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Thursday, December 5
 

8:00am MST

MOA Conference Registration
Thursday December 5, 2019 8:00am - 6:45pm MST
Lobby

8:30am MST

Organic U - Welcome and Introductions
Why be organic? What are the stories of people transitioning to organic? Why are you interested in farming organic?

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 8:30am - 9:00am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

9:00am MST

Organic U - The Story of Vilicus Farms
Starting From Scratch 
Vilicus Farms officially started from scratch in 2009 when Doug and Anna purchased 1,280 acres of Northern Great Plains prairie off the open market with 20 years of savings and lots of hutzpah. The vision for Vilicus began years earlier when Doug, whose family’s grain farm in Ohio had been lost in farm crisis of the 1980’s, began looking for a viable way to return to farming. Without the existence of a traditional family farm base, options were limited. In 2005, Doug and Anna recognized the emerging opportunities in the organic market and began drafting their vision of a model organic farm that would push the boundaries of conservation and sustainability. Since 2009 Vilicus has seen a full cycle of its crop rotation, and grown from 1,280 to 7,400 acres. Doug and Anna have begun an organic farmer apprenticeship program to mentor beginning farmers through the challenges of starting a midscale, dryland organic farming operation.

Speakers
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair
avatar for Anna Jones-Crabtree

Anna Jones-Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 9:00am - 9:30am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

9:00am MST

Trade Show Set Up
Thursday December 5, 2019 9:00am - 4:00pm MST
Lobby

9:30am MST

Organic U - Systems Thinking: Holistic Farming
Dr. Seipel will focus on weed managment in organic cropping systems and will discuss using cropping systems and rotations to manage weeds. He will present information on weeds communties across different management systems and crop rotations during a 5-year organic research project.

Speakers
avatar for Tim Seipel

Tim Seipel

Assistant Research Professor, Cropland Weed Extension Specialist, Montana State University, Dept Land Resources and Environmental Science
I am a plant and agricultural ecologist who work on weed management in organic cropping systems. I am also the cropland weed extension specialist at Montana State University.
BW

Becky Weed

Owner, Thirteen Mile Lamb & Wool Company
MOA Board - Executive Committee, ChairOrganic Montana Board Member

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 9:30am - 10:15am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

9:30am MST

Student Poster Sessions
Thursday December 5, 2019 9:30am - 7:00pm MST
Auditorium

9:30am MST

Women in Agriculture Photo Display
Photo Display on Women in Agriculture
Our goal is to engage community members in a reflective journey on the ways women relate to agriculture and increase public awareness of their accomplishments and contributions to agricultural production. These beautiful pictures depict women self-reliance and care of the natural resources that support agriculture. The statements of the photographers attest to the power of imagery, a frozen instant in space-time that can unfold hidden stories. We hope that through these pictures, you will discover the many stories of women in agriculture! The photographs displayed here are selected submissions to a Photography Contest on Women in Agriculture, sponsored by a USDA-NIFA project, Empowering Women in Agriculture

Moderators
IG

Irene Grimberg

Deputy Regional Coordinator, Western SARE



Thursday December 5, 2019 9:30am - 10:00pm MST
Auditorium

10:15am MST

Organic U - Break

Thursday December 5, 2019 10:15am - 10:30am MST
Expedition/Venture Room
  BREAK, Break
  • Sponsor Clif Bar & Company

10:30am MST

Organic U - Introduction to the Organic System Plan
Experienced inspector and producer Margaret Scoles will help you develop an organic system plan for your operation. At the end of this session, you will walk away ready for your organic inspection.

Speakers
MS

Margaret Scoles

Executive Director, International Organic Inspectors Association

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

11:00am MST

Organic U - Organic Standards, Inspection, and Certification: Fitting It All Together
 What are Organic Standards and who determines what they are? What are the mechanics of becoming "Certified Organic?" How do organic inspections work? This session is hosted by a veteran organic certifier and inspector who are also organic producers. They will give you the information you need about organic certification.

