Training on the Ground Support for Transitioning and Organic Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Project Overview

ENC19-179
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $86,678.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Chuck Anderas
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service

Commodities

  • Agronomic: buckwheat, clovers, corn, grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial), hay, oats, peas (field, cowpeas), rye, sorghum sudangrass, soybeans, sunflower, wheat
  • Vegetables: Herbs
  • Animals: bovine
  • Animal Products: dairy, meat

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, feed rations, grazing management, grazing - rotational, housing, manure management, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, preventive practices, rangeland/pasture management, stocking rate
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage, cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, double cropping, fertilizers, intercropping, multiple cropping, no-till, nutrient cycling, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, relay cropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: financial management, labor/employment, risk management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration, drift/runoff buffers, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, hedgerows, hedges - grass, riverbank protection, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: cultural control, integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community development, quality of life, social capital, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    MOSES’ proposal is to develop and deliver “Training on the Ground Support for Transitioning and Organic Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin” – a series of thirteen trainings over three years in Minnesota and Wisconsin to develop organic expertise of agricultural service professionals in conjunction with MOSES’ Organic Field Days and the MOSES Organic Farming Conference.  The trainings will provide resources and information to agricultural service professionals to increase awareness and knowledge to better meet the needs of transitional and organic farmers. A diverse group of stakeholders from NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MN), Land Conservation Departments (WI), FSA, UW and UM Extension, crop insurance agents, agricultural lenders, and RC&D will gain knowledge of certified organic farming systems and organic transition from organic experts in their fields.

     

    Training agricultural service professionals will build upon the education and networks MOSES has provided the organic farming community over the last thirty years by expanding reach to a population working directly with organic and transitioning farmers.  Developing resources for agricultural service professionals supports MOSES mission to educate farmers to thrive in a sustainable, organic system of agriculture by leveraging existing resources including the MOSES conference, field days, webinars, and attending farm tradeshows and conferences. MOSES actively partners with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Minnesota Food Association, University of Wisconsin OGRAIN, and the Women Food and Agriculture Network to provide resources. The field days and the Organic Farming Conference will provide information developed for the target audience to expand awareness and knowledge of organic farming systems.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Deliver “Training on the Ground Support for Transitioning and Organic Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin,” a series of thirteen trainings including nine supplemental field day trainings across Minnesota and Wisconsin over a three year period and four full-day Organic University courses at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference over a two year period.  
    2. Reach 240 participants (12 at each of nine field days and 33 at each of four Organic Universities) specifically targeting NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MN), Land Conservation Departments (WI), FSA, UW and UM Extension, crop insurance agents, agricultural lenders, and RC&D and other agricultural service providers across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
    3. Reach a diverse set of agricultural service providers across Minnesota and Wisconsin demonstrating level of interest among agencies and organizations serving transitioning and organic farmers.  Measured by registration information.
    4. Evaluation data about knowledge gained, subjects and issues of interest and other needs for agricultural service providers and farmers they serve.
    5. Develop “Training on the Ground Support for Transitioning and Organic Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin” curriculum that can be duplicated in other areas, including agenda, training content and resources that focus on transitioning to organic production, organic farming systems, recordkeeping, organic systems plan, organic resources and economics of organic farming systems.
    6. Create educational and technical resources for the trainings, Organic University Courses and continued reference by service providers including: transition to organic, organic farming systems and the economics of organic farming systems.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.