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The OTA Calendar is full of events that are either organized or attended by OTA. We are pleased to organize and support dozens of events that advance organic agriculture and trade throughout the year. Some of these are signature OTA events hosted for members, while others are regional, national, or international conferences where OTA staff are featured keynotes and panelists. Whether we’re bringing the latest news and trends about the organic industry to diverse audiences, sponsoring business networking gatherings, or hosting listening sessions to gather feedback from the sector, you can count on OTA to be part of the action. 

OTA Hosted Event

February 2019

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Global Organic Produce Exposition (GOPEX)

Global Organic Produce Exposition (GOPEX)

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

The Packer’s Global Organic Produce Exposition & Conference (GOPEX) provides a forum to meet the rapidly changing needs of professionals who grow, distribute, pack and market organic produce. This international trade show and conference provides the ideal opportunity for organic produce professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas, source new products and services, and do business with the industry's leading growers, distributors, packers, marketers and retailers.

The Organic Trade Association is organizing a keynote and two panel discussions at the Conference on February 1, 2019. More details on each session below, and for more information contact Angela Jagiello

Shannon Allen Keynote
Shannon will discuss how her passion for organic and concern for her family’s unique nutritional needs led her to launch grown™ an organic quick serve restaurant, with her husband, NBA All-Star Ray Allen. Throughout Ray’s 18-year NBA career, Shannon made sure that he ate the healthiest foods to help him maintain his edge and stay in peak physical condition. When the Allens’ middle son, Walker, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Shannon’s zeal for providing healthful, nutritious food for her very busy family inspired her to open the nation’s first all organic fast food restaurant with a drive through. With the latest science about the health benefits of organic from The Organic Center, Allen will inspire you with her passion for nutritious food, and her vibrant entrepreneurial spirt.

Athletes Embrace Organic
With all the nutritional resources in the world available to them, many professional athletes are choosing organic, and many dieticians are advocating organic for their elite athlete clientele. In fact, a number of these individuals have felt so strongly about the value of organic that they go on to launch organic products after the conclusion of their athletic careers. Our panel will discuss athletes’ embrace of organic. Is this a trend? Why? What’s propelling it, and what barriers need to be overcome for the trend to expand?

The Organic Center Presents: Breeding for Flavor
Remarkable results are possible when seed breeders expand their focus beyond yield and transportability as primary desirable traits, and begin selecting for other qualities such as flavor, nutrition, and resilience to weather and pest pressures. Hear from cutting edge researchers about what they’ve been able to accomplish, and what we can look forward to in the future. The session will be moderated by Dr. Amber Sciligo, The Organic Center’s new Director of Science Programs. She will be joined by Erica Renaud, PhD., who manages organic seed and herbs in North America for Vitalis/Enza Zaden, USA.

Conference Information:

January 31 - February 2, 2019

Diplomat Beach Resort

Hollywood, FL

- 8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
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Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In 2019

Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019 - 6:30pm to Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 3:00pm

The Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In brings organic farmers from across the country to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress, USDA and national agriculture organizations to discuss issues of importance to organic farmers. The Fly-In will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4 and conclude at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6.  

This event elevates the voice of farmers in Washington, D.C. and is a great opportunity to network with a dedicated group of organic farmers from across the country. In January, a new Congress will be sworn-in, giving participants an opportunity to welcome the new Congress and educate them on the importance of organic to U.S. agriculture.

For more information about the 2019 FAC Fly-In contact the Organic Trade Association's Farm Policy Director, Johanna Mirenda

Event Type: 
6:30pm to 3:00pm
 
 
Organic Trade Association Winter Board Meeting [In-Person]

Organic Trade Association Winter Board Meeting [In-Person]

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:00pm

The In-Person Winter Board Meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., directly following the 2019 FAC Fly-In.

The OTA Board of Directors typically meets as a full Board at least four times a year, two or three in-person meetings and one or two via teleconference. Each Board member serves on one of the three committees: Executive, Community Relations, or Governance.  Each committee typically meets once per month.

