Look here for events and field days to help you grow organic successfully.
Pasture Walk & Facilitated Discussion Group
July 29 | 10:30 a.m. | Highland, Wis.
Hosted by Great River Graziers, this field day covers clearing 65 acres of former pine plantation and establishing pasture; the benefits of Managed Intensive Grazing for Grassland Bird Conservation; and utilizing NRCS EQIP and a managed grazing plan. Learn more.
Organic Seed Production
Aug. 2 | 6-9 p.m. | Fullerton, N.D.
This MOSES sponsored field day takes us to Prairie Road Organic Farm, home of the 2014 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. The farm includes a test garden, where the family practices selective seed-saving, based on agronomic performance in organic conditions. The Podolls use an extensive mulching system and have not tilled their garden for over 30 years. Superb eating qualities and reliable ‘workhorse’ varieties are the focus of their garden and seed production. Learn more.
Exploring Possibilities with a Moveable High Tunnel
Aug. 3 | 2-4 p.m. | Atlantic, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, explore the possibilities that a moveable high tunnel can provide for extended season production. Discussion will also include on-going research trials, including methods for weed control in asparagus and improving soil fertility using worm castings. Learn more.
Organic Farm School
Aug. 4 | 6-8 p.m. | Minneapolis, Minn.
The Women’s Environmental Institute’s Organic Farm School features lectures, related readings, hands-on workshops and field trips related to sustainable agriculture, food justice and today’s local food movement. This session is “Building a Scalable Sustainable Food System, in Minnesota and Beyond” and will be led by Regi Haslett-Marroquin from Finca Mirasol and Rural Enterprise Center. Learn more and register.
Webinar: Weed Management in Organic Pastures
Aug. 5 | 4 p.m.
Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about weed management in organic pastures. The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public. Click here for more information.
Webinar: USDA Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers
Aug. 5 | 11 a.m. EST
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program (LPS) and Quality Assessment Division (QAD) will hold an informational webinar about the program that was announced in May 2014 for cattle. An overview of the USDA Grass Fed program, website and detailed information about the application will be provided in this webinar. Learn more.
Farm Business Planning and Management
Aug. 9 | $30 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Kansas City, Mo.
This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Alicia to learn more or register: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Dreams Workshop
Aug. 10 | 1-5 p.m. | Minneapolis, Minn.
Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.
South Woods – Open House and Book Launch Party
Aug. 10 | Prior Lake, Minn.
Come see a permaculture homestead and talk to permaculture designers and enthusiasts. Demonstrations, conversation and the book launch for Integrated Forest Gardens. Learn more.
Organic Farm School
Aug. 11 | 6-8 p.m. | Minneapolis, Minn.
The Women’s Environmental Institute’s Organic Farm School features lectures, related readings, hands-on workshops and field trips related to sustainable agriculture, food justice and today’s local food movement. This session is “The Future of Organic Farming in Minnesota” and will be led by Dave Frederickson, Commissioner of Minn. Department of Agriculture. Learn more and register.
2014 Minnesota Organic Dairy Day
Aug. 12 | 10 a.m-3 p.m. | Morris, Minn.
The University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center will host this education program featuring Hue Karreman, Organic Livestock Veterinarian from the Rodale Institute, on organic diary health and supplementation strategies, out-wintering, and grazing summer annuals with Brad Heins, U of MN Organic Dairy Specialist. In the afternoon field tour stops will discuss cover crops and summer annuals for grazing, the new organic dairy Fodder system, walk-thru fly traps and summer fly control, and animal health. Learn more.
Organic Valley Odessa Open House
Aug. 12 | 1-4 p.m. | Odessa Demonstration Fields | Cashton, Wis.
Organic Valley has dedicated 5 certified organic acres on Odessa Avenue in Chaston to permanent agronomic demonstrations. Current projects include diverse cover crop mixes, perennial sunflowers for oilseed production and perennial forage field comprised of 18 different varieties of alfalfa, clover and grass. Industry professionals from the Land Institute, Midwest Bioag, Guy Machinery and Organic Valley will be present to explain the different projects. Organic Valley’s mobile oilseed press will be on display crushing seeds from the perennial sunflower plot. There will also be a demonstration of different tillage equipment to terminate cover crops. For more information and to register contact Nicole at email@example.com or 608-625-3572.
Organic Fruit Growers Annual Field Day
Aug. 13 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Bayfield, Wis.
The Organic Fruit Growers Association (OFGA) hosts its annual field day at Northwind Organic Farm (86760 Valley Road ) where Tom Galazen and Ann Rosenquist will give a farm tour that encompasses a variety of tree fruits, various berries and unusual fruits, and alternative energy applications. After lunch at Northwind, the group will gather at Elsewhere Farm where farmer Clare Hintz will introduce us to her production permaculture orchards featuring pears, cherries, and high density apples as well as shrub fruits. Topics to be discussed will be planting/establishment, pest and disease management, and marketing. Contact Anton Ptak, OFGA coordinator at 612-387-2205 for more information.
