Jun 8, 2020
Virtual field days on organic production planned by MOSES
This summer’s farm tours from the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) will continue, albeit online instead of in-field.
MOSES organizes on-farm field days to give farmers the chance to see how organic farming works and to get ideas they can use on their own farms, according to a press release from the organization. Concerns about COVID this year, moved the field days online.
Each virtual event will include background information (podcasts, videos, and more) posted in advance and a 90-minute live meeting with the farm hosts and other experts hosted on Zoom, according to MOSES. Participants will need to register to join the Zoom meetings. See details and register at mosesorganic.org/organic-fielddays.
Below is some information about the events from MOSES:
Do the Numbers: Organic Dairy
Bossie Cow Farm – Random Lake, Wisconsin
Thelma Heidel-Baker and Ricky Baker have a small, diversified organic dairy farm in the rolling hills of southeastern Wisconsin. They’ll share how they manage their grass-based operation, covering pasture management, conservation practices, pollinator habitat, and livestock health. For the Zoom meeting, they’ll be joined by Jon Winsten, an ag economist with Winrock International and The Pasture Project.
He will talk about the economics of grazing and share financial case studies from Upper Midwest dairy farms—from confinement operations to pasture-based farms.
Do the Numbers: Organic Crop Transition
Jovaag Family Farm – Austin, Minnesota
Jon and Ruth Jovaag have been gradually transitioning their crop and livestock farm to organic since 2014, aiming to have their entire 400-acre farm certified organic by 2022. They’ll discuss their rotation for soil-building and weed control, the equipment they’ve needed to add, and the challenges they faced.
Paul Dietmann from Compeer is the co-author of Turning Grain into Dough and Fearless Farm Finances.
He will talk about how to crunch the numbers involved in the transition to organic row crops.
Kernza Trial Results
A-Frame Farm – Madison, Minnesota
Carmen Fernholz has been involved since 2011 in field trials of Kernza, the much-talked-about perennial wheat that was just released for commercial production. He’ll share what he has learned about growing and harvesting Kernza and how it works in his organic rotation. Researchers from the Forever Green Initiative at the University of Minnesota will cover the crop’s ecological benefits as well as the market outlook for Kernza.
Medicinal Herb Production
Four Elements Organic Herbals – North Freedom, Wisconsin
Jane Hawley Stevens and David Stevens, the MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year, have been growing organic herbs and selling wellness products from their 130-acre certified organic farm near Baraboo for over 30 years. Jane will discuss how to grow, harvest, and preserve medicinal herbs, focusing on immunity-boosting varieties. She’ll also offer advice on selecting the right hand-tools for small-scale farming.
MOSES is a nonprofit organization that provides training, resources, and practical advice to help farmers succeed. Learn more about the services and resources MOSES offers farmers at mosesorganic.org or call the Organic Answer Line at 888-90-MOSES.
Above, Bossie Cow Farm of Random Lake, Wisconsin will be one of the Field Days featured online by MOSES. Photo: MOSES