Organic Trade Association members are welcome to attend and observe in-person Board meetings, with the exception of any Executive Session. 

For more information, contact Stephanie Jerger

Meeting Information:

Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

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- 9:00am to 4:00pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
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World Ag Expo

World Ag Expo

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:00am to Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 5:00pm

World Ag Expo is the largest annual outdoor agricultural exposition featuring 1,450+ exhibitors and more than 100,000 attendees each year. Each year it is held at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California,  starting on the second Tuesday of February. It has officially been designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as an affiliate of the Foreign Buyer Program, which encourages exportation of American made goods. 

The Organic Trade Association's Director of Industry Relations, Membership and Development, Cassandra Christine, will be attending to walk the show floor on Wednesday, February 13. If you'd like to connect with us at the World Ag Expo, contact Cassandra Christine!

Trade Show Information:

February 12-14, 2019

International Agri-Center

Tulare, California

10:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
 
Biofach

Biofach

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Biofach is the world's largest trade show for organic, taking place February 13-16, 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany. The Organic Trade Association will host a pavilion of 14 U.S. organic companies at the show. 

The registration fee is $600 for first time exhibitors and $1000 for return exhibitors. This pavilion is already filled, but if you are interested in being added to the waitlist for participation, contact the Organic Trade Association's International Trade Manager, Alexis Carey.

Registration includes the following:

  • Tabletop in OTA booth
  • 1 round trip economy transportation to and from Nuremburg, booked through OTA’s travel agent
  • Hotel stay for 1 for the duration of the activity
  • Fascia and counter graphics
  • Travel to and from the show daily via public transportation or shuttle [travel to and from the airport is at the participant's own expense]. 
  • 1 group dinner, and buyer dinner support

For all USDA MAP programs, 51% or more of the products you promote must be 51% or made of U.S. produced ingredients either by value (cost of the ingredients) or volume (against overall weight of the product).  It’s the federal USDA regulation for participation and part of declaration you agree to when signing up for OTA activities. All exhibitors must complete OTA’s onsite evaluation and a 6 month follow-up evaluation.

Disclaimer: Organic Trade Association participation at Biofach 2019 is subject to USDA MAP funding provided by the Farm Bill. Should funding not be released in time for participation at Biofach, your deposit will be refunded.

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
Organicology

Organicology

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Organicology 2019 will be taking place February 14 -16 in Portland, OR. With intensive training sessions, workshops, world class keynote speakers, amazing entertainment and networking, Organicology is a conference of its own class. Organicology seeks to bring all of the stakeholder groups to the table to not only develop skills in their own areas of activity but to gain exposure to the challenges and accomplishments of those in other areas of the trade and movement. Each day of Organicology offers different opportunities to learn.  Thursday is for intensives, Friday is for workshops and our Ark of Taste Dinner and concert, and Saturday is our Exhibitor Showcase.

The Organic Trade Association's Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions, Megan DeBates, will be leading the following session at the Conference. Date and time of this presentation is TBA, check back for updates! For more information, contact Megan DeBates.  

Farm Bill & Organic Policy in 2019
Federal policy plays a critical role in supporting organic production systems, and with the process underway for enacting and implementing a new farm bill, now is the time to focus in on how to defend and strengthen key programs and policies that benefit organic producers. Additionally, transitioning to organic production remains a key barrier to meet the expanding organic demand, and now is the time to identify policy opportunities to address this gap. This workshop will provide an update from Washington, DC on the 2018-19 Farm Bill process, and dig into policies ranging from working lands conservation and crop insurance to research, certification cost share, and enhanced enforcement against fraudulent organic imports.  Policy experts will provide an update regarding the long and winding path to the 2018-19 farm bill. Come learn about key strategies and opportunities for grassroots outreach to engage and mobilize around critical organic wins as the farm bill process moves forward (or, as we work to implement the 2018 farm bill). In addition to digging into the specific programs that matter for organic producers, if the 2018 Farm Bill has not yet been passed, we will walk through the “marker bills” that have been introduced to advance critical organic priorities. Finally, the 116th Congress will be in place in early 2019, so this workshop will also cover the new and returning members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, with an eye to members of the Organic Caucus who will be instrumental for championing our organic priorities throughout the farm bill writing and implementation process. This workshop will also involve feedback from the audience regarding policy needs and options.

