The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors has agreed to join Woodbury and Plymouth counties and several businesses as sponsors of the Organic Growers Conference to be held at Sergeant Bluff on Nov. 9-10.
The sponsorship fee of $500 will come from the county betterment fund. The county betterment fund was established through one-fourth of the county's portion of the one cent local option sales tax. The remaining part of the county's portion goes to tax relief.
Jean Benson of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation was present at the meeting Tuesday to get the supervisors response to an invitation for sponsorship.
It was noted at the supervisors meeting that there are some younger farmers interested in getting started in a farming method that is more labor intensive than standard practices but pays a premium for the product and avoids the use of health endangering chemicals.
Among the many presenters at the conference will be Mark Schuett of BIOwa Nutraceuticals, one of the consumers of organic agricultural products. The flax seed processed for flax oil, a nutritional supplement, at the Cherokee plant, needs to be grown organically because the flax oil is highly reactive with chemicals.
Land must remain free of chemical application for three years before the product grown on the property can be certified as organic. Dean Schmidt, supervisor, noted that there will be some land coming out of the federal conservation program soon that could immediately qualify for certified organic products.
In noting that agricultural practices change, Jeff Simonsen, supervisor, noted that his grandfather related to him that he and an Illinois Central Railroad had gone to farmers asking them to plant soybeans while a market was being developed for that new product.