conservation, work that has been recognized by USDA-SARE.
The conference agenda includes information on vegetable, fruit and livestock production and related topics – soil and water quality, crop insurance, diversifying marketing opportunities, government programs, the new organic pasture rule and transitioning issues. A pre-conference social on Sunday, Nov. 21, is planned for exhibitors and sponsors, but anyone can purchase a ticket to attend.
Organic soybean prices may average $17 a bushel for 2010 crop
"This is our 10th anniversary and we have a lot to celebrate," says Delate. "The Iowa Organic Conference is the largest university-sponsored organic conference in the country. Despite the challenges of flooding this year, we anticipate successful organic yields with organic soybean prices averaging $17 per bushel."
Delate says despite the weather challenges during the 2010 growing season, she's seeing many farmers in Iowa who are growing organic soybeans averaging 53 to 67 bushels per acre this year.
You are urged to register prior to November 1 to get discount
You can register online at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/organic10/home.html if you wish to attend this conference. Or call 515-294-6222 to register.
The cost of the conference is $105 on or before November 1 and $125 after that date. Non-vendors must purchase a $15 ticket for the Sunday reception. For additional conference information and directions to the conference visit www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/organic10/home.html or contact Delate at [email protected]. Conference partners include ISU Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Educational Services, Organic Valley and Practical Farmers of Iowa.