Speakers
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB
GW

Georgana Webster

Organic Program Manager, Montana Department of Agriculture
Organic Montana Board Member

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

11:30am MST

Organic U-Developing and Preparing Your Organic System Plan: Round Table Discussions
Breakout sessions hosted by experienced producers;

Speakers
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →
avatar for Anna Jones-Crabtree

Anna Jones-Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
TO

Ty O'Connor

Owner, O'Connor Crops and Cattle LLC
O’Connor Crops and Cattle is a 100% organic farm and ranch. Products that are raised are: winter wheat, spring wheat, Kamut®, oats, barley, sunflowers, peas, lentils, flax, corn, alfalfa, hay and straw. We also produce organic, grass fed, GAP 4 cattle.
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB
MS

Margaret Scoles

Executive Director, International Organic Inspectors Association
GW

Georgana Webster

Organic Program Manager, Montana Department of Agriculture
Organic Montana Board Member

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

11:30am MST

Organic U-Developing and Preparing Your Organic System Plan: Round Table Discussions LIVESTOCK
Breakout sessions hosted by experienced producers
  • Livestock: Jess Alger – Alger Ranch and Georgana Webster, MT Department of Agriculture

Speakers
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →
GW

Georgana Webster

Organic Program Manager, Montana Department of Agriculture
Organic Montana Board Member

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm MST
Summit Room Right

12:00pm MST

Lunch
Delicious organic meals provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.

Sponsors and Supporters
CB

Chandee Bomgardner

Caterer, Bomgardner Catering


Thursday December 5, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm MST
Auditorium

12:30pm MST

Organic U - Question and Answer Time
After the morning's sessions, you should be just about ready for organic certification. This session is aimed at answering lingering questions. Chances are if you have a question, someone else does too. Montana's organic community is vested in helping others by sharing information and experience.

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

1:00pm MST

Is Organic Farming Risky? How to Protect the Farm with Federal Crop Insurance
Using real-life examples from Montana, Jeff Schahczenski shares his knowledge about Whole Farm Revenue Insurance.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Schahczenski

Jeff Schahczenski

Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Mr. Jeff Schahczenski is an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and he has worked on sustainable and organic for over 25 years. For the last 14 years he has worked on whole farm revenue and crop insurance generally... Read More →

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

1:00pm MST

Montana Gluten Free - Sisters Bakery Tour
MEET at the MONTANA GLUTEN FREE vendor booth in the Commons Lobby at 1 pm for a 1:30pm departure.
Montana Gluten Free is proud to be Gluten Free from Farm to Fork. What does that mean? Well, it is a short and sweet way of saying that we grow, mill, package and market healthy, gluten free food in carefully monitored fields, with dedicated equipment, and in our certified facility. We care for it from the time the seeds are planted until our products are shipped to your door. This way we can guarantee a high quality, gluten free product that is not only good for you, but also delicious. Oats are naturally gluten free and have the highest amount of protein and lowest glycemic index of all cereal grains. We selected PrOatina, our private oat variety, for its high protein, height, and hulless qualities. Unlike so many gluten free products on the market that are lacking protein and fiber, our products are as good for you as they are tasty. Visit the Montana Gluten Free facility to learn more about gluten-free production and stop by Sisters Bakery for a gluten-free treat!

Montana Gluten Free, 141 Andrea Dr, Belgrade, MT Phone: 406.600.7400
Sisters Gluten Free Bakery, 103 E Main, Suite #2, Belgrade, MT 59714 Phone: 888.275.0003

Moderators
avatar for Gary Iverson

Gary Iverson

Montana Gluten Free Procesors
MOA Board - Executive Committee, At -Large


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm MST
OFFSITE TOUR

1:00pm MST

MSU Campus Tour
MEET at the Western SARE Booth at 1 pm in the LOBBY at the COMMONS for a 1:30 pm departure. Please share rides for limited MSU parking passes.

This tour offers the unique opportunity to interact with researchers from diverse fields, learn more about current MSU research projects and how they serve local farmers, explore MSU’s research facilities, and enjoy a walk on the beautiful MSU Bozeman campus. The tour includes visits of the malt quality lab with its greenhouses, the soils lab, or MSU’s internationally acclaimed wool lab. The lab tours provide the opportunity to gain insight into the work of researchers and to have discussions with experts. A visit to the headquarters of Western SARE allows farmers to learn more about current and future funding opportunities.

Speakers
avatar for Roland Ebel

Roland Ebel

Research Associate, Montana State University
Roland Ebel has dedicated his professional life to the facilitation and the production of sustainable food. He counts with a PhD in Organic Farming, granted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. The thesis project was done in Gran Canaria, Spain, and dealt... Read More →
avatar for Tim Seipel

Tim Seipel

Assistant Research Professor, Cropland Weed Extension Specialist, Montana State University, Dept Land Resources and Environmental Science
I am a plant and agricultural ecologist who work on weed management in organic cropping systems. I am also the cropland weed extension specialist at Montana State University.



Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm MST
OFFSITE TOUR

1:30pm MST

Cooking Demonstration with Chandee
Chandee Bomgardner has catered the MOA conference for the past three years. She generously shares her tips, tricks, and wisdom about providing healthy, hearty food to your family and large hungry crews.

Meet in the Commons Auditorium.


Sponsors and Supporters
CB

Chandee Bomgardner

Caterer, Bomgardner Catering


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MST
Auditorium

1:30pm MST

MOA Policy Priorities - Discussion
Interested in policy issues that affect organic agriculture? Part of MOA's mission is to advocate for policies that protect the environment, promote healthy living, and support individuals, farms and businesses that are actively engaged in developing sustainable businesses and communities. The round-table discussions will address topics like organic standards, federal policies and funding priorities, climate change, state programs, and more. Discussion portion will inform priority setting that takes place on Saturday (December 7) afternoon. It is not necessary to participate in the policy priorities setting discussions on Thursday if you would like to participate finalizing priorities on Saturday; however, discussion time will be limited on Saturday.

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:30pm - 3:30pm MST
Frontier Room

2:00pm MST

FSA Financing Options for Your Farm
What federal financing options are available for your farm? What are the requirements for participating?  The speakers will also be available to discuss Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) which provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers who are obtaining organic certification for the first time or renewing their previous certification.

Speakers
MM

Marilyn McMullen

Farm Loan Programs Chief, USDA - Farm Services Agency
Marilyn has 35+ years experience with the agriculture loan program with USDA, first Farmers Home Administration and now Farm Service Agency.  She was a state specialist for 18 years working mostly with litigation cases and loan servicing in Montana.  After spending two years in... Read More →
avatar for Shelly Rolando

Shelly Rolando

Farm Program Chief, USDA - Farm Services Agency
I am a Chief Agricultural Program Specialist with U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Bozeman, Montana. FSA assists farmers and ranchers with stabilizing income, conserving land and recovering from natural disasters. I oversee the Risk Management Division for... Read More →

Sponsors and Supporters


Thursday December 5, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

2:00pm MST

Montana Organic Production Coop
Thursday December 5, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm MST
Summit Room Right

4:00pm MST

Marketing Panels
This session is open to all MOA Conference attendees to learn more about marketing options. Who's buying? Who's selling? All buyers and producers are encouraged to attend this session.
  • Grain/Pulses: Doug and Anna Jones- Crabtree, Vilicus Farms
  • Livestock: Jess Alger – Alger Ranch and Mark Smith, Aspen Island Ranch
  • Direct Market Fruits & Vegetables: Judy Owsowitz – Terrapin Farm & Margaret Scoles
  • Hemp and other Alternative Crops: Ty O’Connor – O’Connor Ranch

Moderators
avatar for Anna Jones-Crabtree

Anna Jones-Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member
MS

Margaret Scoles

Executive Director, International Organic Inspectors Association
MS

Mark Smith

Owner, Aspen Island Ranch, LLC
TO

Ty O'Connor

Owner, O'Connor Crops and Cattle LLC
O’Connor Crops and Cattle is a 100% organic farm and ranch. Products that are raised are: winter wheat, spring wheat, Kamut®, oats, barley, sunflowers, peas, lentils, flax, corn, alfalfa, hay and straw. We also produce organic, grass fed, GAP 4 cattle.


Thursday December 5, 2019 4:00pm - 5:15pm MST
Auditorium

4:00pm MST

Trade Show
Thursday December 5, 2019 4:00pm - 5:30pm MST
Lobby

5:00pm MST

MONTANA ORGANIC COMMODITY ADVISORY COUNCIL
The eight-member Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Committee advises the department on the operation of the state's Organic Certification Program. Under Montana administrative rules, the department director serves on the committee, along with certified organic producers, a certified organic handler, and a consumer representative.

Ben Thomas, MT Director of Agriculture, Statutory Appointment; Pat Carr, Consumer; Matt Johnson, Producer; Ty O'Connor, Producer; Catherine Odden, At-Large Representative; Lindsay Aull, Producer; Nate Powell-Palm, Livestock; Sam Schmidt, Handler


Speakers
GW

Georgana Webster

Organic Program Manager, Montana Department of Agriculture
Organic Montana Board Member

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana Department of Agriculture
The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) operates more than 30 programs, many funded entirely through user fees. These include regulatory programs that protect producers, consumers and the environment, as well as development and marketing programs to foster growth in Montana agriculture.Jim... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm MST
Summit Room Right

5:00pm MST

Social with Heavy Hors D'Oeuvres
Kick off the MOA Conference with delicious hors d'oeuvres by Chandee Bomgardner,  organic beer from Blackfoot Brewing and wine from Ten Spoon Winery. Music by the Montana Jazz Collective Trio; Bob Nell -piano, Michael Steele -bass and Adam Greenberg -drums.

