= Research Forum = New Organic Stewards = In Her Boots
Messages Matter: How to Talk (and Think) Organic
Melinda Hemmelgarn is a Registered Dietitian, investigative nutritionist, and host of "Food Sleuth Radio," a nationally syndicated program that helps listeners "think beyond their plates" and connect the dots between food, health and agriculture. She writes and speaks nationally promoting media literacy to make sense of food and agriculture media messages, and works with her photographer husband to raise awareness and appreciation for organic food and farming. She serves on both MOSES, and Organic Farming Research Foundation Boards.
Jim Riddle works as Organic Outreach Coordinator for the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center and is elected chair of the Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District Board. Jim serves on the Leadership Team of eOrganic and is founding chair of the Winona Farmers Market; the International Organic Inspectors Association; and former chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board. Jim is a frequent speaker at organic conferences.
Rural Women's Project – Encore Farming for Women: Launching a Farm Business Mid-Life
Lisa Kivirist, MOSES Rural Women's Project & Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B (Browntown, WI) Lisa Kivirist founded and leads the Rural Women's Project, a venture of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) that supports women farmers and food entrepreneurs. She also runs Inn Serendipity Farm & Bed and Breakfast (www.innserendipity.com) with her family on their farm in southwest Wisconsin, completely powered by renewable. Kivirist is co-author, with her husband, John Ivanko, of Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance.
Paula Foreman, Encore Farm (St. Paul, MN) Paula Foreman lives in St. Paul, MN and currently farms on leased land outside of Stillwater, specializing in growing heirloom varieties of dry beans, and small grains. She farms by hand, with an ethic of as little fossil fuel use as possible. Her farm, Encore Farm, is a tribute to fresh starts and new endeavors at any age and inspired the name of this workshop.
Jamie Baker, Primrose Valley Farm (Belleville, WI) After careers in education, accounting and technology project management and long-time residency in the Chicago area, Jamie Baker and her husband, David Baker, relocated to Belleville, Wisconsin, to transition and successfully launch Primrose Valley Farm (www.primrosevalleyfarm.com), now a successful certified-organic CSA with a strong food justice mission.
Machinery for Beginning Farmers
Laura Frerichs and Adam Cullip co-own and operate Loon Organics. 2013 will be their 9th season of independently farming, growing around 8 acres of certified organic vegetables and herbs at their 40-acre organic farm near Hutchinson, MN. Loon provides for a 150-member CSA, local retailers, restaurants, and the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis. Adam converted a Hefty-G tractor to electric in 2007 and is presently working on his 2nd conversion.
Grant Schultz farms at VersaLand Farm near Iowa City. He grows heirloom seed garlic and native fruits including haskap, pawpaw, and elderberries. Grant builds machines to make farming easier including an electric Allis Chalmers G conversion, mechanical garlic clove separator, and greens harvesters. Grant co-hosts FarmHack: Iowa, a collaborative conference for farmers, designers, and builders to reinvent sustainable agriculture.
Organic Research and Promotion Program
Capturing and Organizing Data for Organic Certification, GAPs Compliance, and Other Endeavors
Chris Blanchard owns and operates Rock Spring Farm, with fifteen acres of certified organic vegetable, herb, and greenhouse production north of Decorah, Iowa, where he has farmed since 1999. Prior to 1999, Chris managed student farms, worked as an intern, packing house manager, plant breeding assistant, and farm manager, and provided consulting for a major organic processor, in California, Wisconsin, Maine, and Washington state. Under the banner of Flying Rutabaga Works, Chris teaches workshops, writes articles, and works directly with farmers to develop systems that help them succeed in agriculture, business, and life.
Changing Farm Policy from the Ground Up: What is the Farm Bill and Can We Make It Better?
Sarah Hackney is the Grassroots Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, D.C. She has worked as an advocate and catalyst for sustainable food and farm efforts across the U.S. Her past work focused on improving small farm viability, increasing fresh food access, and building leadership in rural communities. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth.Ariane Lotti is the Assistant Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, D.C. She has served as the Policy Director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation, and Policy Associate for OFRF and NSAC. She is a published author, and has worked on and conducted research on organic and conventional farms in the U.S. and Europe. She holds a B.A. and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University.
ABCs of Organic Certification
Jackie Von Ruden hails from a Texas farming background with an agricultural education degree and several years of experience teaching in Texas and Wisconsin. She has worked for MOSA since early 2005 and is the Farm Certification Manager, Certification Review Manager, an organic farm and processing inspector, and does a variety of outreach and educational programs. She works on the OMRI Livestock Review Panel, Advisory Council, and Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Accredited Certifiers Association Board of Directors and various working groups.Aaron Brin has been an organic farm and processing inspector since 1995, and a small scale certified organic farmer from Rolling Ground, WI. For the past 4 years, he was the Inspection Manager at MOSA.
Marketing Contracts and Long-Term Leases
Amanda Heyman is a staff attorney at FLAG, a non-profit law center serving family farmers. She is the author of the farmer-friendly FLAG publicatio, Farmers’ Guide to Organic Contracts. Amanda earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, and obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to her legal career, Amanda worked as a journalist in New Mexico and Wisconsin.
