Organic Conference -- January 11 - 12, 2006
October 12, 2005
  • /Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • /Animal Sciences
  • /Crop Sciences
URBANA -- A conference on organic production will be held on January 11 and 12, 2006 at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. The purpose of this second annual conference is to provide practical science-based information on organic production, certification and marketing. The conference is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension and the Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program at the University of Illinois.

"This will be the best opportunity in Illinois for farmers to network, learn and gather resources on organic farming in the state," said conference organizer Dan Anderson. "All the presentations will be research-based or come directly from the state's best organic farmers."

Anderson said that last year's conference was so successful, that they decided to move it to a different location this year so that they would have more rooms to offer more concurrent sessions and a larger space for the trade show.

The conference will be helpful for anyone who is interested in learning more about organic agriculture but has no previous organic experience all the way to established, experienced organic farmers. "Livestock and grain producers interested in organic methods, certification and marketing will also find the conference helpful," said Anderson.

The first day of the conference will feature general sessions with special speakers, an organic reception and evening sessions and panels. The second day will be made up of break-out sessions in four tracks: field crops, specialty crops, livestock and miscellaneous. For example, in the field crops break-out U of I Extension specialist Ellen Phillips will talk about soil management for organic producers. In the specialty crops break-out, U of I crop scientist Rick Weinzierl will talk about how to control insects in organic fruit production and John Masiunas will discuss weed control for organic vegetable production. In the livestock track, U of I Extension specialist Justin Sexton will present information on intensive rotational grazing. The miscellaneous track will feature a variety of speakers on topics such as how to market value-added diversified food products and legal issues in direct marketing.

The conference fee is $85 for early registration and $125 after December 16. The fee includes all materials, as well as organic snacks and some meals.

For a complete listing of sessions and speakers and to register, visit the conference website or contact Dan Anderson (217-333-1588;