Historically, organic strawberry growers have purchased 100% of their annual plant stock from conventional plant nurseries that use synthetic chemicals for pre-plant soil fumigation, as well as for subsequent disease and pest control of the crop throughout the growing season. Organic growers have not had the option to use organic strawberry plant nursery stock in their fruiting fields because a viable organic nursery making such plants available to the market has not been available until now.
In January of 2016, James Rickert and Daniel Nelson perceived the organic strawberry industry was ripe for change. With organic growers and marketers committed to changing the source of their plants, coupled with a perceived increase in consumer consciousness about where their food is sourced from and how it is grown, James and Daniel teamed up to start the first and only organic strawberry transplant nursery with plants available to all organic growers. Hence, Innovative Organic Nursery, LLC (ION) was born.
ION is committed to serving all growers and grower-shippers with affordable, high-quality, certified-organic planting stock.
Organic Strawberry Fields Forever Final Report: Evaluation of Organic Strawberry Transplants for Organic Strawberry Production (2018-2019)
This third party study is an important assurance to organic strawberry growers ION’s plants will perform to their expectations and needs as they continue to transition to using organic plants on their farms. According to the researchers, Field data conclusively demonstrated that organic transplants performed equally if not better than conventional transplants at each field site.” Download the full report.
Special thanks to Lisa Bunin of Organic Advocacy and Stefanie Bourcier of Farm Fuels for making the study a reality, with the support of their staff and the leading organic growers who participated.
ION remains committed to supplying its growers with the industry’s leading organic strawberry transplants. Please contact us if you’re interested to purchase organic strawberry plants for your farm.
To learn more about the current state of the strawberry industry and how ION is making itself available to serve growers interested in leading positive change within the industry, we suggest you give a listen to Gastropod’s analysis of the industry at the podcast embedded here. While ION does not necessarily endorse all of what is articulated in the podcast, ION finds it an accurate representation of the facts. ION intends to continue to offer the industry a practical solution to the challenges the industry is facing, as articulated in the podcast, in the form of high quality, high performance organic planting stock. We hope you enjoy listening and we look forward to serving your certified organic transplant needs now and in the future.
James J. Rickert
James is a Certified General real estate appraiser and Realtor at Western Ag Real Estate, an agricultural appraisal, real estate and consulting company serving Northern California and Southern Oregon. James has also worked on the management team with his family’s business, Prather Ranch, for over a decade. Prather Ranch is a vertically integrated livestock and hay operation that encompasses over 40,000 acres from Colusa County to Siskiyou County. James graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in horticultural crop science, and a minor in plant protection science in 2002. James is also a 2010 graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.
Daniel S. Nelson
Daniel is the vice president and chief business officer at Plant Sciences, Inc. (PSI), a strawberry breeding and genetic company based in Watsonville, California. Daniel oversees business development, customer relationship advancement, and the international efforts of the organization and all of its entities. Daniel is also responsible for the financial planning and management of the Black Angus herd at Izee Ranch, based in Eastern Oregon. Daniel completed studies in agricultural business with a concentration in international agribusiness from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2008. He then went on to complete a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University and earned an MBA from Indiana University in 2012.
ION has developed a high-quality, proprietary production protocol using only leading organic technology in the areas of fertility, pest and disease control and farm ground management. ION intends to bring only high-quality plants to market, offering its customers every advantage in the marketplace. Active at both high and low elevation, ION has ground already transitioned to organic status and ready to work. ION is currently transitioning more and more ground at both high and low elevation, with the goal of serving an expanded organic industry in the years ahead.
ION has the opportunity to serve the leading producers of organic strawberries in the industry. ION is committed to providing its growers with a lasting and sustainable solution for organic strawberry transplants and is making important steps each day to see this become a reality.
PO Box 1690
Freedom California 95019
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