MOSES Organic Farming Podcast

The MOSES Organic Farming Podcast dives into the most relevant topics of sustainable and organic farming. The show draws on interviews with farmers and ag professionals, as well as audio from conference workshops and field days.




Organic Specialist Chuck Anderas hosts this podcast. Chuck has been an organic inspector and a certification agent. He has also worked on small-scale fruit, vegetable, and livestock farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Florida. He has a degree in agricultural education.

Special thanks to musician Riley Hartnett for use of “Summerfields.”


Listen here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


Sponsored by Gempler’s, your online general store for commercial-grade tools, clothing, supplies, and outdoor gear.




Episode 13: Local Food Is Essential & Update on COVID Farm Safety

Ariel Pressman with the Real Organic Project explains the Local Food Is Essential campaign. This is a collaborative marketing campaign to promote local foods. Ariel shares the goals of the campaign and how farmers can use it to help their businesses. Then Annalisa Hultberg of the University of Minnesota Extension is back to give us an update on COVID-19 safety on the farm. Let’s get to it.


Local Food Is Essential
UMN COVID-19 Response Plan Template
UMN YouTube COVID-19 Series in English, Hmong, and Spanish
MOSES Virtual Field Days YouTube Playlist

Register for Medicinal Herb Production Virtual Field Day


Episode 12: Organic Grain Transition

Paul Dietmann from Compeer Financial and Jon Jovaag, a farmer near Austin, MN, help us do the numbers on transitioning to organic grain production. We talk through how to think through cash flow versus profitability during the transition years, what crops to use in your rotation, and why you’d want to do it in the first place.



Episode 11: Do the Numbers, Part 2: Dairy Graziers on the Economics of Dairy Grazing

Organic dairy graziers Thelma Heidel-Baker and Ricky Baker join Chuck to talk about what they’ve done to have a financially viable 60-cow dairy. This episode builds on Episode 10 with Dr. Jon Winsten. We’ll also have a virtual field day June 24th with Thelma, Ricky, and Jon where we’ll talk about the economics of grazing as well as production, conservation, and more. Register now to be on that Zoom event.

Listen to Thelma’s conservation conversation on the In Her Boots podcast.


Episode 10: Do the Numbers–The Economics of Dairy Grazing
You can’t control the price of milk, but you can control how much it costs you to produce it. Dr. Jon Winsten outlines three key metrics to look at when considering a dairy farm’s financial viability: feed efficiency, labor efficiency, and capital efficiency.

This is part 1 of 3 grazing training installments this month. In two weeks, part 2 will be a podcast episode with organic dairy graziers Thelma Heidel-Baker and Ricky Baker. Part 3 will be a virtual field day on June 24th with Thelma, Ricky, and Jon where we’ll talk about the economics of grazing as well as the production and conservation aspects.


Episode 9: Starting a Cooperative, Part 2
This is part 2 on cooperatives with Kelly Maynard from the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. Today, we get into the role of feasibility studies, grants and loans to get started, what kinds of businesses are best suited for coops, and more on the principles that cooperative businesses can teach us.


Episode 8: Starting a Cooperative, Part 1
Kelly Maynard is a Cooperative Development Specialist at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. Kelly spoke at the 2020 MOSES Organic Farming Conference about how to start a cooperative. We share clips from her workshop presentation and connect with Kelly to dig a little deeper into the world of cooperatives. Look for Part 2 next week.


Episode 7: Rebuilding a Just Food System after COVID-19
COVID-19 is stressing the food system in unprecedented ways. Farmers and local food advocates have a unique opportunity to build new and more just food systems. Today’s guest is Dan Cornelius. Dan is a farmer, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and is the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s Technical Assistance Specialist for the Great Lakes Region. Dan shares his thoughts on food systems, the role seeds play in resilience and food sovereignty, cooperatives, and some examples from work different Tribes have been doing that pre-date the pandemic.


Episode 6: Social Media for Your Farm Business
Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack are flower farmers in St. Louis. Most of their 10,000 followers on Instagram are local customers. (Look for @urbanbuds.) They’ve invested a lot in learning how to do social media well. Their insights are even more important now that in-person connections at farmers markets and on our farms have been put on pause. Plus, they are funny people!



Episode 5: Beef & #DairyTogether during the Pandemic
Why are conventional dairy farmers dumping milk? How are the closures of the meat processing plants impacting livestock farmers?  For answers, Chuck checks in with Bobbi Wilson from Wisconsin Farmers Union and organic dairy farmer Kevin Mahalko to talk about the issues and how to build more resilient dairy and livestock farms.


Episode 4: Produce Safety and COVID-19
How does the coronavirus impact produce safety? How much do you have to worry about surfaces? How do you keep yourself, your workers, and your customers safe?

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a lot of questions for market farmers. Produce safety expert Annalisa Hultberg from the University of Minnesota Extension has science-based answers to help you understand best practices for flattening the curve and feeding your community at the same time. MOSES Organic Specialist and organic fruit farmer Rachel Henderson provides a farmer’s take.

As promised in this episode, here’s a link to the Farm Commons webinar on Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Farmers/Ranchers Affected by COVID-19.


Episode 3: Farmer Mental Health in this Crisis
With the incredible uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing mental health problems for the first time, and the added stress is worsening many peoples’ underlying mental health conditions. The American Psychiatric Association recently found that over a third of Americans think the coronavirus pandemic is seriously affecting their psychological health.

For this episode, Chuck has candid conversations with Emily Krekelberg, head of Minnesota Extension’s Rural Stress Task Force, and farmer and farm advocate Rick Adamski of Seymour, Wisconsin. They have personal experience with mental health issues and draw from those experiences to help others. These conversations can help you recognize mental health issues in yourself or others and give you suggestions on how to address them.

For immediate help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Farm Aid Crisis Hotline: 1-800-FARM-AID
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline: 833-600-2670 x 1


Episode 2: Organic Grain & the Coronavirus
How is the coronavirus affecting organic grain farmers? What effect might the pandemic have on commodity prices? What should organic farmers be considering as they think about this year? Listen in on conversations with economist Ryan Koory of Mercaris and organic farmers Carmen Fernholz and Luke Peterson. Turns out, the solutions are the tried-and-true principles of organic and sustainable farming—diversify your crops and markets and join forces with other farmers.


Episode 1: Market Farming in a Pandemic
COVID-19 has forced us all to make big changes fast. This is especially true for market farmers. In our first episode, we talk to vegetable growers Katie Bishop and Rebecca Henderson on how they’ve adjusted so far, as well as online marketing expert Janelle Maiocco on how to quickly get started in online sales.

Listen to the Post-Podcast Farmer Chat:

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