Thank you Columbia Grain for sponsoring the MOA Social Hour.

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.
Jo Clark-Reiningjclark@columbiagrain.comThomas Wanquisttwanquist@columbiagrain.comShawn Mellingersmellinger@columbiagrain.com



Thursday December 5, 2019 5:00pm - 6:45pm MST
Auditorium

6:00pm MST

Welcome
Welcome to the 17th Annual Montana Organic Association Conference and Business Meeting! Board nominees introduced. 

Thursday December 5, 2019 6:00pm - 6:15pm MST
Auditorium

6:00pm MST

Book Signing with Bob Quinn and Alexis Bonogofsky
Long-time MOA supporter and internationally recognized organic agriculture Bob Quinn will be signing copies of his very-well received book, Grain by Grain. Co-written with Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, this book examines the current state of agriculture and his philosophies towards developing healthy systems based on regenerative organic agriculture. 50% of the proceeds will go to the Montana Organic Association. 

A Montanan through and through, Alexis Bonogofsky is a writer, photographer, rancher, and activist. She currently serves as the New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. Alexis is a contributor to the book A Million Acres as both a writer and photographer. The breathtaking hardcover compilation features writers such as Rick Bass, Maile Meloy, Keir Graff, and Gwen Florio sharing their intimate and powerful encounters with Montana's open spaces and wild places. This book is sponsored by The Montana Land Reliance and sales support its work.

Speakers
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for Bob Quinn

Bob Quinn

President-Founder, Kamut International
Bob Quinn started Montana Flour & Grains in 1983 to sell his own grain directly to whole grain bakeries. The business soon expanded beyond his own farm and became a viable market opportunity for many other farmers. In 1984, he started selling organic grain. In 1986, Bob planted his... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 6:00pm - 6:45pm MST
Auditorium

7:00pm MST

The Biography of Green
 
Enjoy a thoughtful and entertaining evening with Chrysti The Wordsmith, ruminating on all things “Green.” Chrysti is the host of the popular “Chrysti the Wordsmith,” a two-minute radio series on the origins and histories of words and phrases in the English language. “Chrysti the Wordsmith” is produced at KGLT-FM on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman and is syndicated in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and worldwide on Armed Forces Radio and Television Network.

The Biography of Green
In Western cultures, the color green represents growth, nature, youth, inexperience, spring, money, envy and jealousy. The word is the star of the English terms greenback, green room, green thumb and greenhorn, and the expressions green around the gills and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The fortunes of green changed forever in the 1970s when concerns about the planet’s wellbeing inspired young activists to adopt the color as an aspirational symbol of vigorous, healthy growth on Earth.

Chrysti the Wordsmith will be your etymological tour guide through the history of the word green, from its first appearance as a color term circa 700 AD to its role as the powerful symbol of 21st-century environmentalism.

Speakers
CT

Chrysti The Wordsmith

Wordsmith, Chrysti The Wordsmith
Chrysti the WordsmithChrysti M. Smith has been writing and talking about words for 29 years.  She hosts “Chrysti the Wordsmith,” a two-minute radio series on the origins and histories of words and phrases in the English language.  “Chrysti the Wordsmith” is produced at KGLT-FM... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm MST
Auditorium
 
Friday, December 6
 

7:00am MST

Breakfast
Thank you General Mills for sponsoring the MOA Breakfasts!

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for General Mills

General Mills

General Mills
Christina Skonbergcskonberg@annies.comJim Oalf Eckbergjim.eckberg@genmills.com



Friday December 6, 2019 7:00am - 8:00am MST
Auditorium

7:00am MST

MOA Conference Registration
Friday December 6, 2019 7:00am - 6:00pm MST
Lobby

7:30am MST

Trade Show
Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 5:30pm MST
Lobby

7:30am MST

Student Poster Sessions
Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 6:30pm MST
Auditorium

7:30am MST

Women in Agriculture Photo Display
Moderators
IG

Irene Grimberg

Deputy Regional Coordinator, Western SARE


Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 10:30pm MST
Auditorium

7:45am MST

Welcome
Welcome and Board Nominee Introductions. 

