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!



2017 Field Days


Register   Click to register for MOSES Organic Field Days.

Find registration information below for MOSES-sponsored events run by other organizations. 


Two New Grains and Their Uses: Hybrid Rye and Kernza
June 29 | 2 – 5 p.m. | Free | Frantzen Farm | New Hampton, Iowa

Can hybrid rye and Kernza be used for crop rotation and to improve weed control? Tom and Irene Frantzen have introduced two new grain crops to their farm: Brassetto (a hybrid rye), and Kernza (a perennial grass). The Frantzens will show on-farm research on pelleting high-fiber feed grains – such as rye, barley and oats – and how that affects their value as pig feed.

Register on-site for this field day. For more information, see page 18.


In Her Boots: Grass-Fed Beef & Dairy in a Diversified System
July 12 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $50  |  Brattset Family Farm | Jefferson, Wis.

Farmer and grazing instructor Kirsten Jurcek offers a behind-the-scenes tour of her successful beef and dairy grazing operation. Learn about rotational grazing, and how to establish a conservation easement, CRP-funded prairie, and silviculture plantings of fruit and nut trees. Other topics include honeybee hives and ongoing warm season pasture experiments.

Bonus: Wisconsin Farmers Union Youth Day Camp for kids 6 & older


Pasture for Grass-Fed Pork and Beef
July 17 | 1 – 4:30 p.m. | Free |Golden Bear Farm | Kiel, Wis.

Steve and Marie Diebele raise pastured Berkshire hogs and grass-fed beef. Together with agronomist Eric Anderson, they’ll talk about pasture renovation and soil improvement in an organic system. Learn from their experience how to manage a mix of perennial pasture and annual cover crops to meet the nutritional needs of pigs and cattle.


Give Peas a Chance
July 18 |   9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free  | NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center  | Carrington, ND

Learn about field pea and oat varieties well suited to organic rotations by touring the university’s test plots with researcher Steve Zwinger and oat plant breeder Mike McMullen, along with Tom Rabaey and other reps from General Mills, and Fred Kirschenmann and Dan Barber of Stone Barns Center. They’ll discuss breeding, production management, forage, marketing, and use. After lunch (included), there will be a soil health workshop with a number of experts, including university researchers, farmers, and NRCS staff.

Register on-site for this field day and soil health workshop.


Diversified Organic Grain Rotations
July 21 | 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Free | Bickford Organics and Meadowlark Farm | Ridgeway, Wis.

Farmers Paul Bickford and John Wepking explain their organic systems, which protect not only local watersheds, but also Gulf Coast fisheries at the other end of the country. They will talk about large-scale small grain production, processing, and marketing, and explain how they design crop rotations and market their whole rotation. They will also touch on crop storage, growing organic seed corn, mentorship models, and farm transfer.



Artisanal Grain Production
July 24 | 1 – 4:30 p.m. | FreeHazzard Free Farm | Pecatonica, Ill.

Farmer Andrea Hazzard covers everything from 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, shares insights from the buyer’s perspective.



In Her Boots: Realize Your Farming Dream
August 4 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $50 | Circle M Market Farm | Blanchardville, Wis.

The Wisconsin Soil Sisters, an innovative network of local women who farm, share their seasoned perspectives to answer your questions and help you gather resources for your farm launch. This event is offered in conjunction with the annual Soil Sisters weekend of farm tours, workshops, and culinary events.


In Her Boots: Field to Plate Perennial Fruit
August 9 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $50Blue Fruit Farm | Winona, Minn.

Experience organic berry growing at peak harvest time. Farmer Joyce Ford and her husband, Jim Riddle, raise a variety of “blue” berries and plums for wholesale and direct-from-the-farm markets. Learn what it takes to nurture these fruits from field to plate.


Movable & Fixed Fencing for Livestock
August 17 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | $15Hoch 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. Learn initial results, and get expert advice on a variety of fencing systems, including movable, energized systems as well as permanent woven wire fencing.


In Her Boots: Market Farming in Suburbs
August 24 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $50 Radical Root Organic Farm | Libertyville, Ill.

Farmer Alison Parker and her husband, Alex Needham, raise diversified vegetables for a CSA, farmers market and farm stand on a 10-acre certified organic farm. Learn 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.


Adding Organic to Large-Scale Farms
August 24 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | FreeWallendal Farms  | Grand Marsh, Wis.

The Wallendal family manages 3,200 acres of diversified crops, and is in the process of transitioning around a third to organic production. Learn about imaginative crop rotations, managing a parallel operation (conventional/organic), strip tilling, navigating the organic transition process, farm transfer to the next generation, cultivation and fertility practices, and on-farm research. Lunch will be provided.



Soil Fertility in Organic Grain Production
August 30 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | FreeOak Ridge Farms | Pendleton, Ind.

John Paul Franks has been gradually transitioning his 140-acre grain farm to organic production since 2010, certifying his first acreage in 2013. He shares the hows and whys of his farm’s transition, focusing on managing risk during the switch. He and John Martin, a longtime organic farmer from Williamsburg, also cover soil health and maximizing available organic nitrogen sources. Martin has been managing his soil fertility organically for over 30 years, and routinely grows 200-bushel organic corn.


Opportunities in Organic Farming
September 8 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free |PrairiErth Farm | Atlanta, Ill.

The MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year, the Bishops, showcase their diverse livestock, crop, and vegetable operations, sharing their organic management practices and reasons for choosing them, and highlight the on-farm research they’re doing. Additional presentations focus on legislative initiatives relevant to farmers, plus opportunities with universities, lending institutions, and more to encourage farmers to transition to organic.


Organic Vegetable Production
September 16 | 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | FreeOpen Hands Farm | Northfield, Minn.

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

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