Funds for Farmers: What Government Resources are Available?
Traci Bruckner is the Assistant Director of the Rural Policy Program at the Center for Rural Affairs, and she also serves as the Chair of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She has worked extensively on the Farm Bill, guiding advocacy to include beginning farmer and rancher provisions in the bill, as well as conservation and value-added agriculture programs. She has also guided our farm bill program implementation efforts on those programs. She has brought a national voice to beginning farm and ranch issues with her service on USDA’s Beginning Farmer Committee.Margaret Krome is the Policy Program Director at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. She coordinates the annual national grassroots campaign to fund federal programs supported by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and helps develop state and local programs and policy supporting environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible agriculture. She also conducts workshops on grant writing and using federal programs to support sustainable agriculture. She sits on the Wisconsin Board of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection and on the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s board.
Tools for Transition to Organic Crop and Dairy Production
Rob King, session moderator, is a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota where he teaches managerial economics. He is project director for a multi-year study on the economics of transition from conventional to organic production.
Tim Delbridge is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. His dissertation research focuses on the economics of organic agriculture. Rory Beyer is a second generation dairy farmer who has been helping manage his family's operation in Southeastern Minnesota since 2000. Rory led the family's decision to transition their farm which has been certified since 2009. The Beyers currently manage 600 acres and milk 110 cows.
Jonathan and Carolyn Olson, named Lyon County Farm Family of the Year by University of Minnesota Extension, raise field crops on 1,100 acres in Cottonwood, Minnesota. All of their land, now certified organic, was transitioned gradually over several years. They completed their most recent transition on 150 newly acquired acres in 2011.
The Blue, the Gold and Organic: Dialogues with FFA
Kelly Shea heads up Government & Industry Relations at WhiteWave Foods. Shea represents WhiteWave products and suppliers in Washington, DC, and works to advance issues key to the organic and non-GMO farming and processing communities. She serves on the Foundation Sponsors’ Board of the FFA and has a leadership role in the organic food industry, serving on the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association. Shea has also served on the Boards of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Non-GMO Project. In 2008, Shea received the “Spirit of Organic” award, which is given by New Hope Natural Media to those who exemplify the principles and spirit of the organic movement. And just this year, Shea received an honorary American FFA degree from the National FFA Foundation, recognizing her as an outstanding individual who has provided exceptional support of agricultural education and FFA.
Organizing for Our Collective Success: Beginning Farmer Resources & Coalition Building
Sophie Ackoff is a beginning farmer and Membership Development Coordinator of the National Young Farmers’ Coalition. Sophie is a long-time environment and food organizer—she founded a food politics organization at Wesleyan University and worked for Food & Water Watch in education and outreach. Sophie is working to grow the NYFC network to better represent and support beginning farmers.
The Power of Storytelling: Tools and Tactics to Tell Your Farm Story
Melinda Hemmelgarn, is a registered dietitian, investigative nutritionist, and award-winning writer, speaker, and radio host better known as the “Food Sleuth.” Hemmelgarn and her photographer husband created "F.A.R.M.: Food, Art, Revolution Media – a Focus on Photography to Re-vitalize Agriculture and Strengthen Democracy,” to raise awareness and appreciation for those who feed us, and promote “food system literacy.” Melinda will share examples from her F.A.R.M. project in this workshop. She serves on both MOSES, and Organic Farming Research Foundation Boards.Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are co-authors of Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance and write for publications such as Hobby Farms, Urban Farm and Edible Madison. This husband and wife duo run Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B outside Monroe, WI, completely powered by renewable energy and ranked one of the “Top 10 Eco-Destinations in North America.” Lisa also leads the MOSES Rural Women’s Project, providing outreach and training for women farmers and food-based entrepreneurs.
Understanding GMO Testing
This workshop will focus on exploring the scientific/technical issues related to testing for GMOs in seed and feed. Attendees will hear detailed descriptions of the available testing methodologies and how they might each serve in the establishment of a "functional zero" testing standard for GMOs in seed used in organic production.
Lowell Rheinheimer has been with CROPP Cooperative since 2005 and currently serves as its Farm Resources Manager where he oversees CROPP’s technical support and feed service programs. He has had an intense interest in seed issues – how to make sure that the organic industry has access to genetically clean seed that has been grown organically and has been bred to perform well in organic production systems. This interest has led to his in-depth exploration of seed testing methods, the development of relationships and conversations with seed industry professionals, and the creation and implementation of seed policy at CROPP aimed at protecting organic integrity.
Logan Peterman coordinates the Farm Resources Department at Organic Valley Headquarters in La Farge, WI. With a background in Ecology and Organic vegetable production he has strong experience in the biological and scientific constraints associated with seed production and viability. In his position at the cooperative he works closely with a professional staff of veterinarians and agronomic specialists to bring independent services and advice to Farmer/members across the country.Ryan Johnson is the DNA QA Laboratory Manager at BioDiagnostics, Inc in River Falls, WI. He previously held positions in corn breeding and seed certification. He leverages a field background with understanding of laboratory methods to help customers design and implement GMO testing procedures in production and breeding programs.