There’s big opportunity for organic agriculture in the Midwest, so we’re putting boots on the ground.

The Rodale Institute Midwest Organic Center at Eztel Sugar Grove Farm provides research, education, and assistance to farmers looking to implement organic practices on their farms. It’s also an educational center for the public, and the site of collaboration between Rodale Institute researchers and local partners.

The Midwest Organic Center is located in Marion, Iowa near Cedar Rapids.

Why Iowa?

In 2016, the USDA reported that Iowa—long considered the epicenter of agriculture—is fifth in the nation for number of certified organic farms. That makes the state representative of a growing movement. Yet the region lacks truly progressive, widespread access to research and training in regenerative organic practices.

The Midwest Organic Center, supported by Frontier Co-op, will provide support for Iowa’s organic farmers. Our goal is to enhance the growth of organic farms throughout the entire region.

Goals for the Center

To research innovative, regenerative, organic farming methods and provide farmers with the education and resources to implement those methods on their own farms.

To gather data on the differences between conventional and organic farming methods in Iowa’s unique climate and soil.

To expand organic acreage in the Midwest.

To expand public access to Rodale Institute’s research.

To create progressive opportunities in agriculture.

About Etzel Sugar Grove Farm

Etzel Sugar Grove Farm is a 190-acre farm located in Marion, Iowa that represents the future of agriculture in Iowa. The farm implements and educates the public on regenerative agriculture practices that restore the health of Iowa’s farms, watersheds and environment.

Eztel Sugar Grove Farm is part of  Indian Creek Nature Center, Iowa’s first and only privately owned and operated non-profit nature center.

Midwest Organic Center Staff

Dr. Carl Rosier

Research Director

Dr. Carl Rosier has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Montana. Dr. Carl Rosier uses his expertise in ecology and soil resource management to inform farmers and others about our soil environment and the effect farming practices have on this critical resource.

Midwest Organic Center Steering Committee

Craig Chase, Iowa State University

Program Manager of Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development
Ames, IA

Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University

Professor of Horticulture and Agronomy
Ames, IA

Ravin Donald, Ph.D., Frontier Co-op

Vice President of Technical Services
Norway, IA

Andy Dunham, Grinnell Heritage Farm

Grinnell, IA

Wendy Johnson, Joia Food Farm

Charles City, IA

Dan Pickar, Hills Bank

Commercial Banking Officer
Hills, IA

Martin St. Clair, Coe College

Professor of Chemistry
Cedar Rapids, IA

Loran Steinage, FLOLOfarms

West Union, IA

Live Weather Updates from the Farm

The Midwest Organic Center’s Hobo Weather Station continually collects data to inform future research trials on the farm. Our onsite staff use this data to connect weather patterns with soil moisture and temperature responses under different crop management practices. Check out the live data for updates anytime!

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Midwest Organic Center
3706 St. Peters Rd.
Marion, IA 52302
P. 319.449.1970

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