Interested in transitioning to organic? Unsure about how to handle weeds, fertility, and pests? Need help navigating the certification process, finding specialized equipment or locating new markets? Looking for an experienced mentor?

Let Rodale Institute help simplify the process and set you up for success with our Organic Consulting Service.

See What We Can Do

In 2018, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and concurrent with the passage of the PA State Farm Bill, Rodale Institute started an Organic Consulting service to provide support to farmers that want to transition from conventional to certified organic production. This groundbreaking program is the first of its kind in the nation, and Rodale Institute has expanded its capacity to now offer services to farmers across the country.

Reach Out Today

When you contact our Organic Consultants, we’ll discuss your needs and find a solution that's right for you.

Email: Consulting@RodaleInstitute.org
Phone: (610) 683-1416

Services Include:

On-Farm Consultations

Organic System Plan & Certification Assistance

Regenerative Organic Certification Assistance

Recordkeeping Guidance

Group Trainings & Workshops

Access to Online Education Modules

Weed Management Guidance

Crop Rotation Planning

Equipment Advice

Benchmark Soil Sample Analysis

Fertility Recommendations

Market/Buyer Discovery

Connection to Financial Resources

Networking with the Organic Community

Opportunities for Farmer-led Research Collaboration

Available Nationwide

Our organic consulting experts have experience with different crops, soils, and climates throughout the U.S. and are here to work for you wherever you’re located.

Rodale Institute Certified Advisor Program

Are you interested in helping farmers transition to certified organic and certified regenerative organic in your community? Join our network of Rodale Institute Certified Advisors!

About the Program

Benefits of Transitioning to Organic

Economic

Low conventional commodity prices and an increasing cost of production have put farmers in a difficult position that relies primarily on cost-cutting and unsustainable scaling to generate profit. Organic commodities can fetch two to three times the price of their conventional counterparts, and sales of organic products have grown steadily over the past decade. The price premium for organic products allows farmers to make a greater return on their investment, be more self-sufficient, and rely on a stabilizing market and buyer relationships rather than competition with imports and outsized corporate producers.

Environmental

By definition, organic crop production does not rely on chemical inputs for soil fertility or pest and disease control. Instead, organic farmers use cover crops, compost, animal inputs, and crop rotation to build the soil and produce strong, resilient farms. Healthy soil is key to managing extreme weather events like drought and flooding.

Practical

Organic agriculture allows farmers to reduce their dependence on companies that aim only to sell them products and don’t necessarily have their best interests in mind. Organic production works because it’s based on the natural cycling of nutrients and cash crops rather than the continued purchase and application of chemical products and genetically engineered seed.

Land Value

Getting farmland certified organic can increase the value of the land and give farmers a valuable asset for future generations.

Consumer Confidence

Organic certification of your farm products tells consumers that you meet rigorous standards and that they can buy with confidence.

The Journey to Organic

Explore these resources for a firsthand look into what it's like to transition to organic:

Organic Consulting Pricing

Rodale Institute’s Consulting Service is FREE to farmers in Pennsylvania who are interested in transitioning to an organic or regenerative organic production system. This program was developed in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Pricing for all other out-of-state clients is available upon request.

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SUPPORT

Rodale Institute has a number of partners that help to provide a streamlined process for farmers through the transition period, including obtaining certification and selling their organic products. There’s no better time to diversify and improve your operation.

Partners Include:

Organic Crop Consultants

Sam Malriat

Director, Organic Consulting

Sam provides on-site technical assistance to farmers, landowners, and businesses that are interested in transitioning land to certified organic and regenerative production systems. He earned a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University and has over 12 years of practical farming experience in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. Sam is a Certified Crop Adviser and is IOIA Certified in Crops and Livestock.

Nathanael Gonzales-Siemens

California Organic Consultant

Nathanael Gonzales-Siemens is returning to his roots and the spirit of discovery that first brought him back into farming after a decade of teaching in inner-city Los Angeles and in China and working for criminal justice reform on the West Coast. Nathanael spent his undergrad years studying Plant Genetics and Biology at UCLA and has a teaching credential for CSU Los Angeles. He grew up on a small farm in California’s San Joaquin Valley and founded two businesses there with his family. The first, now run by his brother, is focused on food justice and sovereignty and the second, operated by his wife, strives to implement regenerative farming practices and to equip and empower traditionally underrepresented groups.

