2020 Organic Grain Conference Feb. 5-6

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Hosted by The Land Connection, the fourth annual Organic Grain Conference and Trade Show willbe Feb. 5-6 at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., Champaign.

Now with two full days of workshops, panel discussions, presentations, exhibitors and networking opportunities, the OGC is the premier event in Illinois for grain farmers who are interested in learning more about organic farming, conservation practices, and transitioning.

Already the largest event of its kind in Illinois, the OGC brings together diverse stakeholders and farmers to explore advancements and emerging issues in grain farming in a practical manner.

This year, the conference aims to be more inclusive and is broadening the scope of topics covered to include more general areas of interest like Midwest grain value chains, farm succession planning, carbon offsets and soil health.

You do not have to be an organic farmer to attend, though an interest in grain farming, particularly in Illinois, might be beneficial if you expect to be engaged in the presented content.

This year’s event will kick off on Feb. 5 with two full-day workshops. Attendees can join Mark Seeley of OnMark Certification Services for his in-depth look at “Navigating the Organic Certification Process,” or Sandy Syburg of Purple Cow Organics on developing a “Systems Approach to Weed Management.”

The first day will wrap up with a mixer featuring local beer and spirits and a screening of “Dreaming of a Vetter World,” a film examining Nebraska grain-farmer and keynote speaker David Vetter’s journey from conventional to organic production.

Feb. 6 will feature opening remarks by Ivan Dozier, Illinois state conservationist with NRCS, a keynote address by organic grain pioneer David Vetter of Grain Place Foods and three concurrent tracks of breakout sessions.

Topics of the breakout sessions will include: “Building a Supply Chain for Organic Agriculture in Central Illinois,” “Revolutionizing Conservation in the Agriculture Industry through S.T.A.R.,” “Parallel Production Success,” “Considerations for Adding New Crops to Your Rotation,” “Quantifying the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Soil Health,” “Farming System Strategies for Success in Organic Production,” and “Innovative Structures for Farmland Transfer.”

The trade show will feature more than 20 exhibitors and will be open from noon to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 and 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 6. Lunch and a light breakfast are included on both days.

Registration for the conference and trade show on Feb. 5 includes access to the local beer and spirits mixer at the conclusion of the all-day workshops. Registration closes Feb. 3.

The 2020 OGC is made possible by the support of Illinois Farm Bureau, American Organics, Farm Credit Illinois, Albert Lea Seed and Organic Valley.

Learn more about the sessions and speakers presenting at the conference, and register online at thelandconnection.org/event/ogc2020.

The Land Connection is a non-profit organization in Champaign dedicated to growing the local food economy, both on and off the farm, for a healthy and resilient future.

If you would like more information, contact Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell at 217-840-2128, or cassidy@thelandconnection.org.

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