Transitioning to successful organic production requires rapid acquisition of production, marketing and financial management skills. On Aug. 26 Iowa State University is beginning a 16-week online course on organic agriculture for producers who are interested in learning about the latest techniques for transitioning into organic farming, or improving their existing organic operations.
“Organic Agriculture Theory and Practice” begins Aug. 26, 6-9 p.m. and continues on Tuesday evenings through Dec. 9. It’s available online via Adobe Connect.
Classes will include lessons on weed management, nutrient management, pest management and markets for organic grain, vegetable and fruit crops. Programs and policies from USDA, NRCS and other groups to assist in the transition will be presented.
Course instructors are Kathleen Delate, professor in agronomy and horticulture, and Craig Chase, ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialist. In addition, organic farmers and other ISU Extension and Outreach specialists will serve as guest lecturers, sharing their experiences related to developing a pest-protective farm and growing alternative crops.
A fee of $10 per session or $50 for the course will be charged to participants to cover costs of technology and managing the program. A specific url will be given to those who sign up and will be logging-on for the course. For more information or to sign up, please contact the Organic Agriculture Program at Iowa State at 515-294-7069 or contact Kathleen Delate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance at all 16 sessions will not be required unless an individual wishes to take the course as a three-credit ISU campus course, for which he or she will need to register through ISU at http://agonline.iastate.edu/courses/f2014susag584-xw.
“Increasing the domestic supply of organic food and feed grains, such as corn and soybeans, is needed to meet escalating U.S. demand, which presents a viable economic opportunity to Iowa row crop farmers. In addition, the demand for locally sourced organic produce has increased in recent years,” Delate said.