Any farmer can tell you that you should have a market lined up for your crop before you put a seed in the ground. For organic grains, the story is more complicated than simply finding an elevator to drop your crop off at. Prices can vary widely, and opportunities for differentiation, value addition, and early contracts mean that organic grain growers have many factors to consider to get top dollar for their hard-won crop.
This workshop will be held on one of Illinois’ most successful organic grain farms, Janie’s Farm Organics in Danforth, Illinois. Owner Harold Wilken has been a leader for organic farming in Illinois since he began transitioning to organic production in the late 1990s. In this workshop, participants will learn:
- how successful Illinois organic grain growers have established consistent marketing channels for their crops, and worked to create or expand existing markets
- how processing, such as milling or roasting, can add value to your crop, and what it takes to invest in and tap into such markets
- how to establish pre-season contracts for organic and transitional crops
- how farmer Harold Wilken has worked to establish a grain mill on his farm and what it will mean for his farm and others in years to come
Presenters include Harold Wilken, Wyatt Muse, Dave Bishop, Barbara Barcal, and Andy Hazzard.