Extension News

Upcoming Meetings Inform Producers on Organic Farm Production

11/28/2005

AMES, Iowa – Producers and producer groups interested in learning about organic markets and the transition from traditional production to organic production are invited to attend an “Is Organic Farming Right For Me?” workshop at several locations throughout Iowa on Dec. 14, 2005; Jan. 24, 26, 31 or Feb. 2, 2006.  The meetings are sponsored by Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program, with assistance from the ISU Organic Agriculture Program.

“Demand from consumers for organic food is outpacing supply,” said Mary Holz-Clause, program director for the Value Added Agriculture Program at Iowa State University Extension.  “However, lack of knowledge on the transition to organic production is an intimidating factor preventing many producers from considering a switch.”

Topics include a look at organic markets, including grain, beef and dairy. A local organic buyer will discuss marketing of organic products at each workshop. Extension specialists discuss the transition itself, including economics, cash flow, regulations and the certification process and production issues such as segregation of grain, fertility and weed management and livestock production. A panel of organic producers will share their experiences in transitioning to organic and marketing their products.

Meeting locations include: Dec. 14 - Prairie’s Edge Nature Center, Cresco; Jan. 24 - US Bank Community Meeting Room, Vinton; Jan. 26 - Hotel Ottumwa, Ottumwa; Jan. 31- Lakeshore Family Restaurant, Storm Lake and Feb. 2 - Midwest Opportunities Building, Turner Room, Corning.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  The cost of the workshop is $15 or $20 at the door and includes lunch, breaks and materials. Producers can register by calling the Value Added Ag office at (515) 294-0588 or filling out a registration form located at http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/calendar/valueaddedseriesbroch.pdf

For more information, contact Margaret Smith or Madeline Schultz at the Value Added Agriculture Program at (515) 294-0588 or schultz@iastate.edu.

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Contacts :

Mary Holz-Clause, program director, Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program, (515) 294-0648, mclause@iastate.edu
Margaret Smith, program specialist, Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program, (515) 294-0887, mrgsmith@iastate.edu
Madeline Schultz, program assistant, Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program, (515) 294-0588, schultz@iastate.edu

Christa Hartsook, communications specialist, AgMRC, (515) 294-4430, hartc@iastate.edu