Join us for Physical Distancing Fridays with Socially Connected Farmers

Block an hour each Friday from April 3 through May 8 at 8:30 AM CDT/9:30 am EDT to join a Zoom call gathering with fellow Midwest organic and transition-to-organic farmers during this time of social distancing as we head into the 2020 growing season. These calls serve as an opportunity to stay connected and discuss topics relevant to our current societal realities under the global COVID-19 pandemic, timely organic grain production and marketing topics, and whatever else you may want to discuss.
      We are planning a weekly Friday call, at least until things really get moving with field operations. For our first call we are planning an open discussion about the current impacts/challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on agriculture (labor, markets, etc), potential solutions to these challenges, and opportunities that this situation may present (e.g., some farms that are focused on direct-to-consumer markets are seeing substantial increases in demand through online sales).  We also want your ideas on topics and potential speakers for our Friday calls moving forward.  We have plenty of ideas for topics, but want to hear from you on what is most timely during these uncertain times and relevant to spring field work, planting operations, and organic grain markets.
       We look forward to hearing from you! These calls are being organized and hosted by the teams at UW-Madison OGRAIN, Purdue Extension-Organic Agriculture, and The Andersons.  Join the 4/03/20 call here  Friday, April 3 at 8:30 AM CDT/9:30 AM EDT.


The Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN) offers an educational framework for developing organic grain production in the Upper Midwest. Whether you farm 10 acres or 10,000, are an experienced organic grower or just considering the transition to organic, OGRAIN provides learning opportunities to improve your organic row crop and small grain operation. From weed control to marketing, grain storage to termination of specific cover crops, the OGRAIN community of experienced growers, researchers, industry experts and others is here to support you.

OGRAIN supported activities include on-farm field events, an annual winter conference, an active producer listserv, educational resources including videos and fact sheets, and a mentoring program. Catch the newly produced video series, The Art and Science of Cultivation, featuring experienced organic farmer and consultant Gary McDonald discussing row crop cultivation: tools, techniques, modifications and adjustments.

NOTE: April 2020. While we have been planning summer events, we will follow UW COVID-19 guidance on gatherings, and will keep you informed about events or alternatives.

Join the OGRAIN listserv by emailing join-ograin@lists.wisc.edu  to enjoy highly informative conversations with experienced growers – or find  OGRAIN on Facebook.

OGRAIN is a collaborative effort of the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS), Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC), UW-Madison/UWEX Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab, and Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). The Network is supported by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for stimulating learning and conversation at the 2020 OGRAIN Winter Conference, January 24-25 on the UW-Madison Campus. 2020 Conference workshop videos are now available!

OGRAIN Resource – one-on-one technical assistance by phone/email

MOSES, in partnership with OGRAIN, has hired veteran organic grain farmer, Carmen Fernholz of A-Frame Farm in Madison, Minnesota, as a contractor to answer your calls & e-mails relating to diversified organic grain production, row crop transition, machinery, and related topics. Carmen has been an organic grain farmer since 1975 and is well-known in the MOSES community. His farm is a 400-acre certified organic diversified cropping system of corn, soybeans, spring and winter wheat, oats, barley, golden flax, yellow field peas, alfalfa, and restored native prairies and wetlands. Through this grant-supported service, farmers in the OGRAIN network will receive timely, customized advice from Carmen. You can contact Carmen directly by email carmenfernholz@mosesorganic.org or through the MOSES Organic Answer Line: 888-90-MOSES (888-906-6737).

For more information on any of these events, or for further information about OGRAIN, contact Erin Silva, emsilva@wisc.edu, 608-890-1503

If you have any problems with this website, please email Jody Padgham.