Organic 101 Workshop

November 20, 2015

orgOrganic Workshop to Help Growers Meet Demand

Twin Falls, ID – Farmers are invited to attend an Organic Workshop on December 3, in Twin Falls, Idaho. The workshop will feature organic market opportunities, certification training, organic nutrient sources, and a farmer panel discussion on tips for organic transition and certification.

The workshop is presented by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides in partnership with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and University of Idaho to help farmers meet the demand of the growing organic sector of agriculture.

“The calls are coming in,” says Johanna Phillips, organic program manager with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. “In the last year, we have experienced a steady increase in the number of farmers wanting information on the certification process and those completing certification for the first time. We now certify 166 farms in Idaho.”

According to the recently released 2014 USDA Organic Survey, Idaho ranks 10th in the nation for the number of certified acres at 125,000 acres. Consumer demand is increasing with organic food sales up 11% in 2014 to $35.9 billion, according to the Organic Trade Association.

“Consumers continue to show strong support for organically-grown foods,” says Jennifer Miller, healthy food and farms program director with the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides. “We are excited to offer this training and help more farmers successfully enter and stay in the market.”

The workshop sessions include the following:
-       Organic certification requirements by ISDA;
-       Organic nutrient sources and composting by Amber Moore and Mario de Haro-Marti at the University of Idaho;
-       Organic market opportunities panel with representatives from Seneca Foods, Kelley Bean Company and Standlee Hay Company moderated by ISDA;
-       Assessing barriers and opportunities in organic farming by Carlo Moreno at the University of Idaho; and
-       Crop insurance options for organic producers by Heber Loughmiller of Leavitt Group Crop Insurance.
-       Organic farmer panel on tips for transition and certification

“Organic production carries with it a distinct set of challenges,” says Carlo Moreno, extension educator with University of Idaho Minidoka County Extension. “The Organic 101 Workshop will offer farmers a unique opportunity to address the topics and skills that are critical to successfully navigating the organic transition and certification process.”

The workshop will be held at the Canyon Crest Dining & Event Center in Twin Falls from 8:30 am – 5 pm. Pre-registration is required by November 27 at or with Jen Miller at 208-850-6504. The cost is $40 per person.

The workshop is funded in part by USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education. This is an equal opportunity event.

The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) works to protect community and environmental health and inspire the use of ecologically sound solutions to reduce the use of pesticides.