News from IL Organic Growers Association: Educational Events, Growers Sought, Land Available

Dear Illinois Organic Grower:

We had a very successful conference Jan 10-11. Thanks to all who presented, attended workshops, came to our annual meeting, and/or stopped by our booth. Annual meeting notes will be sent out next week. In the meantime, here are some more upcoming events, people looking for organic producers, and other items of interest.

Webinar on the new USDA Microloans
January 31st at 3:00pm

This free webinar will help you decide if this funding option is right for your farm operation. Jeffrey E. Koch, Farm Loan Chief from the Illinois Farm Service Agency, will explain the new USDA Microloans and other funding options currently available for growers interested in selling to schools and other wholesale markets. To register, go to https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=7760

Missouri Organic Association Annual Conference
February 7-9, 2013, Springfield, MO

In addition to informative organic educational sessions and the Missouri Organic Associations vendor market, the conference will feature workshops on solar panels, making your own bio-diesel fuel and more. Visit http://www.missouriorganic.org/MOAAnnualConference.aspx for more information.

Stateline Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference
Feb 11, 2013, 8:30 to 4:00 PM, Rockford IL
$40 if preregistration required by February 7; late registration is $50

IOGA Administrative Committee member Ellen Phillips will present a session on Organic Soil Amendments. Liz Maynard, Extension Specialist with Purdue University, will be the keynote speaker. She will discuss last year’s cantaloupe contamination in Indiana – how it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Other session topics include insect and disease control for fruits and vegetables, use of high tunnels, drought issues, crop storage, produce safety tips, social media, and more. For a full listing of conference workshops and registration brochure, see http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw/downloads/46381.pdf. To register online, click here.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association annual conference
February 16-17, Granville, OH

See http://www.oeffa.org/conference2013.php for information workshops, trade show vendors, and other conference activities, and to register.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference
February 21-23, 2013, La Crosse, WI
Registration deadline: February 13

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is the largest conference in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. The MOSES Conference offers more than 70 workshops taught by experts in their fields, inspiring keynote speakers, and a trade show with more than 170 exhibitors open exclusively to conference attendees. See http://www.mosesorganic.org/conference.html for registration and more information.

Publication: Crop Rotation on Organic Farms

Several people at the ISCAOC were interested in a publication we gave away as a membership prize: Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual provides an in-depth review of the applications of crop rotation-including improving soil quality and health, and managing pests, diseases, and weeds. It is published by SARE. You can download it for free or purchase a hard copy for $24: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Crop-Rotation-on-Organic-Farms

Help Wanted Listings on IOGA web site

We are launching a Help Wanted section on our web site. You can post help wanted listings via comments on this page. Help wanted can include positions that are any combination of full-time, part-time, temporary, paid, or volunteer. Comments are moderated and will be reviewed by IOGA staff before being posted. See http://illinoisorganicgrowers.org/help-wanted. As the section grows, we will publicize it to sustainable agriculture programs at universities throughout the state, in addition to our newsletter.

Seeking organic popcorn producers

We received a request for organic popcorn producers in Illinois. If you are interested, please contact:

Alan Solomon
320 Washington Ave. 5E
Brooklyn, NY 11205
eastfour@earthlink.net
(917) 862-7910

Seeking organic farmer for land in Will County

From Regina Rust, regina.rust@gmail.com: “I am part of a family farm based in Indiana who is interested in organic farming. We have 80 tillable acres in northern Illinois in Will County that we have been cash renting for conventional farming and would now like to switch to organic farming for environmental reasons. We are looking for an organic farmer to work with helping us accomplish this.” If interested, please contact Regina directly at regina.rust@gmail.com.