Organic Trade Association Board Member David Lively of Organically Grown Company is organizing an Organic Trade Association social at Organicology on Friday, February 15th at 5:00 p.m.

But What has the Organic Trade Association Done for Me Lately?
Ever wonder exactly what the Organic Trade Association (OTA) does, or how its efforts benefit you?  Or maybe you are one of those of the opinion that the OTA’s activities only serve the needs of “the big boys” and not the historic trade and the organic grower base? Here is a chance to sharpen you awareness of the many challenges facing the organic movement and trade, and learn how our most significant national organization takes them on. This event, sponsored by OTA members from the fresh produce sector, will feature OTA Executive Director Laura Batcha in a Q&A session covering the broad range of concerns and activities that occupy the OTA’s staff and members on a daily basis. The setting is casual and the refreshments first rate. This event is open to both members and non-members. Please join us for an enlightening discussion!

Conference Information:

February 14-16, 2019

Hilton Portland Downtown

Portland, OR

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
OFRF Organic Agriculture Research Forum

OFRF Organic Agriculture Research Forum

Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Organic Agriculture Research Forum will be taking place on February 16, 2019 in Portland, Oregon, in partnership with Organicology. The day-long forum will feature innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems. The intent of the forum is to share the most current information with farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in organic agriculture.

Jessica Shade, The Organic Center's Director of Science Programs, will be speaking at the Forum about The Organic Center's work with examining the impacts of organic on climate change. For more information, contact Jessica Shade

Forum Information:

February 16, 2019

Hilton Portland Downtown

Portland, OR

- 9:00am to 5:00pm
 
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USDA's 2019 Agricultural Outlook Forum

USDA's 2019 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 8:00am to Friday, February 22, 2019 - 5:00pm

“Growing Locally, Selling Globally” is the theme of USDA’s 95th Agricultural Outlook Forum. The Feb. 21-22 conference will feature sessions on global trade trends, innovations in agriculture, developments in animal and crop biotechnology and frontiers in conservation as well as the 2019 outlooks for food and commodity markets.

Conference Information:

February 21-22, 2019

Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel 

Arlington, VA

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
MOSES Organic Farming Conference

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) will host the 2019 MOSES Organic Farming Conference February 21-23 in La Crosse, WI. This Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, offering 66 workshops over 6 sessions, inspiring keynotes, engaging roundtables, and a resource-packed exhibit hall with over 170 vendors. Organic University, day 1 of the conference, provides full-day courses that dig deeper into specific farming topics.

Melody Meyer, founder of Source Organic, will present the following sessions at the Conference on behalf of the Organic Trade Assocation. For more information, contact Adrienne Messe

The Organic Check-Off
Since the USDA halted a mandatory organic check-off to fund research and promotion of organic, members of the organic sector are looking at a voluntary check-off program called GRO Organic. Learn about this option and hear different perspectives on the need for organic research, promotion, and consumer education. Weigh in with your own "big idea" to advance organic.

International Trade Update
We all know that the organic marketplace is now global. Farmers can be greatly impacted by shifts in the international trade environment when their products become more or less desirable. Understanding the forecast and implications of the global marketplace can help farmers make better decisions about what to grow and how to market it.

Conference Information: 

February 21-23, 2019

La Crosse Center

La Crosse, WI

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
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CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference

CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 8:00am

The CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) Annual Conference will be taking place on February 27, 2019 in Fresno, CA. The theme for the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting is "Organic Generation: The Next Era."

The Organic Trade Association's CEO/Executive Director, Laura Batcha, will be speaking in the morning of the Conference about organic market trends and how they will impact the future of the organic sector. For more information contact Gwendolyn Wyard

Conference Information: 

February 27, 2019

Fresno DoubleTree Hilton Hotel

Fresno, CA

- 8:00am
 
 
 
 
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