Nic Podoll

Midwest Organic Consultant

Nic is a lifelong organic farmer, having grown up and farmed with his family on their certified organic farm in southeast North Dakota, raising small grains and vegetable seed. Prior to working at Rodale Institute, he worked in Extension for the University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University. He also served several years on the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Review Committee. Nic is IOIA certified in crops and holds a Master’s in Agricultural & Extension Education from North Carolina State University. He is located in north-central Minnesota.

Léa Vereecke

Midwest Organic Consultant

Joining the team in January 2021, Léa is thrilled to work with a renowned organization and connect with new farmers as an Organic Consultant based in Madison, WI. After growing up on a grain farm in Northeastern France, Léa earned an M.S. in Agronomy and Agroecology. For four years, she was a Research Specialist with Dr. Erin Silva at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, overseeing diverse research projects—including cover crop-based reduced tillage systems, organic row crops, small grains, cover crops, industrial hemp, and more. Léa has always been fascinated by sustainable agronomic crop production and values maintaining close relationships with farmers to motivate and inform her work.

Kegan Hilaire

Small Farms & Diversified Vegetable Consultant

Kegan was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, before moving to Philadelphia to complete his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Temple University. After joining a CSA in the city, he was hooked on the production of fresh, local, seasonal food. It has led him from Sales manager of a 5th-generation dairy farm, to managing a diversified, organic farm, to the Rodale Institute Farmer Training Program, and finally to the facilities and landscape team at the Founder’s Farm Campus. Kegan also owns and operates a small organic farm in Emmaus, PA.

Ryan Siwinski

Organic Livestock & Dairy Consultant

Ryan joined the team in August 2021 where he assists livestock and dairy farmers in their transition from conventional to organic meat and dairy production. He holds a B.S. in Supply Chain Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Ryan shifted his career from supply chain management to organic and regenerative agriculture to pursue his passion for improving the global regenerative food supply. Prior to joining the team at Rodale Institute, Ryan worked in farm operations at multiple livestock farms in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Ryan is located at the Rodale Institute Headquarters in Kutztown, PA.

Zachary West

Southeast Organic Consultant

Zach joined the Rodale Consulting Team in August 2021 and is based at the Southeast Organic Center in Georgia. Zach grew up in Georgia but has had the opportunity to work on diverse agricultural systems in various other locations around the world. Zach holds a M.S. in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems and is passionate to share his knowledge of sustainability and organic practices. Prior to joining the Rodale Institute, he worked at an organic certifier and has an in depth understanding of the organic regulations and hopes to share his knowledge with farmers who would like to succeed in converting to organic management practices.

Caitlin Tucker

New York Region Organic Consultant

Caitlin joined the Rodale Institute Consulting Team in January 2022 and is excited to support farmers across New York transition to organic production. She grew up on a small farm in Mid-Missouri where she spent most of her summers in the hayfields. While in the Midwest, she received her B.S. in Plant Sciences from the University of Missouri, and conducted research on small grains, cover cropping, and water quality. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Entomology with a focus on Integrated Pest Management from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining the Rodale Institute, Caitlin worked for the Cornell Vegetable Program for several years, where she served vegetable producers across Western New York through education, research, and production assistance. She is based out of Buffalo, NY.

Samantha Hilborn

New Mexico Organic Consultant

Samantha joined the Rodale Institute Consulting Team in January 2022 and helps New Mexico farmers transition to certified organic. She grew up in New Mexico and is from the Pueblos of Laguna and Acoma. Samantha has a M.S. in Horticulture and Agronomy with a specialization in plant breeding from University of California, Davis and a B.S. in Horticulture from New Mexico State University. Prior to joining the Rodale Institute, she was working as a staff research associate for the spinach breeding program at UC Davis. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of crop production, creating connections between farmers and fostering food sovereignty in New Mexico and beyond. She is based out of Santa Fe, NM.

Bridget Gilmore

Organic & ROC Market Coordinator

Bridget cultivates connection between farmers and organic & regenerative organic market opportunities, and between buyers and producers. She grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and studied Leadership, Ethics, & Organizational Sustainability at Saint Joseph’s University. She has gathered food system experiences in different parts of the world with small scale farmers, a CPG company, and a natural distributor. She is thrilled to propel her passions for regenerative agriculture and food sovereignty. Bridget joined the team in February 2022. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Organic Farm Search Tool

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