Western Illinois University – Allison Farm Field Day
Aug. 14 | 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. | Dakin Farm Shop | Roseville, Ill.
This year’s theme is Monitoring and Managing Crop Health and Quality. The keynote presentation by John Kempf of Advancing Eco-Agriculture will explore relationships between crop nutrition and crop health with an emphasis on field and laboratory methods of monitoring crop nutritional status. Additional speakers will include Dr. Walter Golsdstein of the Mandaamin Institute, John Pape of World Food Processing, and Dr. Joel Gruver of the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University. For more information and to register contact Andy at 309-298-1172 or 217-322-2639.
Cattle Breeding Field Day with Gerald Fry – CANCELLED.
Aug. 14 | 9 a.m. | West Central Research and Outreach Center | Morris, Minn.
Canceled due to illness. Sustainable Farming Association is proud to announce this farmer networking and educational event with cattle-breeding expert Gerald Fry. The event will begin with Gerald leading a beef genetics discussion at the West Central Research and Outreach Center. Next, the group will caravan to the Mark Erickson farm, where Gerald will lead a hands-on session on how to pick breeding stock for grassed beef. Learn more.
Produce, Syrup and Livestock + Pizza!
In Her Boots: Field Day
Aug. 15 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | $50 | Athens, Wis.
Farmer Kat Becker welcomes you to her family’s certified organic operation, showcasing a third-generation family farm committed to local community, environmental sustainability, and providing a beautiful and constructive setting to raise a family. Come experience a highly diversified farm operation, including vegetables; fruit; maple syrup; grass fed beef, pastured pork and eggs; organic and most recently: farm to table pizzas. Learn more and register.
Cattle Breeding Field Day with Gerald Fry – CANCELLED.
Aug. 15 | 9 a.m. | Wadena County Courthouse | Wadena, Minn.
Canceled due to illness. Sustainable Farming Association is proud to announce this farmer networking and educational event with cattle-breeding expert Gerald Fry. The event will begin with Gerald leading a beef genetics discussion at the Wadena Court House. Next, the group will caravan to the Midd-Minn Dairy, where Gerald will lead a hands-on session on how to pick breeding stock for grassed beef. Learn more.
Diversified Cropping Systems and Cover Crop Tours
Aug. 16 | 1:30-5:30 p.m. | Linwood, Ill.
Two organic farmers will be sharing their experiences using cover crops, crop rotations, and how they are trying to reduce tillage with a roller crimper and flamer. Randy Anderson, USDA-ARS research agronomist at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, will discuss the goal of his research program to develop a continuous no-till system for organic producers. He will present results on converting red clover fields to cropland without tillage and describe the impact of under seeding clovers in winter and spring wheat on downy brome growth. Reservations needed if for dinner. Meal is free. Call Wendy at 402-584-3837 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to RSVP.
Farm Dreams Workshop
Aug. 17 | 1-5 p.m. | Viroqua, Wis.
Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Learn more.
Planning, Research & Intercropping on a CSA Farm
Aug. 17 | 3-6 p.m. | Tripoli, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa and sponsored by MOSES, learn about one approach that includes intercropping techniques and quick turn-around cover crops, along with heritage and open-pollinated varieties whenever possible. Rob and Tammy will share what has worked (and not worked) in their complex rotations and field plans. Enjoy a tour of the 15-acre farm, which will include movable high tunnels, pastured poultry and the vegetable production fields. Learn more.
Iowa Grazing Workshops with Jim Gerrish
Nationally known grazing consultant Jim Gerrish will conduct 5 workshops; consisting of five separate events, one each day, at locations across Iowa. Each workshop will include classroom discussions and pasture walks at local farms. Topics include maintaining plant diversity to increase production and environmental benefits, using annual and perennial forage crops in the system and reducing cow costs with extended grazing. Learn more and register.
Pasture Walk & Facilitated Discussion Group
Aug. 19 | 10:30 a.m. | Readstown, Wis.
Hosted by Great River Graziers, this field day covers discussion on plots of Hidden Valley Meadow Fescue, experimental falcate forage (first cousin of alfalfa), Kura clover varieties with seedling vigor and two no-till drill planting comparisons. Learn more.
Advanced Field Crop Workshop
Aug. 21 | Crookston, Minn.
University of Minnesota Northwest Research & Outreach Center will host this workshop focused on Goss’s Wilt disease management in corn and Herbicide Mode of Action in-field diagnostics. Learn more.
Livingston County Farm Crawl
Aug. 23-24 | Livingston County, Ill.
A great opportunity to visit five working farms in Livingston County. Learn more.
