Workshops by Category

Friday 1-a  |  Friday 1-b  |  Friday 2-a  |  Friday 2-b  |  Friday 3

Saturday 1-a  | Saturday 1-b  | Saturday 2-a  | Saturday 2-b  | Saturday 3



Field Crops

Healthy Soils & Farming Systems


Market Farming and Specialty Crops

Business, Marketing & Certification

Education, Environment and Emerging Issues

New Organic Stewards

Research Forum

Hmong Interpretation


Translation into Hmong will be available for some workshops. Scholarships are also available for Hmong-language attendees.  For more information, contact either Jack Chang at DATCP or Cella Langer at The Farley Center.


Friday Workshop 1-a


Hack Your Farm Tools
Presenter: Grant Schulz, Versaland
Friday 1-a – 8:15 a.m. has pioneered the creation and sharing of hundreds of farmer-designed and built tools. Together, let’s view real-world examples of robust, low-cost, and locally-sourced DIY tools that can improve your farm. From ergonomic hand tools to texting greenhouse robots, see how to apply inexpensive technology to your farm business.

Marketing Transition Grains, Oilseeds, & Forages
Presenter: Lynn Clarkson, Clarkson Grain
Friday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Buyers really want more certified organic production, and more and more are providing price incentives during the “transition” years. Learn about market alternatives for farmers in transition to organic certification, the politics and reality of a “transition” label, the risks and rewards of contracts, market synergy, and competition with foreign suppliers.

Quality Produce from Field to Table
Presenters: Laura Frierichs, Loon Organics and Joan Olson, Prairie Drifter Farm
Friday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

High quality produce is essential to your farm’s economic success. This workshop will help you get produce from the field to the point of sale at peak quality, attending to good handling practices along the way. We’ll share examples from three small- to mid-size operations to show how infrastructure, land, management and budget impact produce quality.

The Pastured Pig’s Perspective
Presenter: Steve Deibele, Golden Bear Farm
Friday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Pastured pig management can reliably produce outstanding pork, differentiated by taste and nutritional value. This session will give you insights into pig psychology, giving you strategies and practical skills that work with the animal’s natural behavior. While we’ll focus on butcher pig production, we’ll also briefly discuss pastured farrowing.

Winter Greens Undercover
Presenter: Ryan Pesch, University of Minnesota and Lida Farm
Friday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Winter greenhouses allow growth of cold-tolerant greens through the entire winter, helping you diversify and maximize your farm income. Learn economic and production basics of winter greens, and how to complement your greens with storage crops from an attached root cellar.

Back to Top


Friday Workshop 1-b


Beyond Rye: Summer & Winter Cover Crops
Presenter: Julie Grossman, University of Minnesota
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Rye is a powerhouse in terms of biomass production and winter survivability, but there must be more out there! This session will expand your cover crop options with an emphasis on legume species that can be used as both summer and winter covers. We’ll talk about the science of legume cover crop soil contributions while learning from hands-on activities how to estimate the benefits of legumes on soil fertility and organic matter.

Biological Management of Pests & Disease
Presenter: Dan Kittredge, Bionutrient Food Association
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Pest and disease pressure take over when the soil biological system is imbalanced. We will explore soil biochemistry, disease function, and systemic management practices to address these underlying issues and promote healthy, balanced soil and plants.

Disease Management in Organic Vegetables
Presenters: Beth Kazmar, Tipi Produce and Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Learn organic methods to prevent and manage disease outbreaks in vegetable crops from a farmer and a plant pathologist. We’ll tackle several vegetable diseases and will discuss how to use variety selection, hot water seed treatment, crop rotation, row spacing, irrigation, disease forecasting, and allowed products to your best advantage.

Organic Grass-Fed Beef Success – The Next Generation
Presenters: Rod Ofte, Pasture Project and Allen Williams, LMC LLC
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Soil health, plant diversity, forage management, cattle genetics, and grass finishing marketing solutions all impact your ability to consistently produce a high quality product and get a reasonable return on your investment. We’ll discuss the latest production cost research and case studies, new market opportunities, and new resource tools to help you make sound management and financial decisions.

Promoting Organic by Finding Common Ground
Presenter: Carolyn Olson, Olson Organics of Cottonwood
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

The best conversations happen when we find something in common with others. How can we find common ground with people who have different philosophies and styles than we do? It’s all in the words we use. Learn about conversation starters and enders, and the art of promoting organic agriculture in conversations over the dinner plate, in the grocery aisle, or on social media.

