The Roundtables at the MOSES Conference open a discussion about specific farming topics. These 45-minute group discussions aren’t presentations, but an opportunity to share information and get input from people attending the conference.

Roundtables will be in Room S at the Radisson.


Friday, Feb. 28, 2020:

More trial, less error: guidelines for successful on-farm research
9 – 9:45 a.m.
Ruth Genger, University of Wisconsin
Join experienced farmer-researchers to explore approaches to on-farm research. Participants have conducted research either independently, with support from university and extension staff, or as part of a research network. We will discuss practical guidelines for on-farm trials, including planning and implementing a trial, evaluating trial performance, and interpreting results. We will also cover funding sources and other resources for farmer-researchers. Facilitated by Ruth Genger, a University of Wisconsin researcher who collaborates with a network of organic vegetable growers.

A Peace of Mind – Exploring Mental Health with Farm Families
10-10:45 a.m.
Amy Kuester, Great Rivers 2-1-1 Line Supervisor
Kaitlyn Lance, Division of Extension La Crosse County Agriculture Educator
Great Rivers 2-1-1 Line Supervisor Amy Kuester and Division of Extension La Crosse County Agriculture Educator Kaitlyn Lance will lead a roundtable discussion on mental health in the farming community. The last five years have years have had a major impact on the agriculture community from large rain events to depressed markets. Through this roundtable discussion Great Rivers 2-1-1 and Extension will connect farmers to resources to help with managing that stress, how to have that conversation around mental health, and who to contact when you are just not sure where to go. There will be a few case studies on hand to help facilitate the discussion.

Agroecology and Food Sovereignty in the Green New Deal
11 – 11:45 a.m.
John Peck, Family Farm Defenders
Tackling climate chaos will require a radical and just transition towards a new food/farm system. This discussion will focus on the importance of incorporating agroecological practices and food sovereignty principles into the proposed Green New Deal. Facilitated by members of Family Farm Defenders, the MS Association of Cooperatives, Florida Farmworkers Association, Rural Coalition, and the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance.

Organic Seed Research and Education Priorities
12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Kitt Healy, Organic Seed Alliance
This roundtable will build on the momentum generated at the 2019 Upper Midwest Seed Summit to clarify priorities for research and education related to organic seed production, regional seed network development and collaborative plant breeding for regional adaptation. Participants will also have an opportunity to network and learn from each other. Bring seeds to swap if you’d like! This roundtable is hosted by Organic Seed Alliance and the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative.

Wild Nut Oil Production
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Samuel Thayer, Forager’s Harvest
Wild-harvested plants can provide sustainable economic opportunities for small farmers and food for the homesteading family. Building from Samuel’s workshop, come to discuss wild nut oil production.

Natural Building Techniques 101
2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Thomas Manley, MOSES
An overview of popular natural building methods and what constitutes a “green” building.  We will discuss the pros and cons of each and which are best suited to a particular place and situation.

ORGANIZE! Farmers Tending the Soil for Change
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Alex Romano and Nick Olson, Land Stewardship Project
Calling all farmer organizers…Farmers are leading the way in their communities on issues of soil health, racial justice, the farm crisis, climate change and civic engagement.  How does organizing work and why is it important?  Come dig into learning about farmer-led organizing and the power it has to move communities, systems and society.  Learn from other farmer organizers through a round table discussion featuring organizers from the Land Stewardship Project.

Leveraging the Good Food Purchasing Policy for Organic Producers
4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Marlie Wilson, Chicago Food Policy Action Council
In 2017, the City of Chicago adopted the Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP), which shifts public spending on food to prioritize local economies, environmental sustainability, fair labor, animal welfare, and nutrition. There is a major opportunity for organic growers to leverage GFPP to enter more institutional market channels. This roundtable would hopefully give an opportunity to talk more about what GFPP is and have a discussion on what organic farmers need to successfully utilize GFPP for their benefit.


Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020:

National CSA Innovation Network
8 – 8:45 a.m.
Carrie Sedlak, FairShare CSA Coalition
The CSA Innovation Network is a newly launched resource base of trainings, tools and discussion forums built by and for CSA support organizations and farmers. This national network facilitates idea sharing across the CSA community. This roundtable would allow us to introduce the network, answer questions, provide ways to get involved, and – of utmost importance – allow us to learn about top CSA farmer priorities that we can channel into the work of the Network.

New Models for Building Local Food Systems – What’s going on in your neck of the woods?
9-9:45 a.m.
Dave Bishop, PrairiErth Farm
Techniques and infrastructure for growing local food systems are growing every year. In central Illinois efforts are underway in Peoria (population 150,000) to expand local food availability by creating a “receiving hub” to aggregate and serve larger local markets. Another model is being developed In Mt. Pulaski, (pop 1900) a small rural community to produce, value-add and market in small towns. Lincoln IL Elementary School District 27 is developing a cost neutral model for using local foods. Come ready to share the innovations happening in your area.

Climate Change and Immigrant Farming Communities
10 – 10:45 a.m.
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farms
Discuss the ways that climate change is affecting immigrant farming communities and what can be done to have a more resilient farm.

Decolonizing Ag
11:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Regenerative Agricultural Alliance
Building on Regi’s earlier workshop, come to discuss the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance’s whole-system approach that builds on Indigenous wisdom and traditions as a foundation to deliver what the market needs while decolonizing the methodology of systems change.

Organic Transition Financing Loan
12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Brandon Welch, Mad Agriculture
This roundtable will cover revenue-based debt and how a new program called the Perennial Fund is helping farmers transition land to organic by giving them a 3 year grace period, on-farm technical assistance, and payback based on a net profit share.

A New Tool to Explore Wild Bees on Your Farm
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Katy Thostenson, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology
Wild bees, such as bumble, mason and squash bees, are important pollinators of food crops. However for an individual farm, can wild bees alone provide a crop’s full pollination needs? The UW-Madison Gratton Lab has created a smartphone app for growers to collect data and learn about bees visiting their fruit and vegetable crops. In this roundtable, the project coordinator will demo the WiBee app and facilitate discussion around wild bee pollination and creating a more useful tool for growers.

Identifying Barriers in the Upper Midwest Food Grade Small Grain Value Chain
2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Alyssa Hartman, Artisan Grain Collaborative
The Artisan Grain Collaborative, REAP Food Group, and Meadowlark Organics would like to coordinate a conversation with small grains growers in the Upper Midwest to identify barriers to selling food grade small grains into regional markets. We hope discuss opportunities to move past these barriers, provide examples of existing models for success, and begin to build a knowledge base for a value chain analysis to develop successful strategies to move forward with this work..

Envision Better Cover Crops
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Lisa Kissing Kucek, USDA-ARS
What cover crop challenges have you experienced? Join a discussion of cover crop struggles, and share your tools for success. The group can help set priorities for future cover cropping research and breeding.






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