Category Archives: Events

IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference Information

Important Information Regarding the ILLINOIS SPECIALTY GROWERS, AGRITOURISM, AND ORGANIC CONFERENCE on January 7 – 9, 2015 in Springfield, IL:

There are two Organic tracks on the 8th and 9th, which include a myriad of topics including Grain production, Sundry issues, Vegetable production, Fruit production, Soil and Fertility, and Livestock and Forage systems.  If you have been looking for a great place to learn more about organic agriculture and to network with other farmers, you should come and join us at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield at this ever-growing conference!

There will also be a Farmer-to-Farmer Idea Exchange on Thursday, Jan 8th hosted by Illinois Organic Growers Association (IOGA)!  Facilitators will be Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, University of Illinois, and Marnie Record, Illinois Organic Growers Association.  We would like to know what are the issues most important to your farming operation so that we can focus on what matters most during the Idea Exchange.  Please submit topic ideas to Marnie Record at so that IOGA can plan for an inspired learning session.  Please encourage your fellow farmers and friends who are planning on coming to the conference to register and submit topics for the idea exchange. 

Here is more information you will need to know:

  • IOGA will be holding the Annual Business Meeting at 4:00 PM on Jan 8th at the Conference.  This will be a chance to collectively reflect on 2014 and plan for 2015.  Members will have the opportunity to share ideas for moving forward and to elect the 2015 Governing Board.  If you are a member, considering becoming a member or just interested in what will happen in 2015, please plan on attending.
  • Are you planning on becoming a member of IOGA or renewing your membership for 2015?  If you register before or at our business meeting on January 8th at the conference, you will be entered into a drawing for a rebate of your conference registration.  That’s a good deal!  For more information on becoming a member of IOGA, please visit
  • Registrations after December 26, 2014 will require on-site registration at an additional cost of $15/person so make sure you register online today!
  • For the full conference program and registration information, please visit:

Call-in to the IOGA Annual Meeting on January 9

IOGA’s annual meeting will be held on Thursday, January 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM at the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference. If you are at the conference, please join us! Everyone is welcome to attend–learn more about IOGA and provide your input on priorities for 2014. Only members can vote for the 2014 Governing Board.

We would love to have you attend in person, but if you cannot, you may call in to the meeting, courtesy of UI Extension’s teleconference service via phone or computer:

  • To join the conference call as a participant via telephone call 888-983-3631 and when prompted to do so, enter the conference ID 9250261, followed by the pound sign (#). Please call in 5 minutes before the meeting starts.
  • You can also join via computer. You can join a Microsoft Lync 2010 meeting or conference call from a computer that does not have Lync 2010 or Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee communications software installed. When you open the email meeting request on a computer that does not have Lync installed, click the Join online meeting link You will see two choices: Join the meeting and Are you a guest to this meeting? Click on Sign in here instead and type in your name (first and last and county). You must check the Install Lync Web App plug-in.
  • You will also encounter some security prompts, so please acknowledge and allow them. Also, if you are joining by computer, please plan to join at least 15 minutes ahead to make sure that you can get through the entire process before the meeting is scheduled to start.

We hope to see or hear you!

On-Farm Composting Workshop on September 10

University of Illinois Extension in conjunction with Illinois State University, the Department of Agriculture, and funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service, is offering an On-Farm Composting Workshop and Field Day on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Sycamore, Ill.

The field day will go from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at DeKalb Farm Bureau at 1350 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore and followed by a field tour at Art Bingham’s farm in Clare.

“Livestock producers and horse stable operators looking for alternative manure management ideas should attend,” said Ellen Phillips, a U of I Extension local food systems educator. “Organic and local food growers will be able to increase their composting knowledge as well.”

  • the benefits of composting
  • the basics of making compost
  • Illinois EPA regulations related to composting
  • permitting and local siting requirements
  • compost facility site development
  • uses for compost and quality control
  • marketing of compost

During the afternoon, field day participants will tour an actual composting operation and will hear practical information from experienced compost operators, including information on composting techniques.

Advance registration is $15 per person by Sept. 3. The cost to register in person at each workshop is $20. Phillips said walk-ins are welcome but that lunch will not be guaranteed. The registration form is available at

For more information regarding the program, contact Phillips at 815-732-2191 or Bethany Macarus at 815-758-8194.