Use Your Good Financial Records
Presenters: Paul Dietmann and Kay Wiemer, Badgerland Financial
Friday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Learn how to prepare good records and how to use them to manage your business effectively.  We’ll cover available methods—software, record books, and professional services. We’ll show you how to use good records to develop sound financial statements and make informed business decisions.

Back to Top


Friday Workshop 2-a


Hardy Perennials for Fabulous Cut Flowers
Presenter: Carol Larsen, Sunborn Gardens
Friday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Early and late-blooming perennials fill spaces your annuals can’t. See which perennials are great money makers and add appeal to your bouquets at the farmers’ market and florist. We’ll cover variety selection, ease of cultivation and specific needs, and look at shrubs and trees for interesting cuts.

Integrated Weed Control Innovations
Presenter: Tom Frantzen, Frantzen Farm
Friday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Frantzen Farm, a 320-acre diverse farm in Iowa, has adapted and successfully employed many innovations to manage weeds. Learn about the farm’s cropping practices and weed management, including tillage sweeps that have suppressed perennial weeds, and a systematic approach to deal with giant ragweed. You’ll see an economical and easy conversion of a front cultivator to accurate cutting discs that run near the row. Learn how the farm’s livestock impact cropping and weed control as well.

Pastured Rabbits with the Coney Garth System
Presenter: Julie Engel, Wild Abundance Farm Cooperative
Friday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Join Julie Engel as she outlines her rabbit system, coined “The Coney Garth” developed through a SARE grant.  She will cover rabbit grazing habits, nutrition on grass, her paddock system, breeding management, kindling, growth and slaughter, and finances.

Safeguard Organic Operations from the Grave
Presenter: Abbie Church, Mississippi Valley Conservancy
Friday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Learn how you can protect your organically nurtured land through a land trust and conservation easement. Mississippi Valley Conservancy has protected over 16,000 acres in southwest Wisconsin. Learn about the pros and cons of conservation easements, tax incentives, and how other landowners have taken that leap to safeguard their lands

Tools of the Vegetable Trade
Presenters: Adam Cullip, Loon Organics and Steve Pincus, Tipi Produce
Friday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

By selecting the appropriate tool for each task, you can increase yields and improve crop quality. We will cover options from hand tools to tractors for fresh market vegetable farms. We’ll also share details to help you decide which type of equipment will work best for your farming system.


Friday Workshop 2-b


Finally! Diversified Grower Crop Insurance
Presenters: Roxann Brixen, Great American Insurance, Harriet Behar, MOSES and Margaret Krome, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

The new Whole Farm Risk Plan, a federally subsidized crop insurance product, could be just what you need in terms of risk protection for your multiple-crop, organic operation. It is designed to work with your past and expected revenue and expenses, and is not held to the same constraints of certain yields or prices as other federal crop insurance products.

Increase Farm Income via Diversification
Presenters: Lisa Kivirist, Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B and Paul and Chris Burkhouse, Foxtail Farm
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

As the organic and “know your farmer” market grows, opportunity abounds for farms to creatively diversify to bring in extra income. Get ideas on hot-growth categories such as pizza night, farm stays, processing under cottage food law, commercial kitchen set-up and winter CSAs. We’ll share start-up stories and experienced advice on costs and barriers.

Landslide! Managing Soil Erosion
Presenter: Ben Bowell, Oregon Tilth
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Soil conservation is a cornerstone of organic farming. How do you measure and minimize the loss of healthy soil on your farm? We will explore methods to evaluate soil erosion and condition, and how to minimize erosion. We’ll also explore financial and technical assistance available to producers to support soil health.

Looking for the “co” in Coexistence
Presenters: Lynn Clarkson, Clarkson Grain and Michael Sligh, Rural Advancement Foundation International
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

GMO contamination now impacts all farmers, conventional and organic, growing key crops across the U.S. The USDA has been trying to hammer out how to assign responsibility and minimize the damage from unwanted DNA. We will address contending perspectives, and recommend ways to prevent and fairly mitigate GMO contamination, from new regulations to changes in plant breeding and insurance.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Organic Programs & Policies
Presenters: Alyssa Charney, NSAC and Steve Etka, NOC
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Federal policy plays a critical role in supporting organic agriculture. We’ll provide an update from D.C., digging into policies ranging from working lands conservation and crop insurance to research and certification cost share. Join the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic Coalition to learn about future opportunities to improve organic programs and policies.

