Organic Production: A Profitable Alternative
Organic is one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry. Consumer demand for organic food and pet products is far outpacing U.S. organic agricultural production – so the need for more organic producers is great. Organic agriculture is an industry that needs family farmers, and it allows family farms to prosper. Transitioning to organic agriculture is a big step. Some farmers begin the transition on a small scale, while others convert larger portions of their land all at once. Professionals at Grain Place Foods are experienced in all levels of the process, and will work to ensure that your transition is systematic, planned and a good fit for your operation. If interested, please e-mail or call us to discuss the exciting opportunities organic farming can bring!
Organic Farming: Crop Rotations, Fertility, Pest and Weed Management Systems, and Cultural Practices
Grain Place Foods serves as a conduit to reliable resources that specialize in fundamentals of organic farming. We have organized a number of long-time organic farmers to share their insights and experiences with farmers considering transitioning and those farmers already involved in the process. The sharing of experience and the exchange of ideas between farmers with common problems and challenges are important keys to successful transition.
Grain Place Foods encourages farmer-to-farmer problem solving at its field days and grower meetings. It participates in important organic conferences, field days and food shows to keep current with trends and issues in the industry, and encourages transitioning farmers to attend conferences to expand their network of contacts. Additionally, we have listed a number of resources and web sites where practical information can be located.
Understanding Organic Certification
Grain Place Foods can assist transitioning farmers with understanding the organic certification rules, filling out certifier forms and completing pre-inspection reviews. Two members of the Grain Place Foods team have a wealth of organic certification experience. David Vetter and David Springer are committed to making all aspects of organic transition “family farm user friendly.” They offer their knowledge of the standards and practical experience accumulated over many decades to transitioning family farmers.
David Vetter, past president of the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), contributed to the development of organic standards, has conducted organic farm and processor inspections, and has reviewed applications and inspections for certification domestically and internationally. The Vetter family farm began using organic practices in 1953, further transitioning in 1975 when David returned home to the farm and was fully certified in 1978. David Vetter has 30+ years of hands-on farm and processor certification experience. During his ongoing 16+ years in the organic industry, David Springer developed organic policies and procedures for a number of organic grain processors, assisted in pre-inspection reviews, successfully completed organic inspector training, was a member of the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture’s Organic Advisory Board and later served as the chairman of the Iowa Organic Standards Board.