The latest organic crop and non-GMO science, agronomics and equipment will be on display for the first ever Organic Farm TEAM Summit, set for Nov. 20-21 in Platte, South Dakota at the Dakota’s Best Seed corporate campus.
Organic Farm TEAM (for Training, Engagement, Advancement and Marketing) is a resource for regenerative, transitioning and organic farms born out of Dakota’s Best Seed in Platte.
“Consumers are asking for more from their food. Food companies are managing reputational and supply risk. These converging trends mean growing market opportunity for soil-health focused and organic farmers,” said Dr. Katrina Heinze, Lundberg Family Farms board director in California and former General Mills executive. Heinze is a featured speaker at the event.
The two-day summit will include discussions addressing opportunities and challenges in transitioning to an organic farm operation. The key topics include organic rules and certification, specialty crops and markets, finance and crop insurance, organic trials and soil health initiatives.
“With certain crops, the number of acres of certified organic production in the U.S. has increased faster than market demand has been able to absorb the crop,” said another speaker, Paul Dietmann, senior lending officer in the diversified markets group at Compeer Financial. “The good news is that lower profits in organic farming doesn’t mean no profits or a net loss. There are still good opportunities for organic growers.”
Randy Stratton, president of the South Dakota-based organic supply chain management company SecurCrop Organics said he’s excited to be hosting one of the only agricultural summits in the region.
“The timing of the summit is important, as we can expect to see more market opportunities for growing varietal crops in the region,” he said. “The demand to meet clean label and protein targets in the organic market will continue in the years ahead.”
The summit’s speaker lineup includes organic growers and national industry leaders in the organic market space. Madison, South Dakota organic farmer Charlie Johnson will be speaking, as will Dr. Jonathan Lundgren of Blue Dasher Farms in Brandt, South Dakota. Kate Mendenhal, director of the Organic Farmers Association, will join virtually, and organic crop consultant Sam Malriat from the Rodale Institute will talk, too.
A key part of the summit is the equipment showcase, which will allow growers to see what equipment works best to manage organic acres.
The event will be hosted both in person and virtually. The cost is $65 for the two-day summit and $15 for the Friday night dinner reception. For more information, visit organicfarmteam.com/teamsummit. Ticket sales close Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.