Transitioning to organic corn and soybeans: A first-hand look
Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Intended for anyone just starting out with organic corn and soybean production, considering making the transition to organic, or just wanting to know more about what is involved. Gary McDonald, Director of Organic Resource Advisor, will provide a practical "how-to" on moving from conventional to organic production of corn and soybeans, the pros and cons of obtaining certification, and how to manage financial profitability during the transition period. A farmer panel will give their first-hand experiences of moving to organic production and be available for questions from the audience. An organic certifier will talk about the process of obtaining and maintaining organic certification, including rules to follow and common pitfalls. The afternoon will conclude with a tour of an organic corn and soybean farm. This event is co-sponsored with the University of Illinois Extension. Cost is free.
Two Roads Farm is located 7 miles EAST of Assumption, IL on the Findlay blacktop then one mile SOUTH on 1200 East Road.
The Findlay blacktop is Leafland Avenue in Assumption. Turn east toward Findlay on Leafland Avenue if you are coming on US 51.
Note that all three major mapping web sites, Google Maps, Bing, and Mapquest, plot this incorrectly. Do not follow major mapping web sites!
- 1:00 Welcome from Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, UI Extension and IOGA
- 1:05 - 1:45 Introduction by Gary McDonald, Organic Resource Advisor
Gary McDonald, Organic Manager on Two Roads Farm will discuss practical "how-to" on moving from conventional to organic production of corn and soybeans, the pros and cons of obtaining certification, and how to manage financial profitability during the transition.
- 1:45 - 2:45 Panel of Certified Organic Farmers
Three farmer panelists will provide a brief description of their operation and experience in moving to organic production. Audience members can then ask questions of the panelists. Panelists are:
- Jack Erisman, Gold Mine Farms, Pana
- Ron and Troy Throneburg, Cross Roads Farms; tenants on Two Roads Farm
- Bryan Wagner, operator on Bethany Farms
- 2:45 - 3:15 Organic Certifier: Jessica Ervin, ECOcert ICO
Jessica Ervin, Education and Policy Manager at ECOcert ICO will talk about the process of obtaining and maintaining organic certification, including rules to follow and common pitfalls.
- 3:15 - 4:30 Farm tour of organic corn and soybeans at Two Roads Farm
When & Where
Illinois Organic Growers Association
The Illinois Organic Growers Assocation exists to support networking and farmer-to-farmer exchange among farmers interested in organic and sustainable production methods, promote and develop new and improved production methods that are state- and region-specific, and help growers educate consumers and expand markets for organic agricultural products.