2022 OGRAIN Conference Schedule
2022 OGRAIN Conference Schedule
Thursday January 27
4:00-7:30 PM Managing organic reduced tillage systems, roundtable discussion. Separate registration fee.
Friday January 28
7:30 AM Registration and light breakfast
8:15-8:25: Welcome and Overview, Erin Silva (Organic Production Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
8:30-9:00: Organic Fraud: the Underbelly of Premium Markets, Lynn Clarkson, Clarkson Grain
Session Summary: India surged to become a leading US supplier of organic soy and soy ingredients. Compliance failed to adjust. The resulting challenge by US and the EU regulators led to a trade collapse and momentary doubling of US organic soy prices. How? Why? Where? What to do? Situation highlights the difficulty of enforcing organic rules and the need for finding reasonable solutions.
9:05-9:35: Dethroning King Corn, Ryan Koory, Mercaris
Session Summary: As U.S. organic acreage expansion continues, U.S. organic corn consumers are becoming less reliant on foreign markets. But, could organic corn self-sufficiency usher in a new era for U.S. organic field crops? Ryan Koory, Mercaris V.P. of Economics, will provide an overview of developing trends in U.S. organic corn markets, and how the shifting landscape of U.S. organics could result in a very different reality for U.S. organic field crop growers and consumers.
9:40-10:10: Navigating your Organic Crop Insurance Options, Megan Vaith, Northbourne Crop Insurance
Session Summary: Finding expertise in organic crop insurance is rare in the industry – Megan Vaith of Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance, LLC is trying to change this. She created her service to specifically address organic crop insurance needs. In this presentation, Megan will highlight the main considerations for organic grain farmers when it comes to insuring your crops.
10:10-10:30: Organic Grain Marketing Panel
10:30-10:45: Break, Trade Show
10:45-12:15: Keynote: Organic with No-Tillage, Rick Clark, Organic Farmer, Farm Green
Session Summary: Rick Clark has been a pioneer in developing reduced and no till practices on his 6500 acre farm in West Central, Indiana. In 2018, after 17 years of no till, Rick began transitioning to organic. Today his operation is 100% no till, 100% organic and 100% no inputs. He is the first to share that everything is not perfected, but he is constantly learning, and he gains success every year as he works toward improving his system.
12:15-1:15: Lunch, Exhibit Hall
1:15-2:00: Weed Zapping and Weed Management Innovations, Graham Adsit, Organic Farmer in WI, and Kyle Chirpich, Organic Farmer in MN
2:05-2:50: The Power of Increasing Small Grains and Cover Crops in your Rotation, Nic Podoll, Rodale Institute
Session Summary: The Podoll family operates Prairie Road Organic Farm located near Fullerton, ND and have been certified organic since 1977. In a world dominated by corn and soybean commodities, they have found success with a diverse rotation of small grains and cover crops. Nic will describe their farm management and the benefits of diversifying rotations with small grains, highlighting crops such as proso millet, buckwheat, triticale, cereal rye, hairy vetch, and sorghum sudan grass, in an effort to help encourage growers to create successful strategies for lengthening their rotations and increasing diversity.
2:50-3:15: Break, Trade Show
3:15-4:00 pm: Integrating Livestock into Organic Corn and Soy Rotations, Jared Siverling, Siverling Centennial Farm
Session Summary: Jared Siverling and his family are long-time regenerative farmers, following the example of his father. Organic since 2019, he has a unique story of previously having animals on the land, to transitioning to no livestock, to now re-introducing a herd of beef cattle for split organic grain & grazing production. This presentation will describe the farm’s progression and what Jared considers to be some initial steps for how to introduce animals into an organic corn/soy rotation.
4:00-5:00 pm: Closing Farmer Panel: Emphasis on weed and fertility management
5:00-6:30: Reception and Exhibit Hall
Evening supper on your own
Saturday January 29
7:30-8:30AM: Registration and light breakfast, Exhibit Hall opens
8:00-8:15AM: Welcome, Erin Silva and Alyssa Hartman, Artisan Grain Collaborative
8:15-9:15: Kernza® Updates & the Perennial Promise Growers Cooperative, Nicole Tautges, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and Willie Hughes, Hughes Family Farm
Session summary: Nicole Tautges of The Michael Fields Institute will review the findings of recent field research around Kernza(R), including the topics of soil health, forage production, grain yield, nutrient cycling, and perennial intercropping strategies. Willie Hughes of the Perennial Promise Growers Cooperative will provide updates on the highly dynamic and novel marketing environment for Kernza.
9:15-10:15: Growing Dry Beans, Jason Grimm, Grimm Family Farm
Session summary: Over 10 years ago Jason Grimm heard from his colleagues in the specialty food stores that the center of the grocery store wasn’t being served by local producers like the dairy or produce sections. With this knowledge and the desire to introduce new crops and his own enterprises to his family’s farm he started Grimm Family Farm. For the last 10 years he has been experimenting growing edible beans in Eastern Iowa. During his session Jason will share more about his trials and tribulations from when he started with a 1/4 acre in 2011 to 20 acres today. Jason will share more about the equipment he has used, crop rotations, varieties grown, seed conditioning methods and many marketing efforts.
9:15-10:45: Break and Trade Show
10:45-noon: Farmer Panel: Planning a Diverse Rotation, moderated by Michael O’Donnell
12:00-1:00 PM: Lunch and Trade Show
1:15-2:30: Farming for Flavor: Brewing & Distilling Grains (Rye & Corn), Clay Glazik, Silver Tree Beer and Spirits, and Wesley Reith, Granor Farm
Session summary: Over the last decade, the resurgence of the craft brewing & distilling industries has created a sizable demand for unique and flavorful grains to meet the needs of a variety of discerning end-users and consumers. In this session, farmer Wesley Rieth and distiller Clay Glazik will share their experiences with planning for, growing, marketing, and distilling these beverage-focused grains. They will also share results from a 2020 University of Illinois study that compared the flavor profiles of several corn varieties in whiskey production.
