JOHNSTON, Iowa — Join IOA for our 2021 Annual Meeting where organic supporters gather to connect, network, and help strengthen Iowa’s organic community.
This year’s program will focus on IOA highlights from 2021 and what’s on the horizon for 2022. We have invited Dr. Joel Gruver to share his organic research and 2021 Field Report. And, a panel of IOA farmer members will discuss the “Impact of organic on the farm and in the community” as our final topic of the evening. We look forward to hearing from you and a broader member discussion following the presentations.
A cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be offered.
There is no cost for IOA members to attend. There is a $20 per person fee for non-members; we will follow-up with a link to pay or you can e-mail Olga to make arrangements. Or you can join as a 2022 IOA member, HERE!
Please RSVP below to attend the Annual Meeting.
4:30 – Doors Open
5:00 – IOA Updates – Member Business
5:30 – Break-Mingle
6:00 – Dr. Joel Gruver, Ph.D., Western Illinois University
6:45 – IOA Farmer Member Panel: Impact of organic on my farm and community
Joel Gruver, PhD, is the Associate Professor of Soil Science and Sustainable Ag, Allison Farm at Western Illinois University. Dr. Gruver earned his BS in Chemistry from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, his MS in Agronomy from the University of Maryland in College Park, and his PhD in Soil Science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to teaching a range of soil-focused courses, Dr. Gruver is the Director of the WIU Organic Research Program. He received the National No-Till Educator of the Year Award in 2015. His research interests include conservation cropping systems with a focus on cover crops and organic grain production, soil organic matter, and innovative teaching methods.
Farming since 1974, Tom and Irene Frantzen own and operate a 320 acre diverse certified organic farm in NE Iowa. The Frantzen Farm grows, corn, soybeans, small grains, including hybrid rye, hay and pasture. Much of these crops are used for livestock feed. They also have 40 head finished beef cattle and a 40 sow farrow to finish operation, being the first members of Organic Prairie Pork program for Organic Valley CROPP Coop. They’ve also been longtime members of the CROPP Beef program. Being certified organic for well over 20 years, Tom has gained much knowledge and is always willing to share his experiences. The Frantzen’s were past recipients of the MOSES Farmer of the Year in 2009.
Linda Wattonville was born in northwest Iowa, lived half her life in Texas, and currently resides on a small organic, pasture-centered farm near Ankeny, where she and her family grow fruits, herbs, vegetables and naturally breed and raise sheep, cows and laying hens. Operating on the premise that living soil and chemical-free food is the foundation of health, the family and their animals eat organically and locally.
Linda’s focus on the mother’s role in wellness stems from her journey into nutrition for her two daughters, one of whom suffered extreme gut issues. After yielding positive results for the whole family, the Wattonvilles applied their principles to their sheep, to improve the flock’s overall well-being. Now, using regenerative practices, they compost the organic barn waste to make soil for fertilizing garden and pastures. To Linda, growing organic represents a change in perspective and lifestyle that she embraces, and that she feels is needed for society to achieve health, vitality and sustainability.
Bryce Irlbeck, Owner of B&B Irlbeck Farms and founder of AgriSecure, a technology platform to help organic farmers manage a systems-based organic operation. Bryce now runs a 4,000 acre organic operation with his dad where they grow alfalfa, corn, soybeans, peas, barley, canola, and rye. Recognizing that his organic farm was succeeding while many others struggled, Bryce founded AgriSecure in 2018 to help farmers in his community and beyond learn how to profit from organic farming too.
Denise O’Brien is an organic farmer at Rolling Acres in Atlantic, Iowa. Denise and her husband, Larry Harris, have been involved with organic production and cultivating local food for over 36 years. Denise is also founder of Women’s Food and Agriculture Network, was a candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in 2006, former agriculture adviser in Afghanistan, and recipient of the Rodale Institute’s 2021 Organic Pioneer Award.