Organic Field Days

MOSES Organic Field Days give you the chance to see firsthand how other farmers tackle issues on their farms. See how things are done on these successful farms, and get insights to help you grow!

 

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 The 2018 field day schedule will post in March. See highlights and tips from our 2017 field days below.

 

 

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2017 Field Days:

 

Two New Grains and Their Uses: Hybrid Rye and Kernza
June 29 Frantzen Farm | New Hampton, Iowa

Tom and Irene Frantzen have introduced two new grain crops to their farm: Brassetto (a hybrid rye), and Kernza (a perennial grass). The Frantzens showed on-farm research on pelleting high-fiber feed grains – such as rye, barley and oats – and how that affects their value as pig feed.

To read a summary of this event, click here.

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In Her Boots: Grass-Fed Beef in a Diversified System
July 12  |  Brattset Family Farm | Jefferson, Wis.

Farmer and grazing instructor Kirsten Jurcek offered a behind-the-scenes tour of her successful beef grazing operation. Participants learned about rotational grazing, and how to establish a conservation easement, CRP-funded prairie, and silviculture plantings of fruit and nut trees.

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Pasture for Grass-Fed Pork and Beef
July 17Golden Bear Farm | Kiel, Wis.

Steve and Marie Deibele raise pastured Berkshire hogs and grass-fed beef. They explained how to manage a mix of perennial pasture and annual cover crops to meet the nutritional needs of pigs and cattle. Get tips from this field day.

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Give Peas a Chance
July 18 | NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center  | Carrington, ND

Participants learned about field pea and oat varieties well suited to organic rotations by touring the university’s test plots.

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Diversified Organic Grain Rotations
July 21  |  Bickford Organics and Meadowlark Farm | Ridgeway, Wis.

Farmers Paul Bickford and John Wepking explained how they manage large-scale small grain production, processing, and marketing, plus how they market their whole rotation.

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Artisanal Grain Production
July 24Hazzard Free Farm | Pecatonica, Ill.

Farmer Andrea Hazzard covered seed selection and planting to harvesting, drying and cleaning of corn and small grains for specialty markets. Ellen King, co-owner and artisan baker of Hewn Bread in Chicago, shared insights from the buyer’s perspective.

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In Her Boots: Realize Your Farming Dream
August 4  | Circle M Market Farm | Blanchardville, Wis.

The Wisconsin Soil Sisters, an innovative network of local women who farm, shared their seasoned perspectives to answer participant questions and help them gather resources for their farm launch. Read insights gleaned at this workshop.

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In Her Boots: Field to Plate Perennial Fruit
August 9 | Blue Fruit Farm | Winona, Minn.

Farmers Joyce Ford and Jim Riddle explained organic berry growing, and provide sweet treats. Read “seven pieces of wisdom” from this event.

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Fencing Livestock in Perennial Fruit
August 17 |  Hoch Orchard & Gardens | La Crescent, Minn.

Harry and Jackie Hoch are in the midst of a three-year demonstration grant trialing livestock fencing to maintain pastured pigs in their orchards. Read about the field day here.

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In Her Boots: Market Farming in Suburbs
August 24 |  Radical Root Organic Farm | Libertyville, Ill.

Alison Parker and her husband raise diversified vegetables for a CSA, farmers market and farm stand on a 10-acre certified organic farm. Attendees learned how Alison creatively connects resources and learning opportunities to access the education and land the operation needs to grow into a successful farm business in a unique urban/suburban setting.

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Adding Organic to Large-Scale Farms
August 24  | Wallendal Farms  | Grand Marsh, Wis.  

The Wallendals manage 3,200 acres of diversified crops, transitioning about a third to organic right now. Participants learned about crop rotations, managing a parallel operation (conventional/organic), strip tilling, the organic transition process, farm transfer to the next generation, cultivation and fertility practices, and on-farm research.

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Soil Fertility in Organic Grain Production
August 30  Oak Ridge Farms | Pendleton, Ind.

John Paul Franks has been gradually transitioning his 140-acre grain farm to organic, certifying his first acreage in 2013. Participants learned about managing risk during transition.

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Opportunities in Organic Farming
September 8 | PrairiErth Farm | Atlanta, Ill.

The MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year, the Bishops, showcased their diverse livestock, crop, and vegetable operations, sharing their organic management practices and reasons for choosing them.

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Organic Vegetable Production
September 16 | Open Hands Farm | Northfield, Minn.

Farmers Ben Doherty and Erin Johnson, and Annalisa Hultberg, U of M Extension Food Safety Educator, discussed food safety in organic vegetable production in the field and packing shed. Participants also learned about weed management tools and growing/storing/marketing winter root crops.

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