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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Evaluation data about knowledge gained, subjects and issues of interest and other needs for agricultural service providers and farmers they serve.
- 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.
- 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.