Western Cornbelt Organic Conference Coming to Sioux Falls

Transitioning to organic production, controlling weeds and soybeans aphids and raising cattle are among the topics.

Published on: Nov 25, 2010
A conference on organic farming will be held Dec. 6-7 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The conference is for organic producers and for traditional agriculture producers considering an organic transition. It conference will be held at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel.

On Dec. 6, Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University will present the keynote address. During the first day of the conference, morning speakers will discuss transitioning to organic crop production systems, and then in the afternoon, themes will include organic weed control. The afternoon session also includes a presentation on biology and management of soybean aphids.

Speakers include Extension specialists, educators, and researchers from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition, organic producers and other experts will share their experience and expertise with attendees on both days.

Themes on the second day include the governing rules of organic production. Sessions on government programs for transitioning to organic production and on organic livestock production also will be parts of the second day.

SDSU Plant Science professor Peter Sexton is among the organizers of the conference, and he said it should be a great opportunity for agricultural producers, people who work in agricultural service businesses, and the public.

"We're including a top-notch lineup of speakers and guests, and along with organic producers we encourage anyone who is transitioning to organic production, or who is considering a transition, to register for the conference," Sexton said. "The conference will include research-based information on weed control and beef production, as well as opportunities for people to hear first-hand from organic farmers regarding their own experience with transitioning, with weed control, and with beef production."

A complete conference agenda is available online at www.sdstate.edu/ps/news/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=887385.

Organizers have reserved a block of rooms for conference attendees at the host hotel. While rooms are available, participants can receive the group rate at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel by making reservations before Nov. 6. Ask for the "SDSU Organic Agriculture Conference" rate. Call the hotel directly at 605-336-0650.

Registration costs $40. Single-day registration $30 for the first day only or $15 for the second day.

To register for conference, send payment and contact information to event organizer Peter Sexton, Box 2207A, Plant Science Department, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007. Or call Sexton for information at 605-688-6179.

Partners in the event include the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, the USDA's Integrated Pest Management and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education programs, and the South Dakota State University IPM Program.

Source: SDSU AgBio Communciations