Sandhill Acres of Chelsea, Iowa, sells produce at the Toledo Farmers Market in 2021. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

IOWA CITY, Iowa – After going virtual last year, the annual Iowa Organic Conference plans to return to an in-person format for 2021.

The 21st annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held Nov. 28-29, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Organizers will be monitoring COVID status and University of Iowa guidance, and will change to a virtual format if necessary.

Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into organic production and methods to enhance organic operations.

The conference is a joint effort between Iowa State University and the University of Iowa.

Learn more about the conference from Kathleen Delate:

The Iowa Organic Conference begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, with vendor set-up in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union and on-site registration, followed by a reception at 6 p.m. featuring local and organic food and drinks in the IMU Second Floor Ballroom.

The reception and conference lunch on Nov. 29 will highlight local and organic produce, meats and dairy products assembled into a gourmet meal by Barry Greenberg, executive chef at the University of Iowa, with help from his team.

Jessica Shade, chief scientist at The Organic Center, will deliver the keynote called “Resisting Climate Change with Organic Agriculture.”

Following Shade’s keynote at 8 a.m. Monday, the breakout sessions start at 10:30 a.m and include information on crop production and marketing, food safety, transitioning into organic farming, weed management, organic crop and livestock production, and carbon markets for farmers.

Keeping with the theme of “Save the Planet Through Organics: Managing Climate Change with Organic Practices,” the conference will have sessions on environmental and social impacts of organic food production and farming.

“The Iowa Organic Conference is the largest university-sponsored organic conference in the country,” said Kathleen Delate, professor and extension organic specialist in horticulture and agronomy at Iowa State. “Despite the challenges of wet weather early in the season and drought in many locations in July and August, organic farmers are anticipating successful organic yields with organic soybean prices currently averaging $32 per bushel and organic corn at $9.22 per bushel.”

Conference registration is available online and is $100 until Nov. 16, and $120 thereafter.

Hotel rooms are available at the Iowa House Hotel for Nov. 28. Guests can access room reservations online by entering group #112821, or call the hotel at 319-335-3513 and mention the Iowa Organic Conference.

For additional conference information and directions, visit the 2021 Iowa Organic Conference webpage or contact Kathleen Delate at or 515-294-5116.

More: Iowa’s indoor farmers market season launches in November

The Iowa Organic Conference is set for Nov. 28-29 in Iowa City, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)