MOSES Organic Link
New Farmer Summit gives beginning farmers food for thought
Over 150 new and aspiring farmers took part in the New Farmer Summit April 3-5 at Primrose Valley Farm in Belleville, Wis. MOSES partnered with Renewing the Countryside, the National Young Farmers Coalition, Agrarian Trust, and the USDA to put on this well-received event. Participants chose six workshops from a list of 24 topics that covered everything from land access to organic pest management, prompting several to call the event a "mini-MOSES Conference." In addition to presentations, the summit included a square dance, a seed swap (shown above), and optional tours of nearby organic farms.
Disaster assistance sign-up opens April 15
The USDA will open sign-up for disaster assistance programs Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Note that these programs provide payments based on non-organic prices. To see what's covered, visit the USDA Farm Service Agency website.
Events, webinars focus on organic ag
MOSES' online Community Calendar provides a gateway to events, webinars, and workshops happening in the Midwest that are focused on sustainable and organic farming. Bookmark the Community Calendar to find activities to help you grow organic.
Highlighted events in April:
Save 25% on books about food, farming
If you missed the sale table at the MOSES Conference Bookstore, here's your chance to shop our book sale. Choose from more than 70 titles about sustainable living, real-food cooking, gardening, and organic farming. Shipping is free on orders over $50. Purchases help fund programs that improve farmers' success in sustainable, organic production.
Free manuals cover organic plant breeding
Organic Seed Alliance just published four organic plant breeding manuals to encourage organic farmers to participate in developing varieties suited to organic systems. The manuals include an introduction to plant breeding and three crop-specific manuals (tomatoes, carrots, and sweet corn) that provide step-by-step instruction for identifying good breeding material and maintaining a new variety for quality and uniformity.
Report provides examples of SARE-funded projects
SARE's biennial Report from the Field profiles grant recipients and projects to improve the sustainability of American agriculture. The free report includes examples of SARE-funded projects on soil health management, local and regional food systems, specialty crop diversification, season extension, and more. It also includes updates on funding allocations and priority activities in each of SARE's four regions.
Online registries help farmers avoid pesticide drift on fields
The DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry has expanded to include 11 states (all Midwestern states except Iowa and the Dakotas). The mapping tool provides a way for organic and specialty crop farmers to identify fields they want to protect from pesticide spraying. Beekeepers also can mark the locations of beehives. Applicators who register with the site receive email notifications with map updates. It is free to use this service.
Website gives tips for controlling wildlife pests
The website Creative Critter Control provides non-toxic, humane methods for controlling pests such as gophers, moles, deer, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, mice, rats, rabbits, wild turkeys and more. Controls are based on animals' activities, food sources, and life cycles. Before using any materials recommended on the site, check with your organic certification agency for approval.
Programs help people decide if farming
MOSES is a nonprofit organization that promotes organic and sustainable farming by providing the education, resources, and expertise
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Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service
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Spring Valley, Wisconsin 54767
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