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.
Rodale Institute is now offering consulting services aimed at helping conventional farmers transition to an organic system. According to a joint report released by Oregon State University and Oregon Tilth, mentoring and one-on-one technical assistance were the top ways in which farmers seeking to transition wanted to receive information1. Backed by a team of researchers, farmers, educators, and experts, our crop consulting service aims to provide farmers with the information they need to start growing organic crops for market, while simultaneously improving soil health, increasing the farm’s resilience, and supporting long-term financial stability.
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When you contact our Organic Crop Consultants, we’ll discuss your needs and find a solution that's right for you.
For a limited time, Rodale Institute’s Consulting Services are FREE to Pennsylvania farmers interested in transitioning to an organic production system. This support is provided by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Pricing for out-of-state clients is available upon request.
Organic Certification & Paperwork Assistance
Weed Control Methods
Crop Rotation Planning
Nutrient Management Planning
Soil Sampling & Analysis
Rodale Institute has partnered with Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) and Bell & Evans Farms to provide a streamlined process for getting farmers through the transition period, obtaining certification, and selling their organic products. There’s no better time to diversify and improve your operation.
Benefits of Transitioning to Organic
Low conventional commodity prices and an increasing cost of production has 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.
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.
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.
Getting farmland certified organic increases the value of the land and gives farmers a valuable asset for future generations.
Organic Crop Consultants
Sam is part of an ongoing, collaborative effort to help farmers transition their agricultural operations from conventional to certified organic systems. He earned a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University, and has 12 years of practical farming experience in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Emily joined the consulting team in January 2020 and will help farmers navigate organic compliance of their operations as they transition to certified organic. She has a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, focusing in Soil Science, from Pennsylvania State University. Previous to joining the team at Rodale Institute, she worked in the regulatory compliance of organics for a certification agency and a material review organization.
Kristine provides on-farm consultations for Midwest farmers and landowners who want to transition any portion of their operations to certified organic systems. She is developing partnerships with local and regional organizations to extend Rodale Institute’s outreach in the Midwest. Kristine has a Ph.D. in Horticulture and Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University, and she will also oversee specialty crop research at the RI MOC.