-Henri Frederic Amiel

In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.

What we do at a glance…

Promotion of best conservation practices

Healing Soils Foundation is headquartered in an 80-acre organic farm an hour south of Chicago. It is used to exhibit best conservation practices, including soil restoration, wetlands and riparian buffer utilization, agroforestry, livestock diversity, pollinator habitat, among other practices. It is a hub for education and dissemination of best practices to farmers and the public.

Education and training center for regenerative and organic agriculture in the Midwest Region

Transitioning to organic is not a matter of simply turning off the chemical sprayers: Farmers must learn to manage soil nutrients without fertilizer and tackle weeds and insects without herbicides and insecticides. It’s a steep learning curve. Most university extensions around the country don’t have organic specialists. Illinois has one. A study conducted among 1,800 farmers transitioning to organic agriculture pointed to mentoring and one-on-one technical assistance as both critical and very difficult to receive. It is clear that there is an imperative need for a resource center available to farmers in transition as well as established organic farming operations if we are to advance and grow the adoption of conservation practices. Healing Soils Foundation is the first center in the Midwest region to support organic growers at this level.

Research

funding for organic research pales in comparison to conventional support, which means organic farmers have fewer tools available to them, such as improved crop varieties and strategies for battling weeds or disease, as well as fewer experts to consult. In partnership with leading researchers and educators, Healing Soils Foundation will conduct trials and research studies tailored to the Midwest Region farming operations. Projects are focused on identifying crop varieties and practices that offer promising opportunities in the regional food and farm economy.

Organic Marketing Hub

One of the main barriers for growers to make the decision to transition to organic is the uncertainty that they will find a market to sell their products, and at a fair price. As an organic marketing hub, Healing Soils Foundation has the ability to identify and access new sales channels. Many organic farmers, especially smaller and mid-sized operations, lack the capacity to access retail, institutional, and commercial foodservice markets on their own. By offering a combination of aggregation, distribution, and marketing services we make it possible for many producers to gain entry into new larger-volume markets that boost their income and provide them with opportunities for scaling up production.

Farm Financial Management Education and Consulting

We provide Farm Financial Management programs with the goal to improve farm business management skills, improve management productivity, increase profitability, and fulfill farmers’ long-term goals. It’s accomplished through workshops, seminars, and individual on-farm consultations involving farm business management, strategic and tactical planning, record keeping, financial analysis, and computer applications for farm managers and owners. The program involves adaptive research on business planning techniques, crop and livestock enterprise analysis, farm machinery economics, risk management, crop insurance, computer use in agriculture, and economics of sustainable agriculture methods.”

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