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 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

Contact Us

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.

Services Include:

On-Farm Consultations

Organic System Plan & Certification Assistance

Regenerative Organic System Plan & Certification Assistance

Inspection Preparation

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

Sourcing & Supply Chain Strategy Development

Connection to Financial Resources

Networking with the Organic Community

Opportunities for Farmer-led Research Collaboration

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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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.

Organic 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.

Dave Campbell

Organic Advisor

Dave was introduced to organics in 1967 on a small diversified organic farm, when he began to sell organic meat to a health food store under the guidance of his father. Upon graduating from Western Illinois University with a teaching degree, he joined his father in their organic dairy cow operation located in northern Illinois, and later he operated an organic dairy in southern Wisconsin. In 1988, he began to transition the entire acreage of a conventional row crop farm near DeKalb IL (Lily Lake Organic Farm) to certified organic production, and he has been USDA certified organic for the past 34 years, along with Real Organic Certified for the past 3 years. Dave has served on numerous organic boards, and has presented many workshops on the topics of weed management, cover crops, and crop rotations. He has also served a 4-year term on the NCR-SARE Advisory Council as a grant reviewer. Currently, he serves on both the Policy Committee and Governing Council for OFA (Organic Farmers Assoc.)

Idelfi Crespo

Senior Administrative Assistant, Consulting and Accounting

Idelfi is Senior Administrative Assistant to the Organic Consultancy and Accounting/ HR departments. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, and her prior experience includes Health Care Management Administration. Having lived all her life in New York City, she has always been very passionate about accessibility to affordable healthy foods in the inner cities, clean eating and green spaces.

Sage Dennis

Pennsylvania Organic Consultant

Joining the team in September 2022, Sage is excited to be able to expand into Regenerative Agriculture bringing sustainable farming to the next level. He has been doing Organic Consulting for the past 5 years and is eager to continue to learn to better serve our farmers. Prior to his time in Organic Agriculture, Sage travelled through various countries as a travelling farmhand. Seeing different approaches, practices, and beliefs within agriculture is what ignited his passion of sustainable Agriculture and wishes to take these life experiences and use to better service our clients.

Bridget Gilmore

Market Development Manager

Bridget cultivates connections throughout organic & regenerative organic value chains. 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 national distributor. She is thrilled to propel her passions for regenerative organic agriculture and food sovereignty. Bridget joined the team in February 2022. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Nathanael Gonzales-Siemens

Pacific Regional Manager

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.

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.

Samantha Hilborn-Naluai

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.

Vivian Le

Markets Coordinator

Vivian is a food systems professional with extensive experience in community-based food systems work and is the Productions Chair of the North American Food Systems Network. Prior to joining the Rodale team in April of 2024, she farmed in Italy, launched a farmer’s market in New York and supported the Good Food Awards in California. She studied food and sustainability at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a master’s in Gastronomy from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.

Ben Lehman

Midwest Organic Consultant

Ben grew up on an organic grain farm in central Iowa and is based in Slater, IA. He joined the team in February 2023, and is excited to help connect Midwest grain farmers with organic practices that work with their soils and management. Ben worked in on-farm research and extension while he pursued a B.S. in Crop Production from Cornell University. He moved back to Iowa to be near the family grain farm and work as an agronomist focused on helping farms evaluate new practices. He’s especially excited to help farmers find rotations, cover crops, and equipment that fit their operation.

Emily Miller

Operations Manager

Emily oversees the operations of the Consulting team, empowering Rodale’s efforts to transition farmers to organic and regenerative organic agriculture. Prior to joining the Rodale Institute team, she worked in sales and operations for an international sustainable ingredients startup after running her own grocery delivery service in Baltimore. She also worked in software consulting and ecommerce as a Fellow with Venture For America (VFA). She earned a BA in Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University, with a focus on sustainable development. Emily joined the team in September 2023 and is based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Catherine Peebles

Pennsylvania Organic Consultant

Catherine joined the team in September 2022 and is excited to support farmers interested in transitioning to organic and regenerative practices. After training and working on a biodynamic farm in New York, Catherine pursued a Master’s from Cornell University in Soil & Crop Sciences focusing on payments for ecosystem services for small farmers. Prior to her Master’s, she worked in finance after earning her Bachelor’s in Economics & Spanish from Bucknell University. Catherine is thrilled to cultivate her financial experience and passion for resilient farming systems at an organization pioneering the regenerative organic movement.

Nic Podoll

Northern Plains Regional Manager

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.

Jen Rose Silverman

New Mexico Program Coordinator

Jen is passionate about building vital relationships and opportunities as a means towards restoration, regeneration and resilience. Joining the team in September 2023 with nearly two decades of organic inspecting and consulting, she has spent many hours walking farms and ranches across the country and sitting with producers completing paperwork at their kitchen tables. Jen is proud to bring her work back home to New Mexico. Jen’s expertise brings stakeholder awareness and a toolbox of skills which align with Rodale’s consulting team’s vision to build a future with healthier people and planet and one that celebrates farming and shared connections. Jen and her husband reside on their beloved small biodiverse farm situated on the ancestral lands of Tiwa territory in Northern NM.

Léa Vereecke

Midwest Regional Manager

Léa grew up on a grain farm in Northeastern France and earned an M.S. in Agronomy and Agroecology before moving to the U.S. in 2016. For the following five years, she was a Research Specialist with Dr. Erin Silva at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, she oversaw organic research projects on various topics including cover crop-based reduced tillage systems, cover crops, row crops, small grains, and industrial hemp production. She joined the Rodale Institute Consulting team in January 2021 and is thrilled to work for a renowned organization as an Organic Agronomist and Regional Manager. She has always been fascinated by sustainable agronomic crop production, and keeping strong relationships with farmers continues to motivate and inform her work.

The Journey to Organic

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

Organic Farm Search Tool

Looking to connect with other farms in your area? Use our searchable map to find any certified organic operation in the United States.

Start Searching

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.

Our Partners Include:

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