February 13-14, 2019
I hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South 1st Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Registration is now closed - Limited walk-in space is available, however lunch is not guaranteed.
Registration opens at 9am on Wednesday and 8am on Thursday.
Call 217.840.2128 if you have any questions.
With over 200 participants and 20+ exhibitors, the Organic Grain Conference is the largest event in Illinois dedicated solely to organic grain education and networking! The organic industry is changing. Explore advancements and issues facing the industry, together.
FEBRUARY 13 - PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP, 10A-5P
"Navigating the Organic Certification Process" with David Hettenbach of Nature's International
Back by popular demand, David Hettenbach is offering a day-long dive into the process of organic certification. He'll cover regulations, record-keeping, finding and working with a certifier, inspections, and much more!
The Pre-conference Workshop is brought to you by Valent.
FEBRUARY 14 - CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: DEFENDING THE CORE OF THE ORGANIC STANDARD
Dr. Francis Thicke, Radiance Dairy
The National Organic Standards have been weakened through lax enforcement and lowering of some standards. USDA now allows organic certification of hydroponic production, allows CAFO style dairy and poultry production, has withdrawn the organic animal welfare standards, and has been lax in stopping fraudulent grain imports. As organic farmers, we need to call for a return to rigorous organic standards. Efforts are also underway to create an add-on standard and label, to bring USDA organic back to the expectations of real organic farmers and consumers.
PARTICIPATORY BREEDING AND TESTING NETWORKS: A MAIZE BASED CASE STUDY FOR ORGANIC SYSTEMS
Drs. Carmen Ugarte, Martin Bohn, and Michelle Wander (University of Illinois), Binod Ghimire, Christopher Mujjabi, and Mario Nunez (U of I students)
This presentation will provide an overview of participatory work that researchers from the University of Illinois and organic grain farmers are conducting to identify factors that influence the performance of organic maize cultivars in the region. We are interested in evaluating high-yielding cultivars that are nutritious, nitrogen efficient, and robust competitors against weeds. In 2018, we established replicated trials at two on-farm locations and evaluated indicators of soil health and their relationship to corn root architecture and overall crop performance. We will share yield and root response to gradients of soil fertility from these two studies. In addition, we will report on the genotype by environment interaction from strip testing at 13 on-farm locations.
WHERE IS YOUR N GOING ON YOUR FARM? A WORKSHOP TO HELP ORGANIC FARMERS MANAGE NITROGEN FOR CROPS, SOILS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Dr. Michelle Wander (University of Illinois), Heather Darby (University of Vermont Extension), Hojoung Kwon (Argonne National Lab), Emily Marriott (eOrganics), Lindsay Ruhl (University of Vermont Extension), Yushu Xia (U of I student), Kelly Aves (U of I student), Penelope Hobbs (web developer)
The workshop will share results from our cover crop sampling campaign and use a nutrient management application to demonstrate how various organic practices impact soil organic matter, soil nitrogen supply to crops, and N loss through leaching and nitrous oxide emissions, before inviting farmers to explore how management factors like the type and timing of tillage and fertilization interact with weather to determine the fate of nitrogen on individual farms.
OPTIMIZING SOIL HEALTH PROVIDES MORE FERTILITY FOR THE CROP
Dan Davidson - Woods End Labs
Soil health is important to maintaining the sustainability of soil and productivity of agriculture. Soil respiration, or carbon mineralization is a common gauge used to assess soil health, microbial activity and to estimate nutrient mineralization. Organic production systems usually have better soil health than conventional production systems due to the use of diverse rotations, manures, composts, teas and cover crops. This presentation will cover the elements of measuring soil health, nutrient mineralization and availability, importance of carbon cycling and role in improving aggregate stability of soils farmed organically. Growers will leave with a better understanding of how soil health impacts soil productivity, how to measure the impact of practices on soil health, and how to plan a fertility program based on soil health.
THE FUTURE, GROWING THE ORGANIC MARKETS WITH INTEGRITY AND FARM PROFITABILITY IN THE FACE OF WORLD MARKETS, FRAUD, AND TARIFFS
John Bobbe - Ofarm
This workshop will discuss growing organic markets, especially for grain in the what has now become a world market. Organic grain farmers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to depressed prices from fraudulent import shipments. This workshop will address, how it all started, what has been done to date, and what farmers can do to help grow the market demand for domestic organic grain as well as fight organic fraud.
ORGANIC MARKETS & BUDGETS: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Michael O'Donnell, Ariana Torres, Michael Langmeier - Purdue University
SUCCESSFUL PARALLEL PRODUCTION: HOW TO AVOID COMMON PERILS AND PITFALLS
Randy Hughes - Hughes Farms
This workshop will explore the challenges a producer will encounter while transitioning into parallel production. This presentation will include the costs associated with transitioning as well as thepotential rewards. Learn how to choosing the right fields to facilitate isolation and avoid contamination, what equipment needs will be, the difference in crop insurance, how to answer questions the banker might ask, how to answer questions a landlord might ask, and how to survive the organic audit detailing the cleanout process and documentation needed to obtain certification.
LEGAL ISSUES FOR ORGANIC GROWERS
Brianna Schroeder - Janzen Law
Organic producers face legal issues particular to their way of growing crops. Pesticide drift and genetic contamination can wreak havoc on a sensitive organic farm. Securing and retaining the organic designation is key. Organic farmers are also subject to common agricultural issues, like contract disputes, employment issues, and zoning questions. This session will give an overview of agricultural legal issues for organic producers with a special focus on pesticide drift and genetic contamination.
NITROGEN FIXING CORN - MAKING IT A REALITY
Dr. Walter Goldstein - Mandaamin Institute
MEETING THE NEEDS OF ORGANIC BUYERS (PANEL DISCUSSION)
Moderator: Wyatt Muse
Panelists: The Andersons, Rick Herzberg - Clarkson Grain, Anders Gurda - Pipeline Foods, Barb Barcall - All Star Trading
INTEGRITY OF UDSA LABEL - ADD ONS GOOD IDEA OR JUST CONFUSING? (PANEL DISCUSSION)
Moderator: Michael O'Donnell
Panelists: George Kalogredis - EcoCert ICO, Anders Gurda - Pipeline Foods, more TBA
HOW FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS CAN WORK TOGETHER TO TRANSITION LEASED LAND (PANEL DISCUSSION)
Moderator: Nathan Aaberg - Liberty Prairie Foundation
Panelists: Rob Woodrow - Farmland Solutions, farmer + landlord TBA
Rooms are available at the I Hotel & Conference Center. Book by January 13 and use promo code "OGC19" to reserve a room for $119 + tax.
This work is supported by Organic Agriculture Research and Education Initiative [grant no. 2018- 51300-28429/project accession no. 1016400] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed at this event are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Registration is now closed. Limited walk-in space is available.