Registration is open for the 2nd annual Ohio State Organic Grains Conference, January 4-5, 2024, at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center near Toledo, Ohio. The 2024 conference offers programming for experienced organic growers, growers transitioning to or considering organic, and consultants or educators who support these growers.
“According to the most recent census data, Ohio has over 350 organic corn and soybean farmers and currently has the sixth most acres in transition to organic in the country,” says conference director Eric Richer. “One of the goals of the conference is to better prepare farmers for the production and management risks associated with organic grain production in the state and to evaluate the possibility of growing value-added, organic grain in our region.”
Featured speakers for 2024 will include Klaas Martens from Lakeview Organic Grain in New York; Léa Vereecke from Rodale Institute; former Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman; and Eugene Law, currently of USDA-ARS, but soon to be an Ohio State assistant professor in weed ecology. Alongside these speakers, the agenda features several additional Ohio State researchers, specialists, and educators whose work aligns with or includes organic production practices. Most importantly to Richer, the conference also includes several organic grower speakers, including Martens and farmer panelists on weed control and evaluating biological products. A unique lunchtime event features farmer-led roundtables where farmers can share their individual experiences and questions about selected topics.
Attendees who arrive on Wednesday, January 3, can be part of an Organic Farmer Researcher Network dinner and brainstorming session. This pre-conference event will gather farmers, researchers, and educators to network around future research ideas.
Steve Turnow, an organic grain farmer from Ottawa County, Ohio, and previous conference speaker is looking forward to this year’s event.
“The conference is a great way for organic farmers to enhance their operations and to network with others interested in organic production,” he says. “Last year’s speakers were informative and helped me in my operation.”
This event is presented by Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State’s Organic Food & Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program. Pre-registration is $100 per person through December 1 and $130 from December 2 to December 22. Continuing education credits will be available for Certified Crop Advisors. For more information, visit go.osu.edu/organicgrains.