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Helping farmers grow organic successfully!
July 2013
Welcome to the Organic Link!

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Plans are coming together for the 25th anniversary of the MOSES Conference! You can join in the celebration early through "Mug Shots" and "Shirt Shenanigans" -- our fun photo contests with prizes including FULL conference registration and a FREE night in an adjacent hotel! Learn more here.

Johnson hosts crop field day July 25

Johnson Farms Field DayThe next MOSES Organic Field Day showcases large-scale organic ag -- Charlie Johnson, the 2013 MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year, and his family will show us how they manage 2,800 acres of crops and livestock. Click on the flyer for details and to register for the free lunch!

The season continues with three In Her Boots workshops for women involved in sustainable ag: Aug. 4 at Canoe Creek Produce in Decorah, Iowa; Aug. 8 at Dancing Winds Farm in Kenyon, Minn.; and, Aug. 18 at Scotch Hill Farm in Brodhead, Wis. See our Field Day page for information about these events and more.

What's next for the Farm Bill?

After the US Senate approved a Farm Bill in early June, the House voted down its version. The defeat was attributed to last-minute floor amendments that would have cut food stamp eligibility for millions of people. Some Republicans voted against this because they thought the cuts were not big enough, and many Democrats voted against this because they thought the cuts were too deep.

The path forward is not clear, but one suggestion has been to split the Farm Bill from the nutrition programs, which include the food stamp or SNAP program. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which includes MOSES, argues against that path in this blog post.

NOP hopes to lessen certification paperwork

The National Organic Program has heard the complaints of organic producers about the burdensome paperwork they must complete for certification. In response, the NOP has created "Sound and Sensible," an initiative to reduce certification paperwork while still protecting organic integrity. The agency is working with Accredited Certifiers Association, which has assembled a committee of stakeholders -- MOSES Organic Specialist Harriet Behar has been serving on this committee.

Through Sound and Sensible, NOP is collecting public comment through Aug. 27, 2013, to estimate how much time organic stakeholders spend on recordkeeping and related tasks.

"They're working on policies that will free up organic producers to concentrate on quality organic production, rather than documenting every little thing they do," Harriet said. "Take a minute to send your comments--they can make a difference!"

Program teaches conservation practices to women who own farmland

Women Caring for the landThe Women, Food and Agriculture Network hosts free Women Caring for the Land℠ meetings for women who own or manage farmland. Topics include soil and water conservation, wildlife management, government cost-share programs and more. Meetings include lunch and and an afternoon bus tour to see conservation practices "on the ground." The schedule: July 18 at  Red Cedar Lodge in Downsville, Wis.; July 19 in Baraboo, Wis.; July 22 in Lamberton, Minn.; July 23 in Northfield, Minn.; July 30 in Waukon, Iowa; Aug. 1 in Cresco, Iowa; and, Aug. 2 in Indianola, Iowa.

Morris research center studies dairy profitability

The University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center near Morris is in the midst of a four-year study aimed at helping the growing organic dairy industry become more profitable. Focus is on cow health and pasture quality. One novel idea on the farm is sending cows through a Cow Vac, a device that quickly sucks off irritating flies that can decrease milk production, reduce cows' food intake, and spread disease. The U's website shows the Cow Vac in action.

Publication highlights findings from food system research

Food FactsThe Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture recently updated Food Facts, with key findings from marketing and food systems since 2000. The 30-page document provides research-based statistics farmers can use for marketing their products. It also contains a list of online tools and resources regarding food systems.

USDA examines local meat processing

The USDA just released an Economic Research Report on locally processed meat and poultry. The report uses case studies of successful meat and poultry processors to illustrate the commitment needed between producers and processors for local processing to be viable.

USDA approves Non-GMO label for meat

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service recently approved the Non-GMO Project Verified label for meat and liq­uid egg prod­ucts, marking the first time the agency has approved a non-GMO label claim. To merit the label, animals must have been fed verified non-GMO feed. The label will include text that clar­i­fies how ani­mal prod­ucts meet the Non-GMO Project standard.

Eat, sleep at sustainable spots while traveling

Renewing the Countryside has created a website, Green Routes, that helps travelers in the Midwest find lodging and restaurants that have a sustainable focus (local food, organic food, water conservation, etc.). The site also lists farms open to visitors, and some that offer on-farm lodging. Maintain your principles on your next vacation by traveling the “Green Route!”


In the July-August
  • Sprouted barley fodder 
  • Does organic = perfect?
  • Food safety
  • Soy-free poultry feed study
  • Kefir for healthy calves
  • Integrating livestock with crop production
  • Dairy grazing apprenticeship
24 pages of must-read!


With your donation,
we can teach more farmers about the benefits of organic production.

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Nominations open for the
2014 MOSES
Organic Farmer
of the Year

Nominate a farmer who inspires you!

Entries accepted through Sept. 15, 2013.


Watch the one-minute Tasty Guide to a Healthy Planet interview with Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm in Brodhead, Wis. (hosting our Aug. 18 In Her Boots workshop). Dela talks about the importance of caring for the soil with organic methods.

Look for this poster in your local FSA office.


We're spreading the word that organic works! 
Thanks to
Charlie Johnson, 2013 MOSES Organic Farmer
of the Year,
for being a great ambassador! 

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Hay Net is a free online site for hay buyers and sellers to connect. It's run by the USDA Farm Service Agency.


PO Box 339
Spring Valley, WI 54767

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Spring Valley, WI 54767

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