If there is one thing we didn’t learn at the ACRES U.S.A. Conference, it is that organic grain continues to rise as the demand increases. We had many discussions with those considering transitioning to organics and those wanting to improve their current organic operation. Needless to say questions were all over the board, but one common thread was “how do I navigate from here?” We have a good place for you to start.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has organized a three-week, 14-installment seminar on organic grain production and marketing through the newly formed Organic Grain Resources and Information Network (OGRAIN) January 11-29 from 2:25-3:15pm. The seminar will meet on campus Monday-Friday, in collaboration with the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC), but will be available remotely through a live, interactive streaming service. Access to recorded talks will also be available to registered participants who can’t join the live stream.
Beginning farmers with less than 10-years experience are highly encouraged to apply, however anyone interested in organics in the Upper Midwest are welcome. Participants will hear from a variety of speakers, including farmers, researchers, agency personnel, and industry representatives. Topics include:
- Organic corn, soybean, and small grain production
- Fertility and pest management in organic systems
- Marketing and contracting
- Food-grade grain production, processing, and marketing
- Organic transition, certification, and coexistence
Cost for non-FISC participants is $50. This covers either in-person or online participation as well as access to all classroom materials (readings, recorded presentation, useful links/resources, and activities). If you’re unable to cover the cost, there are scholarships available.
Please register by January 11 to the seminar coordinator, Anders Gurda, with your name, phone number, home address, and whether you’ll be joining in the classroom or online. Checks can be made out to UW Madison and can be sent to Anders at 1630 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706. Anders will also be available to answer all your questions and go over scholarship opportunities by phone 612-868-1208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.