To help newly certified organic-grain farmers as well as farmers transitioning to organic production, the Organic Trade Association is providing an agronomic-training course. Agronomists, certified crop advisers, consultants, Extension agents, technical-service providers, farmers and others are encouraged to attend the training for organic-grain production, certification and marketing. Researchers, agronomists and organic farmers will make presentations. Attendees will visit an organic farm that's certified to produce organic row crops.
Sales of U.S. organic products increased from $3.6 billion in 1997 to about $50 billion in 2017. While organic-food sales comprise 5.5 percent of total U.S. food sales, less than 1 percent of U.S. farmland is dedicated to organic production. Much of the shortfall is addressed by imports, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Organic-grain production is an opportunity for advisers and consultants interested in expanding their customer bases and supporting diverse production. It's also an opportunity for farmers interested in diversifying income streams and cropping systems, the Organic Trade Association stated. A recent report from the U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration identified a shortage of technical-service providers who understand organic production and offer sufficient support.
The training program is supported by the Organic Trade Association's industry-invested GRO Organic Voluntary Research, Promotion, and Education Program. Additional support is provided by the University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension, Iowa State University-Extension and the University of Minnesota, among others.
The training session will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 14 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse, 200 2nd St. S., La Crosse, Wisconsin. Visit organicagronomy.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-667-3203 for more information.