Illinois continues to remain under a statewide mask mandate in indoor public spaces. Masks will be required at all times during the conference.
Opportunities in Organics
Shifting markets… Changing consumer preferences… Increased input prices… Unpredictable weather… What’s next?
Every hurdle encountered offers an opportunity. Join us as we explore challenges and opportunities across the organic grain value chain.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 12:00pm – 6:30pm
Day 1 of the conference will feature concurrent interactive workshops. Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the day. Day 1 will close with a mixer featuring beverages distilled from local grains. Try a beer from Riggs Brewery or a cocktail featuring Silver Tree Spirits.
Choose to attend two out of three available workshops.
Organic Certification 101, Mark Seeley, OnMark Certification Services
Wondering about organic certification? This discussion is open to everyone; interested, new, transitioning or currently certified organic operators. An overview of requirements and Q/A time will be alloted to help navigate the requirements of the NOP Standard and compliance.
Crop Rotations and the Organic Regulation, David Hettenbach, Nature’s International Certification Services
Straightforward answers can be tough to come by when asking certification agencies about crop rotations. In this workshop we’ll give background on the organic crop rotation regulations, provide clear answers to your crop rotation questions from a certifiers point of view and offer some strategies for successfully establishing a compliant crop rotation and communicating this to your certifier.
Reducing Tillage with Cover Crops in Organic Grain Production (including implications for pest and disease management), Léa Vereecke & Caitlin Tucker, Rodale Institute
Reducing tillage can lessen labor, reduce soil erosion, and improve soil health. With the reliance on tillage for weed and pest control, and nutrient cycling, eliminating tillage in organics is challenging. It is still possible to reduce it at the rotation scale. Practical growing techniques and insights into how reduced tillage can contribute to pest and disease management will be shared.
Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 8:00am – 5:00pm
Day 2 of the conference will feature three concurrent presentation tracks, roundtable discussion sessions, a keynote address, curbside consulting, and a full day trade show. Day 2 will include a light breakfast, full lunch, and refreshments throughout the day.
[OPENING PLENARY PANEL] 9:00 AM
Relationships along the Midwest Grain Chain: Resilience in Community
Facilitator: Alyssa Hartman, Artisan Grain Collaborative
Panelists: Jeff Hake, Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains, and Andrea Hazzard, Hazard Free Grains
In all of agriculture, and especially staple crop production, relationships help farmers guarantee consistent supply to consumers, solve problems, and share risk. Participate in a conversation with two area farmers, one who also operates a mill and one who hopes to follow in his peer’s path soon. Also hear a brief update from the Artisan Grain Collaborative.
[KEYNOTE] 1:30 PM
Regenerating Farms, Regenerating Communities
Harold Wilken, Janie’s Farm & Janie’s Mill
As the 4th and 5th generation farmers on the fertile land of Iroquois County, IL, we are continuing our family’s tradition of caring for the soil and growing good food for our community. At Janie’s Farm and Janie’s Mill we strive to regenerate not only the earth that nurtures our crops, but the community that sustains us. From building soil health, growing nutritious crops, launching job-creating processing facilities, supporting local grocers, bakers, restaurants, and families, we work to create a regenerative system that keeps our rural community healthy — economically, environmentally, and socially.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – SESSIONS OVERVIEW
Humanities Room [SARE Farmers Forum]
The North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Farmers Forum is a traveling event giving farmers, ranchers, researchers, and others the chance to share information about sustainable agriculture practices with a national audience. These presentations focus on research, demonstration, and education projects that promote profitable practices that are good for the environment and community. The projects highlighted in these presentations and the Farmers Forum are funded by grants from NCR-SARE, a USDA funded program that supports and promotes sustainable farming and ranching by offering competitive grants and educational opportunities. For more information about NCR-SARE, see: www.northcentral.sare.org or contact NCR-SARE by email: email@example.com, or phone 612-626-3113.
What Soil Ecosystem Services and Economic Benefits Does 50 Years of No-till Provide?
Amanda Weidhuner, Southern Illinois University
While benefits of continuous no-till are known, we utilized a long-term tillage trial established in 1970 to evaluate soil quality indicators, environmental quality, and farm economics in Southern Illinois to further increase no-till adoption in corn growing years.
Exploring Whiskey Flavor of Heirloom Corn Varieties
Will Glazik, Cow Creek Farm
This NCR-SARE funded project assessed five unique corn varieties for flavor and efficiency in spirit production as compared to the flavor and efficiency of yellow dent corn.
Wide Row Corn: An Opportunity Space for Organic Farmers?
Bob Recker, Cedar Valley Innovations
Lessons learned about the potential of added sunlight on cash crops as well as the potential for additional benefits between the wide rows of corn: The Opportunity Space. This may include cover crops, grazing space, and perhaps some special applications for organic growers. Bob will review and suggest strategies for you to explore these concepts in your operation.