Introduction to Cut Flowers
Aug. 25 | $15 | 4-7 p.m. | Kansas City, Mo.
This evening workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Lala to learn more or register: email@example.com.
Soil Stewardship with Cover Crops, Rotations and Grazing
Aug. 26 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Hastings, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, learn about the numerous conservation measures at Maple Edge Farm, from diverse crop rotations to cover crops to management-intensive grazing. Discussion will include practical crop rotations to successfully implement cover crops, and attendees will get to view a soil pit and discuss soil health issues. Learn more.
Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard
Aug. 26-28 | Clarks Grove, Minn.
In this introductory course hosted by Center for Deep Ecology, learn the vocabulary and tools available to redesign your farm into a diversified, resilient perennial polyculture with tree crops, livestock, fruits and vegetables, and more. We’ll discuss techniques such as Farm-scale Permaculture design, keyline design for water management, staple food crops, alleycropping, silvopasturing, multi-story cropping, and how to put it all together into a sustainable and profitable farming system. Learn more and register.
Patterns and Permaculture with Toby Hemenway
Aug. 27-28 | Minneapolis, Minn.
This two-day workshop hosted by Center for Deep Ecology will cover: a vocabulary of basic patterns and how they function in both nature and design; how patterns are formed and how they regulate and shape energy, material, social, and economic flows; how patterns are used in indigenous, Western, and other cultures; identifying and choosing the patterns that best suit specific design challenges; and using patterns and creating pattern languages to design physical and social landscapes and technologies. Learn more and register.
North American Permaculture Convergence
Aug. 29-31 | Clarks Grove, Minn.
Meet up to 1,000 permaculture movers and shakers from across North America to share successes and strategize how to create a permaculture future. Permaculture pioneers, authors, teachers, organizers, consultants, visionaries and farmers get together to share stories and build symbiotic relationships. Learn more and register.
Post NAPC Permaculture Tour of the Driftless Region
Sept. 1-2 | Driftless Region
Taking place right after the North American Permaculture Convergence, a tour of some of the best of what the upper Midwest has to offer. The tour will travel to 3 states as you visit Badgersett Research Farm, Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture, New Forest Farm, and Seed Savers Exchange. Learn more and register.
Online Soil Biology Class
Sept. 2-Dec. 10 | University of Minnesota
This course will introduce basic soil biology concepts, including soil organisms and the roles they play, before focusing on interactions between plant root systems and soil microorganisms. Includes discussion on various management practices that build and sustain a rich soil ecosystem. This course will be delivered online via Moodle (the open-source learning platform used at the University of Minnesota), with no face-to-face requirements. Learn more about the course or how to register as a non-degree student.
Farm-Scale Perennial Agriculture Tour
Sept. 3 | Forest Agriculture Enterprises | Viola, Wis.
A full-day educational tour with farmer Mark Shepard who has modeled his perennial farm on native ecosystems. Contact Lois Kennis for more information and to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-280-2863.
Organic Dairying and Cattle Care
Sept. 5 | 1-4 p.m. | Bloomfield, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa and sponsored by MOSES, tour the dairy and learn how the family cares for and feeds their milk cows. The paddock and pasture system and its management will be described. The family will also discuss some cow health issues and the organic treatments for those conditions. The Maibach’s veterinarian, or a representative from Organic Valley, will be on hand to speak to attendees. Learn more.
Community-Based Farm Start-Up
Sept. 9 | 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Tama, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, learn what it means to integrate a farm business with community-based goals and input from the beginning. Started in 2013, Red Earth Gardens is a fruit and vegetable farm entering its second year transitioning former corn and soybean ground to certified organic in 2015. The farm also serves as a community education resource and provides space for the Meskwaki Growers’ Cooperative, which is launching in 2014 with the start of a community garden incubator space for interested growers. Learn more.
Improving Soil Health
Sept. 11 | 1-4 p.m. | Cuba City, Wis.
This MOSES field day will illustrate an organic method of growing no-till soybeans, using a rolled rye mulch under a field of drilled soybeans. This method, which builds soil at the same time a crop is being grown, is gaining popularity for a variety of vegetable and agronomic crops. Learn more.
Farm Aid 2014
Sept. 13 | Walnut Creek Amphitheater | Raleigh, N.C.
Farm Aid 2014 will feature Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack White and many more artists. It will be a full day of amazing music, homegrown food, hand-on activities and of course, family farmers. Learn more.
Pasture Walk & Facilitated Discussion Group
Sept. 16 | 1 p.m. | Platteville, Wis.
Hosted by Great River Graziers, this field day covers portable windbreak strategies and grazing Sudan grass. Learn more.
CROPP Cooperative’s 2014 Organic Veterinary Workshop
Sept. 17-19 | Viroqua, Wis.