Winter Care & Feeding of Rotationally Grazed Cattle
Presenters: Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord, Prairie Horizons
Friday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Winter is a challenging season for graziers and grazing cattle, but with planning and preparation, wintering cattle outside works—we’ve been doing it in Western Minnesota since 2002. Learn successful strategies for winter care and feeding, including ways to extend the pasture season further than you ever thought you could.

Back to Top


Friday Workshop 3


Culinary Herb Production
Presenter: Chris Blanchard, Purple Pitchfork
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Fresh-cut herbs provide an attractive addition to the farmers’ market, CSA, or wholesale market farm, but they have unique requirements for production, post-harvest handling, and marketing. This session offers an overview of propagation, field production, harvest strategies, and marketing.

Financing and Creative Land Options
Presenters: Sheri Houtakker, USDA FSA and Holly Rippon-Butler, National Young Farmers Coalition
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Farmers across the country are exploring a variety of ways to access land–working with a land trust, partnering with a farmland investor, or securing a long-term ground lease. We will discuss creative strategies as well as financing options through the Farm Service Agency. Learn about the process, including potential obstacles, from application to approval.

Growing Healthy Transplants
Presenters: Randy Kohn and George Kohn, West Star Organics and Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

This session will focus on the identification, prevention, and management of diseases in an organic greenhouse environment to initiate healthy transplant production. We’ll share a farmer’s perspective on greenhouse practices and experiences growing transplants for retail, wholesale, and on-farm use, and a plant pathologist’s work with vegetable crops in Wisconsin. Learn about greenhouse set up and seed sourcing, as well as methods of identifying and managing common diseases through multifaceted approaches.

Growing Small Grains East of the Mississippi
Presenter: Gilbert Williams, Lonesome Stone Milling LLC
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Interest in small grains as a food crop is growing. This workshop will help you improve the quality of your small grains to avoid marketing issues. We’ll discuss growing small grains with a focus on preventing Fusarium head scab, soil type and fertility mineral balance, tillage practices, crop rotations, grain variety choice and planting time. We’ll also cover harvest issues:  swathing, combining, drying, cleaning and storage.

Introduction to Holistic Management
Presenters: Cree Bradley, Chelsea Morning Farm
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Learn about Holistic Farm Management, a whole-farm planning framework that incorporates individual principles into realistic management and financial decisions according to quality of life, profitability and stewardship goals.

“Map of My Kingdom” Performance
Presenters: Mary Swander, Elizabeth Thompson, and Teresa Opheim, Practical Farmers of Iowa
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

This play tackles the issue of farmland transition and how different families have faced it. Elizabeth Thompson performs the 1-hour play, and author Mary Swander and Teresa Opheim of Practical Farmers of Iowa lead a discussion afterwards about what matters most for your farmland.

Organic Nutrition 101: Navigating Stories & Science
Presenter: Melinda Hemmelgarn, Food Sleuth Radio
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Who says organic food is more “nutritious” than non-organic? We’ll take a look at how the media interprets and reports organic research; dispel the myths, and help you explain why and how organic foods help protect public health and deliver optimum nutrition from farm to plate.

Pastured Poultry
Presenter: Jason Fischbach, Wild Hollow Farm
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Learn how to raise pastured poultry using the practice of silvopasture: combining low-density forestry with grazing poultry in a way that’s mutually beneficial. The trees provide shade and shelter for the flock and their forage, reducing stress and resulting in high quality forage production. This session covers best practices, nutritional health, and the long-term benefits of pasturing your flock.

Soil Sisters: Toolkit to Empower Women Farmers
Presenter: Lisa Kivirist, Rural Women’s Project
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Based on Lisa Kivirist’s new book, this session covers topics such as ergonomics, launching farms mid-life, grants and loans for women, and farming with kids. We’ll explore farming through a gender lens, providing a blueprint of practical advice for female farmers.