2:15-3:15: Farmer Panel
3:30-5 pm: Adjourn, with option of attending Organic Grains Happy Hour at Giant Jones Brewing
Lynn Clarkson,Lynn Clarkson is an organic farmer and CEO of Clarkson Grain, a supplier of organic food grains and oilseeds since 1992 and a processor of organic lecithin since 2004. The company buys organic raw materials ONLY from US producers, operates organic elevators and conditioning plants in Illinois and serves clients around the world.
Ryan Koory, Ryan Koory has more than a decade’s experience analyzing and reporting on agricultural markets, with an extensive background in econometric modeling, policy research, and long-term scenario forecasting. Before focusing on organic and non-GMO crops, he developed market forecasts for global livestock, diary, and biofuel markets. Ryan has a B.S. in Economics at Missouri State University and studied for his M.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Megan Vaith, Megan Vaith is the founder of Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance, LLC. Her expertise is used to advise organic farmers how to utilize their crop insurance options to help mitigate their risk and set their farm up for financial success.
Rick Clark, Rick Clark is a 5th generation farmer from Williamsport, IN. The main goal on the farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with Mother Nature. Rick has developed and is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming. He is most proud of incorporating regenerative farming practices with all acres being certified organic. He calls it regenerative organic stewardship with no tillage. He suppresses weeds and builds soil health with cover crops and no tillage. Rick also cares deeply about human health, as it is another important driver behind the organic no till style of farming. Rick is building a system that will be viable and profitable for generations to come.
Nic Podoll, Nic Podoll is a Midwest Organic Consultant with Rodale Institute. Nic is a lifelong organic farmer, having grown up and farmed with his family on their certified organic farm in southeast North Dakota, raising small grains and vegetable seed. Nic is IOIA certified in crops and holds a Master’s in Agricultural & Extension Education from North Carolina State University. He is located in north-central Minnesota.
Jared Siverling, Jared & Vanessa Siverling are the owners & managers of Siverling Centennial Farm in northern WI. SCF consists of over 500 certified organic acres dedicated to corn, soybean, alfalfa, oats, barley, rye, radish, sunflower, buckwheat, popcorn, and clover (for seed) production. Jared manages the beef herd of approximately 60 head, and Vanessa runs the no-till organic garden that supports a CSA of over two dozen families. Of the 320 acres they own, Jared & Vanessa have over 50 acres currently dedicated to split row crop and grazing operation, with another 90 acres scheduled for fencing in 2022.
Michael O’Donnell, Michael O’Donnell is an Organic Farm Manager at Living Prairie Family Farms in Wolcott, Indiana, an organic and transitional grain farming operation. He has responsibilities in the areas of organic certification and recordkeeping, grain marketing, crop planning, input and seed procurement, and assists with operations. He also recently started a part-time role as the Regenerative Ag Coordinator on the #DiverseCornBelt project with Purdue University. Originally from West Lafayette, IN, he earned B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Michael previously served Indiana’s agricultural community as the statewide Organic & Diversified Agriculture Educator with Purdue Extension.
Nicole Tautges, Nicole Tautges is an agroecologist with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, where she leads field research on food-grade small grains and integrated cropping systems. Nicole grew up in southeast WI and got her PhD at Washington State University, developing management recommendations for organic wheat. She conducts research with a passion for local agriculture and supporting family farms.
Willie Hughes, Willie Hughes is Organic Operations Manager for W. Hughes Farms, G.P. a 7 Generation family farm operating in Rock County. He also sits on the steering Committee for the Perennial Promise Growers Cooperative.
Jason Grimm, Jason owns and operates Grimm Family Farm. Jason raises dry beans, pastured poultry and produce for restaurants, grocers, institutions and direct markets throughout Iowa. Jason and his wife Hannah and their two boys Emmet and Elliot live outside of Williamsburg, IA. In addition to farming Jason works full time as the Executive Director at Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development in Amana. Jason is a leader in Iowa’s food system work with more than a decade of experience in community food systems.
Clay Glazik, Clay Glazik is the co-founder, Chief Marketing Officer and distiller at Silver Tree Spirits where he and his two brothers distill spirits with the gains they grow on their 5th generation organic farm outside Paxton, IL. Clay is a Certified Bourbon Professional recognized by the Global Council of Whiskey Masters and is currently working on his Master of Whiskies certification. Outside of running his own distillery Clay works in the creative marketing industry as an Art Director where he has created advertising campaigns for fortune 500 companies and celebrities as well as co-founding a creative studio where he and his team work on branding, digital design and creative strategy for environmental and agricultural related businesses.
Wesley Reith, Wesley Rieth is a diversified grain farmer in southwest Michigan. While he did grow up working on and near his grandpa’s farm, he left the realm of agriculture after college to spend time working in food & ag policy in Washington DC, followed by several years of teaching and coaching at a public high school in rural Appalachia. Although the conventional wisdom of his childhood led him to believe that “there ain’t no money in farming,” the pull of his conscience to return to his roots–literally and figuratively–was too significant to ignore. He now operates Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI, alongside a team of dedicated and hard-working colleagues, and farms several hundred acres of mostly organic, food-grade grains. He is humbled and grateful for the chance to engage in agriculture in the community he knows best.