Join CROPP Cooperative to learn from world-class veterinarians who specialize in organic management. Don’t miss your opportunity to gain knowledge about organic herd health techniques and related topics such as homeopathy, acupuncture, fly control, agronomy and more. Workshop includes both classroom and hands-on sessions not offered anywhere else. Register and learn more.
Aquaponics Master Class
Sept. 18-20 | 8:00 a.m. | Montello, Wis.
A comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The topics covered include aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations. Register and learn more.
Scaling Up Your Business and Packaging & Grading Produce
Sept. 22 | $30 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Lawrence, Kan.
This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Marlin to learn more or register: email@example.com.
Stewardship at Seven W Farm
Sept. 26 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Paullina, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa. The day will begin with a farm tour and discussion of Biological Monitoring, an aspect of Holistic Management that helps farmers evaluate their land and determine whether different management is necessary. Following lunch, discussion will center around the farm’s small grain production and how this alternative to corn and soybeans fits into the farm model. The last part of the day will be a discussion about forage chains and cover crops, and how the Wilsons use both in grass-based livestock systems and organic row-crop systems. Learn more.
2014 America’s Watershed Initiative Summit
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 | Galt House Hotel | Louisville, Ky.
The summit will bring together key private, public, and non-profit sector stakeholders to improve governance of the Mississippi Watershed. AWI is a collaboration that seeks solutions for meeting the multiple demands placed on the vast and complex Mississippi watershed system by integrating issues, partners and ideas at the full watershed scale. Register and learn more.
Farmer Grant Writing Workshop
Oct. 1 | 6-9 p.m. | Springfield, Ill.
Existing and prospective farmers are invited to participate in a grant writing workshop to learn about the basics of grant writing as well as specifics on grants available through the North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the Ill. Dept of Agriculture. Learn more and register.
Webinar: Organic Farming and Soil Health
Oct. 7 | 4 p.m.
Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about organic farming and soil health. The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public. Click here for more information.
The “Dairy” Beginning: Basics of Goat Dairy Management
Oct. 13 | 12-2 p.m. | Knoxville, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, tour an active goat dairy and learn the foundations of starting a healthy, productive herd. Lois Reichert will cover the basics of animal care and management – nutrition, housing, fencing and health – as well as the fundamentals of goat dairying: milk prep, sanitation and proper handling. She will briefly discuss the process of starting a licensed dairy and what might be expected, and share some tidbits of cheese-making knowledge. Learn more.
18th IFOAM Organic World Congress
Oct. 13-15 | Istanbul, Turkey
This congress takes place every three years. The aim of the congress and surrounding activities is to share experiences, innovations, knowledge about the organic world with a special attention on the organizing country. This year’s keynotes include Anna Lappe, who presented at the 2014 MOSES Conference, and Will Allen of Growing Power. Learn more.
Feast! Festival & Tradeshow
Nov. 2-3 | Rochester, Minn.
The FEAST Local Food Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. Sunday will be open for the public and Monday will be an industry-only conference and tradeshow exclusively for food growers, makers and buyers. Learn more.
Growing Power National-International Urban and Small Farm Conference
Nov. 6-9 | Potawatomi Bingo Casino | Milwaukee, Wis.
Get ready for an intensive conference that covers urban farming from top to bottom: aquaculture, composting and vermicomposting, planning strategies, education, youth programming, fund raising, food policy, food justice and much more! Check out the Growing Power website as more details become available.
Fall Harvest Gathering for Women
Nov. 7-9 | Cedar Valley Resort | Whalen, Minn.
Get to know other women who care passionately about farming and the earth. Some attendees farm and some want to farm, but all enjoy sharing and learning from each other at the annual Fall Harvest Gathering. Costs are reasonable and scholarships are available. All women are welcome. Learn more.
Slow Money Gathering
Nov. 10-12 | Louisville, KY
Help change the way we view, and invest, in our food system! Featuring world-renowned thought leaders, including farmer and author Joel Salatin, environmental activist Vandana Shiva and Mary Berry, daughter of Wendell Berry and executive director of The Berry Center. Learn more.
Aquaponics Master Class
Nov. 13-15 | 8:00 a.m. | Montello, Wis.
A comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The topics covered include aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations. Click here to register and learn more.
5th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture
Nov. 14-15 | Fairfield, Iowa
The conference will be at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. The conference is sponsored by the Women Food & Ag Network (WFAN). Learn more.
Milling Small Grains and Aquaponics Production
Nov. 15 | 1-4 p.m. | Panora, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, father-son team Earl and Jeff Hafner will show attendees their certified organic stone mill where they mill rye, buckwheat, wheat and corn. They will also lead a tour of their aquaponics production area, and request that attendees bring their high tunnel gardening expertise to share! Learn more.
Webinar: Nutrient Budgeting
Dec. 2 | 4 p.m.
Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about nutrient budgeting and organic considerations for implementing conservation practice standard 590. The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public. Click here for more information.