Kutztown, Pa. — Rodale Institute, a nonprofit known for its research, farmer training, and education about regenerative organic agriculture since 1947, has expanded its team in an effort to empower more farmers to transition to organic. Now with two new Organic Consultants based in the Midwest, Rodale Institute has exponentially expanded their capacity as a resource for farmers seeking information and assistance about transitioning to organic.
Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting Services were launched in 2019 to provide one-on-one mentorship and technical assistance to conventional farmers seeking to transition some or all of their land to organic. In under two years of operation, Rodale Institute’s Consulting Services have worked with over 200 clients nationwide.
Rodale Institute’s newest Organic Consultants are based in Wisconsin and Minnesota and will work in collaboration with the Rodale Institute Midwest Organic Center, a regional resource center located in Marion, Iowa, sponsored by Frontier Co-op. Rodale Institute launched three regional resource centers in Iowa, Georgia, and California in 2019 to provide resources to farmers throughout the country seeking to adopt organic practices, with the goal of soon placing consultants in each hub.
Rodale Institute’s new Midwest consultants have extensive backgrounds in organic farming and the Midwest region and are available for consultation on topics such as organic certification assistance, crop planning, inspection preparation, and much more. They are available to work with farmers of all sizes, including large acreage grain operations.
Rodale Institute’s newest Organic Consultants:
Léa Vereecke is based in Madison, Wis. 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.
Nic Podoll is based in Nevis, Minn. 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.
For a limited time, Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting Services may be offered free of charge to farmers in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. To learn more, contact Rodale Institute’s consultants at Consulting@RodaleInstitute.org or 610-683-1416.