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OGRAIN organic grain production and marketing workshop offered in January

With strong demand and premium prices for organic grain, opportunities abound in this growing industry. A weekend workshop offered by the Organic Grain Resources and Information Network (OGRAIN) and the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) at UW-Madison will help farmers gain the skills, information and network necessary to succeed in growing and marketing organic grains in the Upper Midwest.

The 2017 OGRAIN Organic Grain Production and Marketing Workshop will be held January 21-22, 2017 on the UW-Madison campus. Participants will enjoy two full days of presentations, panels and discussions led by experienced organic farmers, researchers, agency personnel and industry representatives, as well as plenty of time to meet other farmers interested in organic grain production in the Upper Midwest.

“No matter who you are or what your current or future operation looks like, the OGRAIN workshop will be time well-spent. There’s something in this weekend workshop for everyone,” says Anders Gurda, associate researcher in the Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab at UW-Madison and program coordinator for OGRAIN.

The workshop will cover agronomic aspects of feed- and food-grade organic grain production, such as weed and soil health management. Participants will also learn about organic transition and certification, organic grain marketing, financial management, crop rotations, and how to get started.

While the workshop will focus on the needs of beginning farmers who have been farming for fewer than 10 years, it is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about organic grain production, including:

• conventional producers interested in exploring the transition to organic grain production
• livestock farmers interested in growing their own organic feed
• produce growers curious about adding grain to their farming systems
• anyone considering or currently growing organic grain

The workshop is designed to help farmers overcome some of the barriers to making the leap to organic grain production, and give them “a heavy toolbox that will serve them for years to come,” says Gurda.

The cost for participants is $50 for both days or $30 for one day. Registration includes breakfast and lunch. For more information and to register, visit ograin.bpt.me. Registrations will be accepted until the class is full.

For more information, contact Anders Gurda at agurda@wisc.edu or (612) 868-1208.

The workshop is made possible by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. OGRAIN is a collaborative effort of the UW-Madison Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab, FISC, UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW-Extension, and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.