New farmers are vital to our future! Our nation is counting on a new crop of farmers to grow our food, revitalize the countryside and protect our natural resources. New Organic Stewards connects these new farmers, provides educational opportunities, and seeds inspiration for sustainable, organic production. New Organic Stewards is for any beginning farmer (farming 10 years or less) who is interested in organic and sustainable farming.
New Organic Stewards is a program of MOSES and Renewing the Countryside.
This project is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30756
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Join us at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2014
Many workshops and activities at the MOSES Conference will be geared for beginning farmers (see the list below).
We’ll also have a New Farmer Area in the Concourse Exhibit Hall where you can talk to people from organizations that support new farmers.
At the Conference, look for the Farmer Ninja on nametags to identify fellow beginning farmers.
MOSES Conference Workshops for New Organic Stewards
Savvy Marketing Made Easy
Karla Pankow and Elizabeth Millard, Bossy Acres | Friday I – 8:30 a.m.
For many farmers, “marketing” instills a sense of dread and means time away from the fields to create marketing materials that may or may not work. Say “good-bye” to dread and learn from these savvy marketers how to grow a loyal customer base through social media, news stories, partnerships, and other proven tactics.
Your First Tractor: Primer for New Vegetable Farmers
Martin Diffley, Organic Farming Works LLC | Friday II – 2 p.m.
Looking for a new or used tractor for your vegetable farming operation? We’ll discuss the history of tractors and designs specific to vegetable production. We’ll also explain how to analyze the condition of used tractors, current market prices, and the options for renting, leasing or buying a tractor.
Holistic Management of Goats & Sheep
Sue Wilka and Tom Prieve, Paradox Farm | Friday III – 4 p.m.
Learn how to integrate meat and milk goats and sheep into a farming operation. Topics will include: animal selection, nutrition, health, grazing strategy, fencing, shelters, and animal handling. Discover creative options, such as milking through, postponed first breeding, and utilization of animals for draft and brush reduction.
Land Access Hacks
Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project and Grant Schultz, VersaLand Farm
Saturday I – 8:30 a.m.
Make your farm dreams materialize! Learn how to rent, buy or borrow land via conventional and unconventional means. Discover the inner workings of “free money” resources, low-interest FSA loans and USDA grants, plus financial “hacks,” such as crowdfunding, Slow Money, and other innovative financing strategies.
Dos and Don’ts for Obtaining Organic Certification
Aaron Brin, Independent Organic Inspector and Angela Davidson, MOSA
Saturday II – 2 p.m.
This workshop will explain the certification process as well as what you need to do in order to apply and maintain your organic certification. The organic rules will be explained in plain English along with easy to comprehend farm production activities and inputs allowed or prohibited under the USDA organic law.
Orchard Beginnings for Aspiring Tree Fruit Growers
Anton Ptak, Mary Dirty Face Farm | Saturday III – 4 p.m.
New to fruit? Learn how to design an orchard layout from bare-bones to all-out, by-the book plans. We’ll cover rootstock and variety selection, planting density, early year care and maintenance, as well as common mistakes and lessons from the field during the early years leading up to production.
Activities at the 2014 MOSES Conference
Open Mic Night
Thursday 7 p.m.
Farmers + Music = Fun! Join us for an awesome night of entertainment at the Root Note Organic Cafe in downtown La Crosse. Play a ditty, bring a group or sing a song yourself. Food and farming songs encouraged! Show your farmer ninja sticker for $1 off drinks.
New Farmer Meet and Greet
Friday 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Bring your friends and meet some new ones! Come get to know other beginning farmers. Hosted by National Young Farmers’ Coalition and New Organic Stewards.
Organic Farming Starter Packet
Interested in organic farming, but not sure how to begin? Start here with our Organic Farming Starter Packet. These resources will get you on the road to growing organic.
- Guidebook for Organic Certification
This 32-page guidebook will answer your questions about organic certification! From general production questions, to a discussion on approved materials, this guidebook is an indispensable resource.
- MOSES Fact Sheets
- Organic Answer Line | 1-888-551-GROW (4769)
Get answers to your transition questions from an experienced organic farmer and certification educator.