Taking the Mystery out of Organic Certification
Presenters: Ben Caldwell, MOSA and Harriet Behar, MOSES
Friday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Organic certification can be intimidating at first, but with knowledge comes power. By watching this “virtual farm inspection” with experienced organic inspectors, you will learn how to complete your farm’s organic system plan, determine which products are allowed or prohibited, prepare your compliance documentation, and prepare for your own organic inspection with confidence.

Back to Top


Saturday Workshop 1-a


Growing Poultry Feed with Methionine
Presenter: Kevin Ellis, NCAT
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Poultry feed is generally recognized as the greatest expense in raising poultry. Learn how to grow your own quality feed with natural sources of methionine. We’ll discuss everything from seed variety to harvest.

Medicinal Herb Farming 101
Presenters: Jeff and Melanie Carpenter, Zack Woods Herb Farm
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Medicinal herbs have continued to gain popularity. We will introduce you to medicinal herb farming, offering insights into crop selection and techniques for growing high quality medicinals. Explore harvesting practices and general dehydrating and processing methods that can be used for both commercial growers as well as the home gardener.

Organic Research: National Results
Presenter: Klaas Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Only a small portion of research funding has been allocated to organic agriculture. Hear the results of recent surveys and activities by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) to see where funds have been spent and to identify future research needs.

Organic Row Crop Farming 101
Presenter: Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Opportunities to grow and market organic grains have increased in tandem with the rising demand for organic animal products.  Take advantage of these opportunities by learning what it takes to grow organic row crops. Explore production strategies that make sense for your farm, from cover crops to compost and weed management to organic no-till. Discover how complex biological tools will go to work for you, virtually for free!

Organic Vineyard Table & Wine Grapes
Presenter: Judith Reith-Rozelle, Stonehoe Consulting
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Learn how to develop a vineyard with organic grapes for wine and table. Topics include soil preparation, site selection, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and trellising and pruning for disease management. Discover which cultivars/varieties are most resistant to disease and insect pressure in the Upper Midwest.

Show Me the Money: Impacts of Cover Crops
Presenter: Gabe Brown, Brown’s Ranch
Saturday 1-a – 8:15 a.m.

Cover crops can bring great environmental and economic benefits to your farm. Learn how to improve soil health while requiring fewer off-farm inputs and increasing productivity and financial impact even in times of extreme weather. We will talk about using various cover crops and rotations to help you enhance the living soil while making more money on your farm.

Back to Top


Saturday Workshop 1-b


Biochar Production & Use
Presenter: Kurt Spokas, USDA ARS
Saturday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Biochar has been heralded as a key to revitalizing worn-out, weathered soils while increasing carbon sequestration and soil productivity. But is it too good to be true? We’ll explore scientific research to see if biochar could be used to improve non-productive soils to increase global food production in the face of population growth and limited arable land.

Following Labor Laws on Your Farm
Presenters: Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons and Cassie Noltnerwyss, Crossroads Community Farm LLC
Saturday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Whether you have 1 or 31 workers, you need to know the rules and practical aspects of employment law. Join an attorney and an experienced farmer to discuss wages, workers’ compensation, tax matters, as well as hiring, retaining, and releasing employees. We’ll also look at innovative volunteer, intern, and work share programs from a legal and practical perspective.

Organic Dairy Nutrition with Grazing
Presenters: Brad Heins, University of Minnesota and Geoff Brinks, USDA ARS
Saturday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Managing nutrition for organic livestock requires dedication and planning. We’ll provide an overview of steps to optimize forage quality and digestibility. Topics will include NDFD, the effects of legumes, grazing management, plus cool- and warm-season pasture species selection. We’ll discuss recent research on forage digestibility and a grazing management plan that incorporates warm-season grass species.

Origins & Evolution of the Organic Farming Movement
Presenters: Roger Blobaum, Organic History Project and Jim Riddle, Organic Independents
Saturday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

Get to know the history of organic certification, state organic programs, the Organic Foods Production Act, the National Organic Standards Board, and recent attempts to mobilize public support for organic research, market expansion, certification cost sharing, and organic integrity.

Selecting & Adapting Vegetable Seed
Presenter: Greg Reynolds, Riverbend Farm
Saturday 1-b – 8:45 a.m.

In our rapidly changing climate, locally adapted, resilient seeds are a must. Learn simple techniques to select and adapt seeds to the growing conditions on your farm to yield hardier, more productive plants.

