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December 2018 Organic Link


Early Bird Savings

Registration is open for the 30th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference that takes place Feb. 21-23, 2019 in La Crosse, Wis. The conference features 60 workshops, 9 intensive Organic University classes, a 2-floor exhibit hall with more than 170 vendors, plus great organic food. The early bird rate for a full conference ticket is $205—that's $20 off the regular price and $95 off the door price through Jan. 8, 2019. Details about workshops, keynotes, and more are on the conference website and in the MOSES Conference registration guide in the mail today (also on the website as a PDF). 


Full-Day Classes

The 2019 Organic University™ runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, just prior to the MOSES Organic Farming Conference. Nine in-depth classes taught by experienced farmers, researchers, and ag professionals provide deeper content than workshops, and give farmers the chance to get answers for their specific farm situations. Save $20 with the $160 early bird rate. Click on the titles below for details.

Advanced Organic Weed Management
Matt Liebman, Sam Hitchcock-Tilton, Joe Fitzgerald, Matt Fitzgerald, & Keith Wilson

Grow & Market Organic Mushrooms
Tradd Cotter

Maximize Nutrition from Grazing & Forages
Brad Heins, Kevin Mahalko, & Silvia Abel-Caines, DVM

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training
Teresa Wiermerslage, Kirsten Slaughter, & Annake Ramsey

Reduce Risk in Your Farming Business
Margaret Krome

Soil:  The Final Frontier
Kris Nichols, Ph.D. & Loran Steinlage

Specialty Cut Flowers
Jeanie McKewan

What it Takes to Grow Industrial Hemp
Bryan Parr, John Strohfus, Jeff Kostuik, Alden Braul, Melody Walker, & Margaret Wiatrowski

Wholesale Vegetable Production for Small to Mid-Scale Farms
Ariel Pressman & David Giedd


Volunteer & Scholarship Opportunities at MOSES 2019

Attend the conference for just $50 either as a volunteer or through a scholarship. Volunteers help with many aspects of the conference, including check-in, the bookstore, set-up, and tear down. Volunteers work 10-12 hours over the course of the conference, making it possible to still attend specific workshops. See the volunteer opportunities and application.

The application for scholarships to attend the 2019 MOSES Organic Farming Conference is open now through Dec. 13. Scholarship recipients pay just $50 for full conference admission or $30 for a one-day pass. MOSES also provides a limited number of $50 scholarships to the Organic University full-day classes offered Feb. 21. Farmers who have not yet attended the conference receive priority. Prior recipients are not eligible. 

MOSES has a general conference scholarship fund as well as funds in memory of organic leaders Dave Engel and Chris Blanchard. To donate to any of these funds, see the links on the scholarship webpage.


FACT Scholarships to MOSES 2019

Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT) will award scholarships to cover registration fees for livestock and poultry farmers to attend the 2019 MOSES Conference. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for details.


Call for Research Posters

The Organic Research Forum at the 2019 MOSES Conference includes a juried poster session documenting completed and ongoing research projects related to organic agriculture. Researchers, academic faculty and staff, graduate/undergraduate students, and farmer researchers may submit a poster proposal for consideration by Dec. 14, 2018. Space is limited to 25 posters. All accepted poster presenters receive full conference admission.


Forum on Future of Farming

Organic 2051 will bring 100 change-makers together Feb. 21, during the 2019 Organic University in La Crosse, to draft a blueprint for a future shaped by regenerative organic farming practices and infrastructure. Interest in the forum has been high, with nearly double the number of applicants for the 100 seats. Names of selected participants will be posted Dec. 17 on the Organic 2051 webpage. While the application period has ended, individuals who want to provide ideas for discussion at the forum will have an opportunity before the forum—watch for details in the January Organic Link.


Online Farm Finance Course

MOSES has partnered with the farm business management staff of Western Technical College to create a series of free online webinars designed to help farmers develop the systems and knowledge they need to understand and manage their farm's finances. The webinars cover subjects ranging from goal setting and recordkeeping systems to developing statements of income and cash flow for bankers and tax purposes. Watch the videos and complete the companion worksheets at your own pace. The online Fearless Farm Finances course is free and posted here.


In Her Boots Podcast

The MOSES "In Her Boots" podcast wraps up a 4-part interview this week with Lauren Langworthy, the program director at MOSES, who also raises sheep in a rotational grazing system, and serves on the board of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. Next week, host Lisa Kivirist starts a conversation with Susan Waughtal of Squash Blossom Farm outside Rochester, Minn. New episodes of the podcast post on Fridays on iTunes, Stitcher, and our In Her Boots webpage.


Conservation Stewardship Program

Producers with expiring Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will have the opportunity to renew their contracts in 2019, even though the program is not currently authorized under a farm bill. Contract holders must sign contract modifications by the end of this year to be eligible. See details from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.


Organic Seed Proposals

Two proposals related to organic seed are currently before the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The first proposal establishes an information-gathering pilot project to measure GMO contamination in field corn seed used on organic farms. The second proposal recommends revisions to NOP Guidance 5029 which describes how seeds, seedlings, and planting stock can be utilized in organic operations. The public comment period for both of these proposals ends Jan. 2, 2019. 


NOSB 2019 Spring Meeting

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet April 24-26, 2019, in Seattle to discuss substances petitioned for addition to or deletion from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, substances due to sunset from the National List in 2021, and guidance on organic policies. The meetings are open to the public, and no registration is required, except to sign up to comment. Public comment on agenda topics also may be made in writing or during webinars scheduled for April 16 and 18, 2019.


Organic Practices Guide to Carbon Sequestration

The Organic Farming Research Foundation recently published Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration. This free guide examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. It includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm's carbon footprint and adapting to climate disruptions already underway. 


Take Root Veteran Program

Angelic Organics Learning Center has a new program to help military veterans get into farming. The free Take Root program connects veterans to paid employment and training on established farms in southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and the Chicagoland area. The program includes accommodations and admission to the MOSES Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-23, 2019. Applications are due by Dec. 10, 2018.


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

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