Training, resources, and practical advice to help you grow.

February 2019 Organic Link


Last Chance to Register

Advance registration closes Feb. 7 for the 30th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference, which takes place at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis., Feb. 21-23, 2019. The country's largest event focused on organic and sustainable production, the conference features 60 workshops, 9 intensive Organic University classes, a 2-floor exhibit hall with more than 170 vendors, plus great organic food. 

A lot happens at the MOSES Conference besides all the great workshops. The free conference app can help you keep track of all you want to do—set your daily schedule, bookmark must-see vendors or roundtables, and connect with other participants. Find the app in your app store by searching "MOSES Organic Farming Conference." NOTE: To use the scheduling feature and post in the social feed (we love seeing your photos!), create an account and enter the 4-digit code you'll receive by text or email. And, folks are finding the texted code gets through a bit better—just sharing that tip!


Book Giveaway!

We've teamed up with Chelsea Green Publishing for a great giveaway that's perfect for our farmer friends. One lucky winner will get ALL 4 of these new books in a random drawing Feb. 15. The authors (all but Eliot Coleman) are presenting workshops at MOSES 2019 on these topics. These books will be for sale in our conference bookstore, too. Click here to enter the drawing.


Organic Corn Research

Organic corn growers heading to MOSES 2019 can contribute to research on genetic diversity of U.S. corn. Cathleen McCluskey, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be interviewing farmers from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to better understand how they perceive and manage genetic diversity on their farms. To be included in this research, email McCluskey before the conference to arrange a 1-2-hour recorded interview. Growers will receive a $100 stipend in exchange for their time. 


General Mills Regenerative Ag Scorecard

General Mills is inviting feedback on Version 1.0 of their Regenerative Agriculture Scorecard. The goal is to create a user-friendly self-assessment tool to help farmers across diverse production systems better understand how their management practices influence soil health, biodiversity, and economic resilience. Join General Mills staff at a Roundtable Discussion on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference to share your insights and make certain that future iterations of this tool reflect the best interests of farmers while accounting for the realities that agricultural communities face.


Save $ on Seafood Shares

Sitka Salmon Shares, a major sponsor of the MOSES Conference, is offering the MOSES community $25 off any 2019 season share—just enter code "MOSES19" on the share order form. The seafood company offers a range of seafood shares that support small-scale Alaskan fishermen who are dedicated to maintaining sustainable wild fisheries near Alaska. For each share purchased with the code, Sitka Salmon Shares will donate $25 to MOSES for farmer education. Sitka Salmon will be featured at the Friday night supper at the MOSES Conference. Good stuff all around! 


In Her Boots Podcast

The MOSES "In Her Boots" podcast currently features a conversation between host Lisa Kivirist and Jennifer Nelson, MOSES Organic Specialist and co-owner of Humble Pie Farm. Listen in as Jennifer shares pearls of wisdom from her perspective of a working mom trying to create balance in her life. New episodes of the podcast post on Fridays on iTunes, Stitcher, and our In Her Boots webpage.


National Communication Award Finalists 

The Organic Broadcaster newspaper and its editor, Audrey Alwell, have been selected as finalists for awards from PR News. The Broadcaster is a finalist in the external publications category; Alwell, who has been the communications director for MOSES since 2012, is up for Nonprofit Communicator of the Year. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony March 15 in Washington D.C.


Land Access Bootcamp 

Renewing the Countryside, MOSES, and other partners have teamed up to present a full-day strategy session Saturday, Feb. 9 for beginning farmers looking for land to farm. The Farmland Access Bootcamp will cover resources for finding and assessing land, owning vs. leasing, and key considerations for financing and structuring a business plan. 


Organic Dairy Petition

Join members of the National Organic Coalition (NOC) in calling on the Secretary of Agriculture and the National Organic Program to restore fairness in the organic dairy sector. Violations of pasture rule requirements for organic dairy livestock, as well as lack of consistency in how dairy cows are transitioned to organic production ("Origin of Livestock"), have contributed to the oversupply of milk in the marketplace, with devastating effects on pay prices to organic dairy farmers. Click here to access NOC's template letter to Secretary Perdue.


Events for Farmers 

Farm to Table Foundation, Family Farmed, and MOSES partner to bring a pair of workshops about food safety and marketing to Amery, Wis. On March 14th, Atina Diffley will lead a produce safety workshop in the Farm to Table Foundation's classroom. This food safety training is designed to help producers develop and implement cost-effective, scale-appropriate food safety systems for their operation. On March 21, trainer Pam Benike leads producers through an introduction to marketing. The course covers how to find the right market for products, the pros and cons of various marketing models, and helps producers consider what is the right mix of markets and crops to meet customers' needs.

Find more events like this to help farmers grow— see the MOSES Community Calendar.


Risk Management Resources

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in cooperation with USDA-Risk Management Agency, recently published two guidebooks: Introduction to Crop Insurance for Organic and Transitioning Producers explains how crop insurance works for organic and transitioning farmers, as well as tips on working with crop insurance agent. Reducing Risks Through Best Soil Health Management Practices in Organic Crop Production explores research on best soil-building practices for resilience in the face of climate change. Both publications are free online as PDFs.


Farm Law Webinars

Farm Commons, a leader in sustainable farm law, is hosting free monthly webinars every third Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST. The next CommonsCall on Feb. 20 focuses on "Collaboratively Cultivating Legal Resilience."


Managing Birds on Farms

Wild Farm Alliance has published a new resource, Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds, to educate farmers on how they can use birds to aid in farm production. It includes information about using birds as a part of pest control, creating on-farm habitats for beneficial birds, and increasing biodiversity and farm resilience.


Quick Links

See new posts to help you grow:

 Community Calendar

 Job Postings

 Land Link-Up

 Organic Classifieds

Women Farmers Facebook Group

Beginning Farmers' Facebook Group


Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)
PO Box 339  | Spring Valley, Wisconsin 54767
(715) 778-5775 |

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