Waterloo Center for the Arts
225 Commercial Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50701-1313




12:00 pm  Registration and Exhibit Set-Up

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm    Workshops

Starting an Organic Pork Operation Workshop
Dan Wilson, Ron Rosmann, Mike Robertson, Kate Mendenhall, Producers;
Dave Stender, Swine Specialist, ISU Extension & Outreach

This panel will share information on starting or transitioning to an organic pork operation. Current producers and swine experts will discuss their experiences and share knowledge on such topics as economics, housing systems, farrowing systems, water systems, performance and profitability.

Advanced Organic Farmer Workshop 
Jude Becker, Becker Lane Organic
This workshop will focus on a farm system analysis for advanced organic hog producers. Jude has over 20 years of raising organic hogs in northeast Iowa. He has consulted with organic pork farmers from across the globe.  Jude will offer an overview his current system including breeding, farrowing, weaning, grow-finish, and health issues.  Additional topics include; scheduling farm tasks, conjoining pig production with crop farming, and current housing options and why they are used related to market demands and farmer philosophy. 

4:30 pm   Reception
Network with other producers, vendors and researchers while enjoying local organic food and a cash bar.



Conference Keynote - Bertel Hestbjerg, Denmark's Largest Producer of Organic Pigs
There is an increasing demand for organic meet in Denmark. We are excited to be hosting one of Denmark's largest producer of organic pigs and an industry leader, Bertel Hestbjerg. He is traveling from his farm in Holstebro, Denmark to share his knowledge and experience in developing a system that meets not only national and European organic rules but also focuses on "animal welfare, recycling and openness about all the thing that we should do better - pre-weaning mortality, carbon footprint, change from oil to green energy and more."

Luncheon Keynote - Christie ZimmermanDirector of Sustainability and Food Programs, Natural Grocers
Christie will be discussing trends in what both retailers and the consumer desire and how to market to that desire.

Breakout Sessions

Feed & Nutrition
Improving Performance on Grow to Finish Organic Pigs with Small Grains
Tom Frantzen, Organic Pork Farmer

Nutritional Needs of Healthy Pigs 
Dr. Lee Johnston, Professor, University of Minnesota
Pigs raised in an organic production system have the same nutritional needs as pigs raised in conventional production systems.  We will discuss approaches to blending production goals, available feedstuffs, and organic standards into a sound feeding program. 

Herd Health
Proper Vaccination Protocols
Kurt Van Hulzen, Veterinarian 
Prevention always trumps treatment. Come and learn what diseases we can vaccinate for, why timing of vaccination is so important, and discuss what a basic vaccination protocol looks like and why we need to review it annually.

Housing Options
Reducing Piglet Pre-Weaning Mortality
Yuzhi Li, Professor, University of Minnesota
Piglet pre-weaning mortality is a common problem in organic/alternative swine production. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have investigated strategies to reduce pre-weaning mortality of piglets in a bedded, group-farrowing system for eight years. Through sharing research data with the audience, we will discuss potential strategies to minimize pre-weaning mortality in pen farrowing systems.

Facility Options for Organic Pork Production
James Frantzen, Owner, Riverside Feeds

Best Practices for Direct Marketing of Your Product to Retailers
Jude Becker, Becker Lane Organic
Bertel Hestbjerg, Denmark

Soil Health & Manure Management
The Pros & Cons of Pasture and Non-Pasture Methods for Raising Organic Hogs

Tom Frantzen, Organic Pork Farmer
Dan Wilson, Organic Pork Farmer

Rodale Institute's Organic Hog Research Facility
Shelby Dukes, Rodale Institute
Rodale Institute built a unique hog facility in 2015 with the purpose of combining efficient farmer labor with improved animal welfare.  The goal of this facility was to create a place where organic pastured pork research could be conducted to better aid the organic pig farmer.  This presentation will cover the unique features of the facility.  It will also cover preliminary information regarding the pastured pig parasite management study Rodale is conducting the next three years.

Organic Certification
Introduction to Organic Certification for Livestock and Crops 
Chris Barnier, MOSES  
We will explore a brief history, the legal framework, required organic practices, NOP certification process, and philosophy and advantages of organic certification.  Will also include information resources and the certification process."    

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  • Limah Ug
    commented 2019-02-07 07:11:02 -0600
    Am interested in this
  • Kristine Winter
    published this page 2018-10-18 12:54:25 -0500