Back to Top


Saturday Workshop 2-a


2016 Outlook: Marketing Organic Grains & Forages
Presenters: John Bobbe, OFARM, Tim Boortz, NFOrganics/National Farmers and Kellee James, Mercaris
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m. 

Join our panel for insights on economic trends, supply-demand, prices, and how to apply these insights to your own operations. Learn about new markets for transitional organic row crops, and develop a marketing plan that is integrated with your organic farm plan. Additional topics include hiring an agent, choosing the right crops, and the benefits of a producer-friendly contract.

Cover Crops for Vegetables
Presenter: Mark Boen, Bluebird Gardens
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Growing vegetables depletes organic matter in the soil. Learn how to use cover crops to rebuild this foundation of fertility. Bluebird Gardens plants alternate strips of crop and cover crop over a 400-acre farm, growing covers on the vegetable strips before, during and after the vegetables. Learn which cover crops work well in each season, and how to take down cover crops in easy and surprising ways.

Integrating Family Safely on the Farm
Presenters: Joan and Nick Olson, Prairie Drifter Farm and Marsha Salzwedel, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Whether you are a parent returning to the family farm or someone who hosts young children at your functioning farm, learn about the challenges and delights of farming with young children and research-based tips on keeping children safe and happy at your farm.

New Takes on the Standard CSA Model
Presenters: Harry Carr, Mint Creek Farm and Paul Burkhouse, Foxtail Farm
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

While borrowed from the produce model, meat CSAs have become commonplace. They offer many advantages, such as up-front purchase, simplified marketing, and less waste. Learn about the cost of purchasing, raising, and selling various livestock through a CSA model and the expected return in so doing. We’ll discuss animal behavior, adaptation, and feed requirements, too.

The Biology Behind Technology of GMOs
Presenters: Erin Silva and Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

Double stack, triple stack, terminator genes—learn about these terms and other breeding methods so you can have an intelligent discussion about GMO issues.

Time & Productivity Management
Presenter: Chris Blanchard, Purple Pitchfork
Saturday 2-a – 10:30 a.m.

There’s always something to do on the farm, and nobody knows it better than the farmer. Uncover ways to overcome the overload of information, tasks, and projects on your farm while you keep things from falling through the cracks with time and information techniques that will improve your business and your quality of life.

Back to Top


Saturday Workshop 2-b


Creating Healthy Soil
Presenters: Ray Archuletta, USDA NRCS and Gabe Brown, Brown’s Ranch
Saturday 2-b – 11 a.m.

By thinking biologically rather than chemically, farmers and ranchers can build more resilience into their soils. A farming system that mimics nature will produce healthy, living soils and in turn, more money in your pocket. Learn about feeding the soil and incorporating diversity in cropping systems to better understand the living soil, its water-holding capacity, fertility and production potential.

Formal Apprenticeship for Beginning Dairy Farmers
Presenter: Joe Tomandl III, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship
Saturday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Farming is a profession—it’s time for professional training. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is an innovative program combining on-farm training with related coursework. DGA provides post-graduation support services and has developed models of equity earning, milk-share partnership, farm start-up, and farm transfer. DGA could open the doors to a new generation of sustainable producers.

Holistic Livestock Management
Presenter: Richard Holliday, DVM, Advanced Biological Concepts
Saturday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Learn about the need for balanced mineral supplementation in livestock, and the relationship between soil fertility, mineral supplementation, and animal health. See how a common sense mineral program enables livestock to display their nutritional wisdom in their choice of minerals.

Impacts of Organic Certification: Stories from the Field
Presenters: Ben Bowell, Oregon Tilth and Mike Bollinger, River Root Farm
Saturday 2-b – 11 a.m.

While some farmers follow organic practices but don’t pursue certification, many others have found certification to be a valued tool for their business, their customers and their mission to grow food that is socially and biologically responsible. We’ll examine the benefits of certification as well as common concerns like cost, paperwork, and market value.

Scaling Up a Vegetable Operation
Presenters: Peg and Matt Sheaffer, Sandhill Organics
Saturday 2-b – 11 a.m.

Sandhill Family Farms has grown over the course of 15 years from a 70-member vegetable CSA to a year-round multi-farm enterprise serving more than 600 families in the Chicago area. Learn from these experienced farmers how to scale up a farm enterprise, with attention on production, management, and the family farm business model.

