Ohio farmer sees return on investment with organic production

A north central Ohio farmer discusses some lessons learned transitioning from conventional to organic production.

Jeff Dean transitioned to organic production more than 25 years ago. He says it was during an economic downturn when he realized organic crops could lead to a greater return on investment.

“That kind of perked my interest and I spent quite a bit of time looking into organic production, went to a lot of Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) farm tours and OEFFA conferences to learn how to do it and once I got into organic production I was hooked,” he says.

He says it can also benefit the local economy.

“When a farmer transitions ground to organic, once it’s certified, the organic ground has a gross of nearly double what conventional was so that adds twice as much money into the economy as conventional would,” he says. “It’s a real boost for the local economy.”

Advice he has for other farmers considering organic production is “connect with a farmer that’s been doing it for awhile, learn from them, and learn and read as much as you possibly can before you get into it. There’s a pretty steep learning curve. It’s a different way of thinking but it’s well worth it and very rewarding.”

Dean raises corn, soybeans, wheat, clover, sunflowers, buckwheat, rye, barley, and oats.

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