Field Day December 2023

Transitioning to Organic Production with Rodale Institute

Food Works of Southern Illinois and Rodale Institute invite you to join us on Thurs, Dec 7th, from 1-5 PM at the SIU Research Park in Carbondale, IL, for a workshop on transitioning to organic production.

This workshop will be presented to fit the needs of farms in the southern Illinois region and funded through the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). It will be facilitated by Rodale Institute Organic Consultant, Nic Podoll. The workshop features sessions on:

  • The organic certification process - including choosing a certifier, filling out paperwork, recordkeeping, and going through inspection;
  • The agronomic/technical aspects of organic crop production in small and diversified vegetable, fruit, and livestock systems including weed, fertility, and pest management; and
  • A farmer panel of certified organic growers who will share their experience with organic certification and managing organic systems, as well as answer specific questions from attendees.

Nic Podoll 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. He is a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), IOIA (International Organic Inspectors Association) certified in crops and livestock, and holds a Masters degree in Agricultural & Extension Education. Prior to Rodale Institute, he worked in Extension for the University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University.

Also joining us is Dean Dickel, a farmer who works as an independent organic inspector and Organic Advisor for Rodale Institute.

Dean Dickel was born and raised on an Iowa grain and livestock farm and has been connected to Midwest agriculture and rural communities ever since. Farm life included daily chores and active involvement in FFA as a young man. Dean’s early farming career was cut short by the 1980s Farm Crisis and so he would pursue a degree in journalism and eventually go to work for weekly and daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois, eventually ending up at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald as their agriculture reporter. He covered controversial changes in agriculture such as the introduction of genetically engineered seeds and the dairy hormone BST. But, the Dubuque area was also home to organic farming pioneers such as Gary Zimmer and rotational grazing guru Charlie Opitz who provided a number of opportunities for the paper and Dean to promote this emerging alternative to chemical and industrial agriculture. By the late 1990s Dean decided to join the organic movement himself, and with wife Mary at his side, established New Century Farm producing and distributing organic eggs throughout Southern Wisconsin. After a successful 20-year run in the egg business, Dean and Mary sold the business and purchased a home in Mineral Point, WI. Dean currently works as an independent organic inspector and Organic Advisor for Rodale Institute.

Event Notes:

There will be no potluck but Beverages and snacks will be provided. 

Restrooms are available.

Parking is available in front of the building and in the east parking lot but carpooling is recommended.

Thank you to all who joined us!

Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.
(618) 370-3287[email protected]
Food Works
PO Box 3855
Carbondale, IL 62901
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