Organic Grain Production Risk Calculator Demonstration
Nicholas Lancaster, Purdue University
The Organic Grain Production Risk Calculator aids in farm planning, and lets farmers evaluate financial risk when prices and yields may change. This presentation will discuss uses of this calculator and provide a demonstration with a discussion of how to use financial benchmarks from the calculator in farm planning. This calculator was recently developed through a project funded by NCR-SARE.
Small Grains and Small Scale Milling on your Farm
Andrea Hazzard, Hazzard Free Grains
Is small scale milling right for your farm? Learn about growing and processing and grinding small grains on your farm. From seed to sales, do you have what it takes?
What Was I thinking? Integrating Livestock into a Row Crop Operation
Brett Matthews, Dividing Ridge Farm
The history, motivations, trials, hurdles, failures, successes and observations of beginning a debt-free, carbon and water capturing, forage-based, multi-species livestock production endeavor.
Expanding Access to Technical Assistance for Organic Farmers
Mallory Krieger, Organic Agronomy Training Service
As the organic industry grows and more farmers enter organic transition, we are seeing increased demand for organic technical advising services. OATS is helping to meet that demand by training new and existing agronomists, crop consultants, and advisors in the art and science of organic field crop production. Discover what services are in high demand and how you can become an organic advisor.
Wheat Breeding at the University of Illinois
Dr. Jessica Rutkoski, University of Illinois
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) develops soft red winter wheat lines released as public varieties or licensed to small private seed companies. The performance of our wheat lines in organic trials is outstanding, and we are now developing lines with niche quality traits. We aspire to broaden our impact on organic growers. Your partnership and ideas are welcome.
Alma Mater Room
Habitat Bringing Profitability to the Farm
Dallas Glazik, Pheasants & Quail Forever
A detailed look into how agronomic data can be used to show the value of wildlife and pollinator habitat to increase the profitability of a farm while at the same time provide ecosystem benefits.
Profiting from Agricultural Carbon Markets
Jason Frank, Indigo Ag
What are agricultural carbon markets, how can they benefit my farm, and questions should I ask before signing up?
Protecting Yield Potential in Organic Crops
Erik Weigand, Early Bird Fertilizer
Erik will discuss strategies to identify and manage biotic and abiotic stress in crops to protect maximum yield potential.
Current Outlook of the Organic Corn and Soybean Market
Drew Whalen, Clarkson Grain
We will examine the increase in organic corn and soybean prices over the last year and discuss the current supply and demand that we are seeing in the organic market.
Loyalty Room [Roundtable Discussions]
Farm Bill 2023 Conversation
Max Webster, American Farmland Trust
Participants will explore issues like conservation programs, land access, equity and risk management in the lead-up to the next Farm Bill in 2023.
Land Access Challenges & Smart Strategies Brainstorming
Nathan Aaberg, Liberty Prairie Foundation & NE Illinois FarmLink
Farmers (and landowners) are invited to this open discussion about the challenges organic grain farmers face in gaining and keeping land. The group will also seek to identify good strategies that might help overcome those challenges. Landowner insights are very welcome
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – CONSULTATIONS
Consultants will be available throughout the day to answer your questions, discuss challenges and opportunities, and provide you with actionable information for your farm.
KNOWLEDGE ROOM: Organic Troubleshooting, Rodale Institute & Real Organic Project
INNOVATION ROOM: Conservation Opportunities, Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District & Pheasants Forever
EXCELLENCE ROOM: Financial Assistance, American Farmland Trust & The Conservation Fund
All conference activities will take place at the iHotel, located at 1900 South 1st, St, Champaign, IL 61802. To take advantage of the discounted room rate of $139 on Wednesday, February 9, use the code “OGC22”.
Sponsors & Exhibitors
If you are no longer able to attend the conference and need to cancel your registration, please contact us at 217-840-2128.
- Cancellations made up to February 1 will receive a full refund minus a $5 processing fee
- Cancellations received February 1-7 will receive a 50% refund
- Cancellations received after February 7 will not be refunded.
COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN
All conference attendees are expected to follow CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, and i-Hotel guidance. Mask-wearing and physical distancing will be enforced. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for your use.
In compliance with all CDC, University and State guidelines, a mask will be required to enter the building and must be worn when in public areas, such as lobby spaces, hallways, restrooms, etc. Based on the latest guidelines, it is required that all patrons wear a mask during any interaction with wait staff, food service workers and other employees throughout the facility. Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth when patrons are approached and served by staff, including but not limited to when employees deliver items to tables, service tables and bar service.
SAVE THE DATE!
2023 Organic Grain Conference & Trade Show is scheduled for February 8-9, 2022 at the i-Hotel in Champaign, IL.