Organic Farming Mentor Project
"A growing number of farmers and landowners in the area are interested in reducing chemical usage. They will benefit from seeing a demonstration of feasibility of farming without chemicals. Also, over the next several years, a lot of land is scheduled to be resleased from the CRP. This land is availble for immediate organic certification, which can be more resource-conserving and -- given current organic markets -- more profitable tahn conventional farming."
Objectives: To assist beginning organic farmers by bring in three groups: 1) landowners who wish to have their land farmed without chemical use; 2) individuals seeking to begin organic farming or to transition from chemcial use; and 3) experienced organic farmers to serve as mentors.
Results: This project will be extended for one year. The core group of prouders includes six aspiring organic farmers and six experienced and successful organic farmers to be linked together. The project coordinator reports excellent interest and participation by apprentic farmers and mentors with major focus on organic soybean production and weed control. Participants are also intersted in using cover crops.