Back to Top


Saturday Workshop 3


Farm Transfer Planning
Presenter: Karen Stettler, Land Stewardship Project
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Are you an established farmer thinking about the long- term future for your farm business and land? Do you find the process of planning a farm transition overwhelming? You’re not alone! Join us as we address important first steps that will help determine the foundation for your farm’s future. We’ll take active steps to get started with the tasks and thinking that is needed for an effective transition, hear from others in similar situations, and to share resources to help continue on your path of farm transfer planning.

Grafting for Vegetable Production
Presenter: Andrew Mefferd, Growing for Market
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Grafting is a great, natural way to increase yield and disease- resistance in some fruiting crops. Tomato plants, widely used in greenhouse production, are the main crop grafted in the U.S. , but cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant also graft well. Learn about grafting’s benefits and drawbacks, methods for grafting, and when to use each technique.

Measuring & Monitoring Biodiversity
Presenter: John Quinn, Furman University
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Organic farmers rely on biologically diverse ecosystems to maintain resilient farms without synthetic chemicals. Measuring biodiversity levels and linking those to economic profits from ecosystem services can be a complicated task. Learn how to use the Healthy Farm Index, a quick, straightforward tool to calculate and monitor on-farm biodiversity.

Organic Farm: Size XL
Presenter: Charlie Johnson, Johnson Farms
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

How do you operate an organic farm on a large scale? Come discuss practical issues such as marketing, fertility, certification, crop rotations, equipment, finance, labor, management, and land availability. We’ll also examine models of operation like cooperatives, single operator, or partnerships. Whether you’re thinking of expanding or already are an “extra large,” take away practical information to help your farm grow.

Organic Pest Management in Fruit Crops
Presenters: Matt Grieshop, Michigan State University and Jim Koan, Al-Mar Orchard
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Learn how to use organic and cultural approaches to manage insects and diseases in fruit crops. We’ll share specific examples for apples and blueberries, plus, offer helpful tips for dealing with the pesky spotted wing drosophila and the smelly brown marmorated stink bug.

Protecting What We Have All Built Together
Presenter: Mark Kastel, The Cornucopia Institute
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

The market niches we’ve created in the good food movement—organic, grass fed, farmstead, CSA, farmers’ market—are being co-opted. Join this discussion on approaches we can all use to protect the integrity of organic.

Putting Up Quality Hay & Baleage
Presenter: Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Harvesting hay as baleage can be challenging, but good harvest and storage techniques will improve the odds of having a high quality feed for your livestock, ultimately resulting in better animal performance and reduced supplement costs. Learn practical, researched forage harvest and preservation methods and their results.

Rotationally Grazing Sheep
Presenter: Bonnie Wideman, Pine Knob Organic Farm
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

There is more than one way to rotationally graze sheep. You might strive for an ideal grazing system, but you’re limited by available resources. Learn about all the practical aspects of rotationally grazing sheep so you can maximize the resources on your farm. Topics include fencing, watering, paddock size, improving pasture, predator control, when to rotate and winter management.

Small Scale On-Farm Composting
Presenter: Harry Hoch, Hoch Orchards
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Small-scale composting can be beneficial to the soil on any organic farm. There are many types of compost from cool, slow fungal-based to hot with multiple turns to biodynamic. This session won’t  be a step-by-step on making NOP-allowed compost, but will show you a variety of methods so you can choose one that’s right for your farm.

Soil Testing 101
Presenter: Mark Kopecky, Organic Valley and CROPP Cooperative
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Soil testing is an important tool but, with so many different testing options and interpretations, the results can be hard to understand. Learn about soil test options and how to interpret results. Then see simple ways to apply soil test information to your farm to improve your soil for good yields and quality crops. We’ll also discuss ways to improve your soils without breaking the bank, including amendments that will give you the best return on your investment.

Weed Management of Organic Vegetables
Presenter: Mike Noltnerwyss, Crossroads Community Farm LLC
Saturday 3 – 3:30 p.m.

Despite being one of the weediest places in Wisconsin, Crossroads Community Farm grows high yielding crops. Discover the farm’s successful strategies for managing weeds. Learn how equipment and techniques evolved as the farm scaled up from one to 20 acres in production. We’ll cover big ideas in weed control along with details on specific crops.

Comments are closed.