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Organic Grain Conference 2018

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You can view the presentation slides below.

Policy and organics - how do farmers and consumers take back our power?

The Holey Trinity (tillage, fertility and rotation) and Soil Health on Your Farm

The Organic Certification Process

What: Explore tools to strengthen the organic grains industry at this conference and trade show

When: Feb 1, 2018, 9:00 AM - 5 PM; Trade show opens at 8:15am

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL

How Much:

  • Full-day [includes lunch and exhibit hall]: $35 through January 21; $45 after that
  • Keynote-only (1pm-3pm): $20


February 1, 2018, will bring the 2nd Annual Organic Grains Conference to Champaign, IL. Last year was an amazing success with over 90 farmers, researchers, advocates, and industry specialists gathering to explore ways to grow the industry. This year will be even better, featuring expanded break-out sessions on economics & decision making, and soil health, an industry trade-show, and expanded farmer-to-farmer interaction through roundtable discussions and a local beer and spirits mixer.
We are honored to host Dr. John Ikerd, sustainable economist and professor emeritus from the University of Missouri, who will deliver the keynote address. His presentation, "Agroecology: Science, Social Movement, or Farm Management?", will explore the soil health and eco-ag movements and their role in improving our communities, lives, and economy.
Interested in sponsoring the conference or tabling at the trade show? Contact for more information!





8:15 AM

Trade Show open; Refreshments available

9:00 AM

Opening and Introductions, Mallory Krieger


Track 1

Track 2

9:15 AM

The Holey Trinity (tillage, fertility and rotation) and Soil Health on Your Farm

Dr. Michelle Wander, University of Illinois

The Organic Certification Process

David Hettenbach, Nature's International

10:00 AM



10:15 AM

Ecolonomics: The Art of Ecological Decision-making;

Dr. Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University

Panel Discussion - Farmers' Perspectives on the Certification Process

Moderator: Will Glazik

Panelists: Ryan Butzow, Ross Wilken, David Andris

11:00 AM



11:15 AM

Policy and organics - how do farmers and consumers take back our power?

Liz Moran Stelk, Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Regenerative Systems and the new Regenerative Organic Certification

Ryan Anderson, Delta Institute

12:00 PM

Lunch, Tradeshow, & Roundtable Discussions

1:30 PM

Keynote Address - Dr. John Ikerd

3:00 PM


3:15 PM

Panel Discussion - An exploration of the themes of the day
Moderator: Jack Erisman
Panelists: To be announced at the event

4:15 PM

Things go better when alcohol is involved... Meet farmers and brewers/distillers who are revolutionizing the local grain value chain

Dallas Glazik, Silver Tree Beer & Spirits

4:30 PM

Local beer and liquor tasting and social

Silver Tree Beer & Spirits, Stumpy's Spirits, Old Bakery Beer & Company, 25 O'Clock Beer Company


Keynote Address

Dr. John Ikerd - "Agroecology: Science, Social Movement, or Farm Management?"

John was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri and received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He worked in private industry for a time and spent thirty years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri before retiring in early 2000. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture. He currently resides in Fairfield, IA with his wife, Ellen, two dogs, and two cats. Ikerd is author of Essentials of Economic Sustainability, Sustainable Capitalism, A Return to Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms, Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture, and A Revolution of the Middle. More complete background information and a wide selection of writings are available at


Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible