Workshop Descriptions & Audio Recordings

Friday I  |  Friday II  |  Friday III

Saturday I  | Saturday II  | Saturday III


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Friday Session I

Best Practices for Bountiful Berries
Andrew Petran, University of Minnesota
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

Be an early adopter to grow stand-out berries using the latest research on organic strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry production in the Midwest. These practices can result in higher marketable yields and reduced weed pressure, and help you deliver berries to customers at times others can’t. Pioneering includes risks—get the whole story to decide if these techniques will work on your farm.

Brand Your Booth for More Sales
Katie Bishop, PrairiErth Farm
Mallory Krieger, The Land Connection
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

Your booth at the farmers market is the face of your farm businesses. We will share fresh strategies to help you build, maintain, and enhance your recognizable brand. Discover the power of effective booth design and customer connections to create a loyal following. Plus, get social media tips to help you to stand out from the “local foods” crowd.

Soil Fertility Management Demystified
Paul Burkhouse, Foxtail Farm
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

You know the nutrients crop plants need to grow. But, knowing how to make sure those nutrients are available at the right time and in the right amounts is a source of confusion and conflict. Learn why there is so much variability in soil tests and the recommendations they provide. Explore the broad theories of soil fertility management, including where they agree and where they contradict each other.

Farmer’s Guide to Winning the Farm Bill
Matthew Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Organics
Andrew Bahrenberg, National Young Farmers Coalition
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

As Congress works on the 2018 Farm Bill, how can you influence how the “sausage gets made”? Get an overview of the Farm Bill, and learn about the programs that will impact young, small-scale, and organic producers, and how you can have a voice in the process.

Finishing Organic Beef: Grass or Grain?
John Mesko, MOSES
Rod Ofte, Willow Creek Ranch
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

The right answer is not as simple as most people think. Learn the pros and cons of each finishing system to find the right approach for your operation. We’ll cover costs of production, additional outcomes from farming decisions, and the keys to successfully finishing beef.

To Plow or not to Plow?
Jos Pelgröm, Man@Machine
Friday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

That is the question many farmers are asking as no-till farming becomes more popular. We’ll explore both the sunny and dark side of no-till, and uncover whether or not the plow still has a place on the organic farm.

10 Reasons All Organic Farmers Should Raise Livestock
Laura Paine, Paine Family Farm
Friday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Ruminants are a critical component of nearly all natural ecosystems. On the farm, they can create synergies that enhance the ecosystem and help balance environment, economics, and your quality of life. Learn the 10 reasons you should consider having livestock on your farm, and explore creative ways to include livestock in your operation.

Buck Up Your Crop Rotation
Thor Oechsner, Oechsner Farms
Friday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Buckwheat is an amazing plant that adds diversity, improves soil tilth, and fights weeds in an organic field crop rotation. Learn how to fit buckwheat into a crop rotation, along with tips for growing and harvesting the crop. Plus, see how buckwheat improves the success of no-till winter grains.

Coping with a Changing Climate
Kenneth Blumenfeld, Minnesota State Climatology
Friday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Droughts, floods, super storms, temperature zone creep—what does the future hold in the face of global climate change? Learn what to expect for climate change in the Midwest, and how potential scenarios could impact your farm. Plus, access additional resources to help stay on top of ongoing and expected changes.

Pick & Pack Produce More Profitably
Mike & Cassie Noltnerwyss, Crossroads Community Farm
Friday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Making the most from your harvest depends on many factors, including speed, waste, and worker motivation. We’ll share some of the techniques we use to harvest and pack produce on our farm. We’ll provide crop-specific tips, and talk about material handling techniques and equipment. We’ll also discuss how we manage our crew to keep up with the season-long demands of vegetable farming.

Sustainable Natural Resource Systems
Lindsay Haines, USDA-NRCS
Michelle Komiskey, USDA-NRCS Wisconsin
Friday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Conservation practices are essential to the health of any organic farm. Learn about a new conservation plan designed to mesh with your Organic System Plan as well as a Conservation Activity Plan for Transition. We’ll discuss different conservation practices and their expected outcomes to help you decide which practices to implement on your farm.


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Friday Session II

Financing Options for Your Farm
Teresa Engel, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Vernon County
Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Not sure where to start if you want to purchase a farm, equipment, livestock, or need operating money? You have a variety of financing options! We’ll share specifics on loan options, who is eligible, and what the application process looks like, plus give you insights on how lenders make loan decisions. Come with your questions.

Food Safety from Field to Packshed
Annalisa Hultberg, University of Minnesota-Extension
Teresa Wiemerslage, Iowa State University-Extension
Laura Frerichs, Loon Organics
Phenhli Thao, Minnesota Hmong Agriculture Cooperative
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Good food safety practices can improve the quality and safety of your fresh produce and help you access new markets. Learn about FSMA, the recent federal regulation that may impact your farm, and the differences and similarities between a GAP audit, FSMA, and organic certification. Plus, get tips to make food safety part of your farm’s culture.

Leveraging Product Labels
Katie Amos, A Greener World
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

In the midst of confusing food labels and claims, A Greener World (AGW) has developed a definitive guide to over 100 of the most common terms and claims. Learn what commonly used labels mean (and don’t mean), and how third-party certifications like AGW Certified Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed, and Certified Non-GMO can help products stand out by offering consumers a verified and trusted label.

Mineral Needs for Soil Health
Bob Yanda, Midwestern BioAg
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Chemical (minerals), physical (structure), and biological (soil life) properties all impact soil health. Balanced minerals form the foundation of healthy soil, helping to create good soil structure and feed biological systems. Learn about minerals, their relationship to one another, and the balance needed to produce healthy and productive soils.

Renting Land for Managed Grazing
Robert Bauer, Southwest Badger RC&D Council
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

While farmers have traditionally owned and managed their livestock on their own land, land-access issues have led to new solutions, including “contract grazing.” Learn how separating the ownership and management of land and livestock generates profits for landowners and livestock producers, creates access to land for beginning livestock farmers, and regenerates soil health. We’ll cover contract arrangements, negotiation strategies, and conservation planning.

What’s Killing My Vegetables?
Zsofia Szendrei and Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University
Friday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Managing plant diseases and insect pests on organic vegetable farms requires an ability to correctly identify the problem and find an effective solution to manage it. We’ll cover the most important pests in organic vegetables and the tools you can use to proactively manage diseases and insects on your organic farm.

Equity & Justice in the Food System
LaDonna Redmond, Seward Community Co-op
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

What do we need to know about ourselves and other cultures to encourage justice in the food system? We’ll explore answers, using Seward Co-op in Minneapolis, Minn., as an example. Seward is working to build a more diverse and inclusive food system by addressing white privilege and unconscious bias.

Grains for the New Food Economy
Elizabeth Haucke and Brianna Fiene, Plovgh, Inc.
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

There is growing market interest in perennial, rotational, and variety-specific grains. Learn how to tap into that interest while diversifying your crop rotation. We’ll look at market potential, how to build out supply chains, and how to originate and bring new grain varieties to market. We’ll also explore demand trends to help you decide if and how you could produce for these markets.

Organic Dairy Profit Management
Jim Munsch, Deer Run Farm
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

Organic milk prices remain high, but are you able to turn this into profit? Learn about the University of Wisconsin’s Pasture Compass for Dairy, a data-driven method of profit management that will produce the information you need to take management decisions into your own hands.

Organic Grain Market Update
John Bobbe, OFARM
Thea O’Carroll, YieldOrganic
Carmen Fernholz, A Frame Farms
Bob Stuczynski, Stuczynski Family Farms
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

Learn about the current state of organic grain markets and ongoing concerns about fraudulent imports. We’ll discuss ideas to tighten international supply chains and grow a more profitable organic grain sector that guarantees integrity.

Small-Farm Pastured Broiler Production
Serena Cochrane Stuart, Stuart Farm
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

Broilers can be a profitable enterprise for your farm business. Get insights on pricing and marketing pasture-raised chicken. Learn about chick selection, brooding, feed rations, pasture management for bird and soil health, on-farm processing, and waste disposal. Learn tricks to make it easier and more efficient to run a small, pasture-based broiler operation on your farm.

The 2018 Farm Bill – Updates from Washington, D.C.
Alyssa Charney, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
Friday II-b | 11 a.m.

The next Farm Bill is just around the corner, and Congress has only months left to authorize the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill has major implications for sustainable and organic farmers, and now is the time to defend, strengthen, and establish key programs and policies that benefit organic producers. We’ll discuss key opportunities to weigh in, updates from D.C., anticipated challenges, and ways to encourage federal policy that best supports organic and sustainable production systems.


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Friday Session III

127 Easy Steps to Land Ownership
Hannah Breckbill, Humble Hands Harvest
Tess Brown-Lavoie, Land for Good, Inc.
Brett Olson, Renewing the Countryside
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Discover creative and community-oriented solutions to land access amidst skyrocketing land prices. We’ll share resources for finding land, how to assess the suitability of a piece of land, buying and leasing options, and obtaining financing. We’ll also cover snags to avoid on your path to farmland ownership.

Advanced Organic Weed Management
Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Learn from the successes and failures of a decade of research on weed management at the WIU Organic Research Farm. Get insights on how crop and cover crop selection, sequences and planting systems, equipment guidance systems, and nutrient management strategies impact weed pressure in organic no-till and strip-till, as well as more tillage-intensive cropping systems.

Cafeteria-Style Mineral Feeding
Richard Holliday, DVM, Advanced Biological Concepts
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Take advantage of your animals’ innate sense of dietary needs by letting them self-select the supplemental minerals they need. Learn about the role of minerals in animal health, the concept of cafeteria-style mineral feeding, the “mineral wheel” for synergies, types of feeders, how to interpret mineral-consumption patterns, and much more.

Community Conversation: Big Ag in Organics
Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
John-Paul Franks, Oak Ridge Farms
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farm “Origenes” LLC
Liz Haywood, People’s Food Co-op
Mariann Holm, Organic livestock producer/inspector
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

The organic community is at a crossroads. What began as a grassroots movement is now a multi-billion-dollar industry, catching the attention of the biggest players in the food industry. As big ag moves into organics, do we turn our backs to stay true to our principles or take a seat at the table to guide them? Big $ comes with big ag—do we access that to fund much-needed research and education? Where do we draw the line?

Embracing the Entire Organic System Plan
Harriet Behar, Sweet Springs Farm
Francis Thicke, Radiance Dairy
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

The organic regulations are more than just a list. Whether specific or general, each item acts in concert with other requirements, building a functioning organic system on your farm. From improving soil health to conserving biodiversity, the organic regulations are a road map to sustainable land stewardship. Learn how to achieve long-term success for your farm’s unique ecosystem by embracing the entire organic system plan.

Fungal Consciousness
Michael Phillips, Holistic Orchard Network
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Mycorrhizal fungi enhance plant health in fascinating ways. “Fungus-root” synergy delivers nutrients and helps keep diseases at bay. Discover the expansive fungal networks in our farm ecosystems. Soil aggregate formation addresses carbon flow. Learn why we should stop ignoring soil biology and learn to love fungi!

High-Density Grazing for Soil Health
Justin Morris, USDA-NRCS Wisconsin
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Soil health is fundamental to the health of plants, animals, humans, and the planet. Learn how use Adaptive High-Stock-Density Grazing, a management technique that mimics natural patterns, to regenerate your pastures.

Integrate Cover Crops in Organic Row Crops
Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University
Eric Wallendal, Wallendal Supply, Inc.
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Learn about cutting-edge research plus farmers’ experience with integrating cover crops into organic row crop systems through methods such as interseeding and roller-crimping. We’ll also discuss legumes for nitrogen management, and other multifunctional cover crop benefits.

Pesticide Drift Response
Denise O’Brien, Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN)
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Pesticide drift has made headlines like never before as new dicamba-resistant crops drive up the use of an old, drift-prone herbicide, impacting conventional, organic, and sustainable growers alike. Get an update on the policy and legal processes that brought these new crops to market, and what to expect for the next growing season based on government responses to the issue. Plus, learn how to recognize, document, and report pesticide drift.

Success with On-Farm Variety Trials
Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jared Zystro, Cathleen McCluskey, & Kitt Healy,
Organic Seed Alliance
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Planting the right variety can make or break a crop’s success. Trialing seeds on your farm can  help optimize production, address production challenges, and manage risk of adopting new varieties. Learn how to: conduct on-farm trials, juggle trials on a working farm, use new online resources to get the most out of your trial efforts, and document your work as part of your Organic System Plan.

Weed Control in Organic Vegetable Crops
Chris Blanchard, Purple Pitchfork
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Weed management may be the #1 problem on organic vegetable farms. Good weed management can increase crop yields, drive down costs, improve harvest efficiency, and make life more pleasant on the farm. Get insights to help set up your farm for good weed control, plus learn about proven methods and tools you can use to manage weeds.

“What If” Your Way to Success
Rebecca Wasserman-Olin, The Land Stewardship Project
Friday III | 3:30 p.m.

Curious if that one under-producing field could make more money as a pasture, or if cover crops could boost yields or reduce inputs enough to offset their cost? The LSP Cropping Systems Calculator runs “what if” scenarios like these to estimate costs and yields for various row crops, perennials and grazing systems. Learn how this tool works, plus look at the financial viability of conservation and soil-building practices.


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Saturday Session I

Grow Great Peppers
Eduardo Rivera, Sin Fronteras Farm
Greg Reynolds, Riverbend Farm
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

There’s no single recipe for growing perfect peppers. Though we have vastly different farming styles, we’re both successful pepper growers. We’ll share our techniques and give you a framework to build your own production plans around. We’ll also talk about our favorite varieties, from hybrids to heirlooms.

Market Organic Crops with Less Stress
Thea O’Carroll, YieldOrganic
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

To reduce risk and stress in marketing organic crops, first look at the core challenges of the marketplace: transparency, trust, and safety, as well as market access. Learn about options for addressing these challenges and marketing your field crops with less stress.

Permaculture to Mitigate Climate Change
Christopher Nesbitt, Maya Mountain Research Farm
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

With climate change, we’re challenged to sequester carbon, retain soil and soil moisture, and provide habitat for animals, all while growing food, fuel, timber, marketable crops, and medicinal products. Learn how farmers in Belize have transformed marginal fields to meet these goals using a combination of woody crops and herbaceous perennials in successional growth patterns.

The Healthy & Profitable Organic Dairy Herd
Darin Von Ruden, Wisconsin Farmers Union
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

Get insights from a seasoned organic dairy farmer on everything from the initial transition to organic production to the practices needed to maintain a profitable and healthy herd. Learn about different ways to run a dairy farm, daily challenges, and how to use the resources you have on your farm to make a profit in the face of environmental and market challenges.

Transition to Organic Row Crops
John-Paul Franks, Oak Ridge Farms
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

Organic row-crop production takes a different mindset than the conventional corn and soybean rotation. Learn how organic systems work and how to set up a crop rotation that builds healthy soils and maximizes available organic nitrogen sources. Get insights on the equipment you’ll need, plus tips for marketing organic crops.

Your Most Important Resource is You
Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs, LLC
Laura Gosewich, Grounded Vitality
Saturday I-a | 8:15 a.m.

With rising health care costs and the rigors of farm work, prevention is key to your health and well-being—your body is a tool you can’t replace. Get tips to proactively maintain your health through diet, movement, and simple herbal remedies. Prevent injuries and health problems by nourishing and toning your body for optimal health and flexibility.

Farm Transfers of the Non-Family Variety
Mary Fund, Kansas Rural Center
David Welsch, West Blue Farm
Mary Gelder, Gelder Farm, LLC
Wyatt Muse, Land transfer recipient
Saturday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Transitioning a farm to an unrelated successor can create a golden opportunity for both an aspiring farmer and a farmer who wants to retire and ensure the land stays in farming. Hear about two farms that are successfully navigating non-kin farm transfers, and learn from their experience.

Not Your Grandmother’s Root Cellar
Janaki Fisher-Merritt, Food Farm
Saturday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Traditional root cellars use the earth’s ambient temperature for optimal storage of vegetables with minimal energy inputs, but these root cellars have a number of practical limitations. Learn how to combine time-honored techniques for winter storage with modern insulation and management technology for efficient winter storage of vegetable crops.

Plan Your Business Before You Pick Up a Seed Catalog
John Hendrickson, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Saturday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Before you get lured in by the beauty of seed catalogs, you should focus on creating a solid business plan outlining your financial goals, the infrastructure you’ll need, where you will sell your produce, etc. Get a realistic overview of the local and organic marketplace, practical planning tools, and step-by-step methods to help you develop a realistic business plan.

Prospects for American Hemp
Kevin Gibson, Purdue University
George Weiblen, University of Minnesota
Saturday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

Hemp is a versatile crop used in food, clothing, and other products. Once banned in the U.S., hemp is making a comeback thanks to new laws. Learn about state-sponsored programs that are bringing American-grown hemp to market for the first time in decades. Also, hear about production progress and challenges in the Minnesota and Indiana industrial hemp pilot programs.

Uncover Your Farm’s Financial Strengths
Aimee Schomburg, Western Technical College
Saturday I-b | 8:45 a.m.

To understand your farm’s strengths and weaknesses, you must evaluate its financial performance. Your balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flow reveal the solvency, profitability, liquidity, and repayment capacity of your business. Learn how to use these documents to uncover your financial strengths and weaknesses and improve your farm’s financial performance.


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Saturday Session II

Biodynamic Principles & Practices
Janet Gamble, Turtle Creek Gardens
Petra Zinniker, Zinniker Farm, Inc.
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility from within the farm itself. Explore practical ways to apply biodynamics to grow the most nutrient-dense and vibrant foods possible, build soil organic matter, and revitalize landscapes.

Cover Crop Cocktails
Dave Mortensen & Charlie White,
Penn State University
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

By mixing species with complementary strengths, a cover crop “cocktail” can provide a broader array of services than one species can provide alone. Learn how to select species and adjust seeding rates for your specific field needs. We’ll also look at the costs and benefits of a range of farm-friendly cover crop mixtures.

Painless Organic Certification
Wendy Paulsen, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA)
Andrea Koller, Koller Farms
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Explore the process of organic certification for vegetable and field crops to make certification easier for you, your inspector, and your certifier. Learn how to complete an Organic System Plan and prepare for an inspection, and hear real-life examples of systems that work well. Come with questions!

Revitalization of Indigenous Food Systems
Kevin Finney, Nengoskwan Consulting
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Small-scale sustainable farming, agroforestry, maple sugaring, and wild rice production once defined Native American food systems and land management practices in the Great Lakes Region. Learn how the impacts of settlers led to the breakdown of these systems and habitats, and how current cultural revitalization efforts in native communities are helping to restore these systems.

Technology for Enhanced Organic Profitability
Jerry Matzner, Century Farm Organics
Joe & Matthew Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Organics
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Plug into advances in technology to increase your yields. We’ll share how we’ve used RTK, variable rate planting, Slide Guides, Active Implement Guidance, Steerable Hitch, and more, to increase our yields by 30-50 percent. See what’s working, and learn how you can integrate the best technologies on your farm.

Wildly Wonderful Winter Spinach
Bill Warner, Snug Haven Farm LLC
Saturday II-a | 10:30 a.m.

Grow the most incredible spinach imaginable—so good kids will eat it right out of the bag like chips. Learn when to plant in the fall and techniques to prevent spring bolting, along with everything that happens in between. You’ll learn to grow sweet spinach that last weeks in the refrigerator.

Develop a Forage Chain
Kent Solberg, Sustainable Farming Association
Saturday II-b | 11 a.m.

Make the most of your livestock operation by sequencing a combination of annual, perennial, and stored forages to feed your ruminant animals. Learn about options for building a forage chain, and how a well-designed forage chain can offer multiple benefits to your farm.

Growing & Marketing Organic Cut Flowers
Jennifer Nelson, MOSES & Humble Pie Flowers
Christine Hoffman, Twin Cities Flower Exchange
Saturday II-b | 11 a.m.

The market for local flowers is blooming! Learn practical skills for planning and managing your organic flower farm. We’ll cover planning tools and methods, field set-up and planting successions, and touch on controlling weeds and pests. We’ll also cover the current state of the Midwest flower market and the many avenues to sell your beautiful flowers.

Market Your Whole Rotation
Kellee James, Mercaris
Saturday II-b | 11 a.m.

Organic crop rotations go well beyond corn and soybeans. Learn how to design rotations of marketable crops, especially small grains. We’ll cover market prices, types of buyers, quality specifications, and timing, along with the pros and cons of different marketing tools to help you market your whole rotation.

Small Ruminant Health
Larry Holler, South Dakota State University
Saturday II-b | 11 a.m.

Your management strategies impact the health of your flock/herd in a natural/organic production system. Learn how to manage the health of your ruminants without depending on antimicrobials or parasiticides.


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Saturday Session III

Coalition-Building for the 2018 Farm Bill
Nick Levendofsky, Wisconsin Farmers Union
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Building statewide coalitions, working within minority politics, and advocating for shared policies are key to impacting the next Farm Bill. With less than a year before the current Farm Bill expires, time is of the essence. Join this conversation to find common ground on issues from nutrition programs and crop insurance to conservation and rural development in order to secure funding and support for these vital programs.

Equipment to Meet Your Needs
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farm “Origenes” LLC
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

With a bewildering array of tools and equipment available, it can be challenging to find the right ones for your operation. Learn about the pros and cons of different hand tools, farm implements, farm equipment, tractors, greenhouses, and more. Also, get tips to move your operation to the next level.

Farm Design with Nature in Mind
Eric Lee-Mäder, The Xerxes Society
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Features such as native grass buffers or flowering shelterbelts bring ecological benefits to your farm. Learn about design planning tools, financial resources and market incentives, and explore cost-benefit analyses of various types of habitat restoration. Bring your farm map (or quickly sketch it) to see how and where to include these features on your farm for the most benefit.

High Tunnel Soil Management
Krista Jacobsen, University of Kentucky
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Learn how practices such as soil fertility management, irrigation, and cover crops can be optimally used to maintain soil health in high tunnels. Get tips to address issues of salinity and soil organic matter management, plus learn about the benefits and challenges of movable high tunnels.


Marketing Grass-Fed Meat
John Mesko, MOSES
Rod Ofte, Willow Creek Ranch
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Having a marketing plan in place before you put animals on your pasture can mean the difference between making a profit and getting stuck with a freezer full of meat. Learn the pros and cons of various marketing strategies, and how to focus on your strengths to turn your grass-fed operation into a profitable business.

Raising Pastured Hogs Organically
Ross Duffield, Rodale Institute
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

A pasture-based system is a very cost-effective method of meat production and appeals to consumers who want high-quality meat from humanely treated animals. Grazing hogs will clean up weather-damaged crops, fertilize pastures and fields with manure, and can even “till-up” underproductive areas. Learn about forage management and the nutritional needs of organically raised pastured hogs.

Soil Health & Pest Dynamics
Lori Hoagland, Purdue University
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

The health of your soil can influence pest pressure on your vegetable farm. Learn how the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil can prevent or exacerbate pest incidences and severity. Get research-proven, practical approaches to improving soil health and preventing pest outbreaks on your farm.

Understanding Weed Biology
Don Wyse, University of Minnesota
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Does it feels like weeds always win? Get the upper hand by focusing on their biology, which is key to mastering weeds. Learn about weed profiles and identification, and weed management strategies for organic farming systems.

Vegetables in Row-Crop Rotation
Megan & Eric Wallendal, Wallendal Supply, Inc.
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Adding contracted vegetables into a row-crop rotation can expand profits and improve soil. We’ll discuss how and when to contract, things to watch for in contracts, recommended crop rotations, in-season management practices, quality control, harvest expectations, and more.

Why Farm? Challenges & Rewards
Ayla Graden-Dodge, Blackbrook Farm LLC
Christina Burkhouse, Foxtail Farm
Saturday III | 3:30 p.m.

Farmers Ayla and Chris tell their “farm stories,” sharing what it takes to build a successful farm business, move a farm operation, integrate family, and meet the demands of a changing marketplace. They will share their passion for and commitment to farming, as well as a pragmatic approach to the realities of a farming lifestyle. This workshop is guaranteed to inspire any new farmer to get out there and make their dreams happen.


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