Training, resources, and practical advice to help you grow.
April 2019 Organic Link
Micro-Creamery Field Day
Our first field day of the season takes place Thursday, May 23, 2019, at Turnip Rock Farm in Clear Lake, Wis., home of Josh Bryceson and Rama Hoffpauir. They started Cosmic Wheel Creamery in 2015. They'll share how they added the micro-creamery to their full-plate CSA, the legal hurdles they needed to jump, and how they make their artisanal cheese.
The field day runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch by Farm Table Restaurant in Amery, sponsored by Farm Table Foundation and Wisconsin Farmers Union. Register online at mosesorganic.org/farmstead-micro-creamery or call 888-90-MOSES.
MOSES has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network to teach soil health and conservation principles to women who own farmland but don't farm. If you rent farmland from a female landowner, please share this opportunity.
We're offering free workshops/learning circles April 24 in Madison and May 1 in Elkhorn. These include presentations about federal and local programs that can fund conservation projects, and discussion about working with farmer tenants on conservation practices. Two sessions will be offered each day at each site—and include either breakfast or lunch—with identical programming to give women scheduling options. Register here.
Conference Keynotes, Workshop Recordings
Video recordings of the MOSES Conference keynotes are on YouTube. "Upholding the Legacy" features Jim Riddle, George Siemon, Audrey Arner, Francis Thicke, Faye Jones, and Atina Diffley sharing insights on establishing the organic label and the MOSES Conference. "The Future of Organic is in Good Hands" features short speeches by young farmers Dayna Burtness Nyugen, Danny Borgerding, and Alicia Razvi. The videos include the speech by Organic Farmers of the Year, Jim Riddle and Joyce Ford, and their advice for the next generation of organic farmers.
MOSES just published the 11th edition of the Midwest Organic Resource Directory. The 80-page book lists buyers, processors, suppliers, certification agencies, consultants, resource organizations, state and federal agencies, and university programs. Suppliers are sorted by tools, soil inputs, livestock products, pest control, season extension, and seed to help you find the supplies you need quickly and easily. The directory is available online as a free PDF download or as a printed, spiral-bound book.
In Her Boots Podcast
The MOSES "In Her Boots" podcast currently features interviews with Erin Schneider from Hilltop Community Farm in LaFarge, Wis., where she grows a wide range of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and perennial fruit. New episodes of the podcast post on Fridays on iTunes, Stitcher, and our In Her Boots webpage.
Organic Farm Signs
Protect your organic fields by posting "No Chemical Spray" signs from MOSES. The signs are 18” wide by 23” high UV-resistant corrugated plastic. A pair of signs is attached at the top to be mounted on a T-post as a two-sided sign or cut apart to use as two separate signs. They have predrilled holes in the middle top and bottom for mounting. The cost is $15/pair plus shipping. Order through the MOSES online bookstore or call MOSES at 715-778-5775.
NRCS Conservation Practices
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is evaluating its conservation practice standards used in programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program. The NRCS is seeking public comments on ways to increase flexibility in its requirements for farmers and ranchers while still ensuring natural resource benefits. To share your ideas or experiences with these programs, submit a comment by April 25, 2019 at http://bit.ly/Comment2NRCS.
Conservation Programs in Farm Bill Appropriations
Nearly 150 organizations (including MOSES) signed on to a letter to urge full funding of conservation programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process. The letter stressed the value of Farm Bill conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), in conserving water, protecting farmland and wetlands, creating fish and wildlife habitat, and producing abundant food and fiber. The letter also pointed out that demand for EQIP and CSP consistently exceeds available dollars by at least two to one, and encouraged full funding in the FY 2020 appropriations bill. House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees will be working on appropriations bills in the coming months. FY 2020 begins Oct. 1. For updates on the appropriations process and key issues related to farming, see the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's blog.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meets April 24-26, 2019, in Seattle, Wash. This is the semiannual meeting for the board to hear comments from the public about substances used in organic production. The NOSB has posted proposals and discussion documents online.
National Organic Coalition Meeting
The National Organic Coalition (NOC) holds a public meeting April 23, the day prior to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Seattle. The meeting will cover the Farm Bill and organic policy updates, a Q&A session with Jenny Tucker (head of the USDA National Organic Program), strengthening enforcement of the organic standards domestically and internationally, regional updates from organic farmers, a discussion of sanitizer use in organic, and other topics.
The USDA is accepting nominations for five open seats on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the 15-member board which makes recommendations on the production, handling, and processing of USDA certified organic products. Each member serves a five-year term and represents specific sectors of the organic community. Current openings include one seat each for an environmental protection and resource conservation representative, organic farmer, and organic retailer, and two seats for organic handlers. Nominations are due by May 17, 2019.
OGRAIN Conference Videos
Presentations from the 2019 OGRAIN Winter Conference are now available on YouTube. Topics include organic no-till, new equipment for row crop and cover crop management, organic crop rotations, and management of diseases. OGRAIN is a collaborative effort of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC), UW-Madison/UWEX Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab, and MOSES.
Fundraiser for MOSES Conference Scholarships
A group of students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout is raising money to send farmers to the 2020 MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wis., by holding a benefit concert and silent auction Friday, May 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Brewery Nonic in Menomonie, Wis. Two local bands will perform. Cover charge is $5.
Grain by Grain Book Talk
Renewing the Countryside hosts a book signing and talk with Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle, authors of Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food on Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minn. RSVP here.
Runoff Risk Advisory Tool
An updated version of the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast offers new tools for Wisconsin farmers. Now allowing users to search for conditions closer to home, the forecast shows short-term runoff risk for manure and other nutrient applications. This new version provides soil temperatures and saturation, and features improved computer models to make planning easier for farmers.
Radio Series on Managing Farming Stress
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Red River Farm Network (RRFN) have created a new radio series called TransFARMation to increase awareness and reduce inhibitions about acknowledging farmer stress while highlighting sources of support. The 60-second, prime-time radio stories can be heard on all of RRFN’s 20 stations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota starting the week of April 8. The series also features in-depth podcasts.
Farm Job Openings
The MOSES Jobs page has a large number of job postings at farms such as Harmony Valley in Viroqua, Wis., Roots Return Heritage in Carver, Minn., and Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. See all the opportunities at mosesorganic.org/job-postings.