One-Day 2017 FarmStarts Schedule

Wednesday Jan. 25 —Springfield, Missouri

Friday March 24 — Hays, Kansas

Tuesday April 4 — Walnut Creek, Ohio

Wednesday April 5 — St. Henry, Ohio

Thursday April 6 — Battle Creek, Michigan



Dr. Francis Thicke

National Organic Standards Board Member

Beginning Farmers Explore Production, Business and Marketing

Angie Tunink

Organic Crop Improvement Association

TJ Boortz

National Farmers

Organics Marketer

Guy Jodarski, DVM

Organic Valley

Lead Veterinarian

Dr. Craig Chase

Iowa State University

Farm Management

John Bobbe

Organic Farmers for Relationship Marketing

Al Smith

Optimum Service Group Crop Insurance

Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program


Only beginning farmers, those who have been in business less than 10 years are eligible for the $200 farm and travel allowance.

The demand for organic grain and organic milk has grown dramatically over the past 15 years. And it is expected to increase significantly over the next 15. In general, the cost versus income barrier is monumental, and prevents people from entering farming who wish to consider it. The superior profitability of organic milk and grain makes organic farming more affordable for the beginning farmer.


Our program, FarmStarts, will provide training for beginning farmers who have been in the business for less than 10 years. We will develop producers in the following areas:

  • Organic Grain Operation Practices
  • Organic Dairy Operation Practices
  • Organic Dairy Markets and Marketing
  • Organic Grain Markets and Marketing
  • Ag Risk Management and Crop Insurance
  • Transitioning to Organic
  • Organic Certification
  • Farm Financial Management


Conventional and organic producers are welcome. Several of the day’s educational sessions apply to both conventional and organic producers. Each person should register individually. Registration is free.

Tim Ennis

National Farmers

Carmen Fernholz

Organic Farmers for Relationship Marketing

Dr. Silvia Abel-Caines

Organic Valley Ruminant Nutritionist

 Paul Dettloff-D.V.M Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative

Claire Sandrock Midwest Organic Services Association

Mark Kopecky

Organic Valley

Soil Agronomist

Will Ortman

Windberry Acres Organic Grain Producer

Beginning Farmers Explore Production, Business and Marketing Agenda

  • Hays, Kansas, Friday March 24

    KSU Ag Research Facility

    1232 240th Ave., Hays, Kansas

    Phone: 785/939-2032

    9:00 a.m.  Registration and Pre-Program Survey


    9:15 a.m.  Welcome and Attendee Introductions —Kansas Organic Producers Ed Reznicek


    9:30 a.m. Soil Health, Cover Crops & Grazing in Organic Grain Production —Shannon Gnad, Agronomist - Crop Vision Consulting


    10:30 a.m. Break


    10:45 a.m. Financial Planning & Management for Organic Grain Production — Dale Nordquist, Associate Director of the Center for Farm Financial Management in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota


    11:30 a.m. Organic Certification Basics —Demetria Stephens, OCIA Chapter Coordinator & Organic Inspector)


    Noon  Lunch


    12:45 p.m. Organic Crop Rotation, Soil Fertility & Weed Control— Dennis Demmel, Organic Grain Farmer


    1:45 p.m. Organic Crop Insurance—Tait Berlier, Silveus Insurance Group


    2:30 p.m.  Break


    2:45 p.m.  Marketing Organic Grain—Adam Ptacek & Martin Eddy, KOP grain marketers


    3:30 p.m.  Introduction to OFARM — Oren Holle, President - Organization for Relationship Marketing


    3:45 p.m.  Post Program Survey


    4:00 p.m. Survey and Adjourn


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Contact Us to Learn More. 515.598.4674

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-70017-22872.


Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.