Friday December 6, 2019 7:45am - 8:00am MST
Auditorium

8:00am MST

Biocontrol of weeds with FOXY fungi: Focusing the FOXY technology in Thistle and Bindweed.
We, Dave Sands and Tommy Weiss, have been screening sick plants of C.Thistle and Field Bindweed sent in by MOA members to us at 119 Plant Bioscience Building, MSU, Bozeman. We have been especially looking for the fungus Fusarium oxysporum (FOXY) because of its ability to wilt plants, its host specificity and apparent lack of toxins, its long term survival in the soil, and because of our track record in using this fungus as a biocontrol agent for organic farmers. We will discuss this approach in general and also our recent field plots using strains of this Montana sourced fungus tested against Canada Thistle and Field bindweed. Dr. Sands' research is funded by the Organic Advisory and Education Council.  

Speakers
avatar for David Sands PhD

David Sands PhD

Professor of Plant Pathology, MSU - Department of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
Dave Sands, in an alternate reality where plant cells are computers and he is a plant hacker, took five decades to crack the code using fungi, with the goal of killing weeds and replacing chemical herbicides. He is a disruptive innovator, avid reader, teacher/mentor, napkin poet... Read More →
TW

Tommy Weiss

Student/Sands Lab, MSU - Dept of Plant Sci & Plant Pathology

Moderators
SS

Sam Schmidt

Montana Milling
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Parliamentarian


Friday December 6, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Summit Room Right

8:00am MST

Protecting Our Soil!
Understanding the mechanics of wind erosion, and how it is related to compliance with the Food Security Act of 1985 and Farm Bill programs.  We will cover some world history of wind erosion, share a demonstration of how wind erosion works and discuss practices and opportunities to protect your soil and keep it productive for generations.

Thank you Vitality Ag & Feed for being a MOA Conference Session Sponsor!

Speakers
JT

Joyce Trevithick

Montana State Agronomist, USDA - NRCS, MT
I am a 3rd generation Eastern Montana Farmer. After high school and college I farmed with my parents in Chouteau County. For the past 16 years I have worked for NRCS in Great Falls, Roundup, Havre, and Choteau field offices. I then spent 8 years as an Area Agronomist for the Great... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for John Porterfield

John Porterfield

Manager, Hemp Holding Company
MOA Board. - Hemp Holding Company - wildhorsehotsprings.com - montanagrow.com- ignimbrite.com- VP Organic Marketing Associationjohnp@hempholdingcompany.com

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Vitality Ag & Feed

Vitality Ag & Feed

Vitality Ag & Feed, LLC
Brandon Eldredgebeldridge@vitalityag.comBill Cisnerosbcisneros@vitalityag.com


Friday December 6, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Summit Room Left

8:00am MST

Protecting the Whole Organic Farm Just Got Better
On June 5, 2019, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), which oversees the entire federal crop insurance program, announced important changes to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy as a result of legislation passed in the 2018 Farm Bill. We at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) have been working since 2008 to support and improve the whole farm revenue approach to insuring farms and ranches. OTA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and many others have also helped and after these many years of effort, there is now a nationwide availability to insure the revenue from the whole farm and not just a single product. This session will bring MOA members up to date on how these significant changes in the WFRP policy will make this a more affordable way to protect their whole farm's revenue. WFRP is particularly useful for organic farmers because it protect the organic value of their production as well as provided premium discounts to farms with a greater diversity of crops which is often the case for organic farmers. 

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Schahczenski

Jeff Schahczenski

Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Mr. Jeff Schahczenski is an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and he has worked on sustainable and organic for over 25 years. For the last 14 years he has worked on whole farm revenue and crop insurance generally... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair


Friday December 6, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Frontier Room

8:00am MST

Business Structures - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Business Structures:
  • When an LLC or corporation is the right choice for a farm operation.
  • How to manage an LLC or corporation so its legal benefits are preserved.
  • How to form an LLC or corporation
  • How to draft the appropriate paperwork to protect the business partners involved

Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

8:00am MST

Board Elections - Secret Ballot
Voting for incumbent and new board members by secret ballot. Vote and submit your ballot in the designated box in the auditorium. ALL SIX CANDIDATES CAN BE ELECTED TO THE BOARD. YOU MAY VOTE FOR ALL OF THEM. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR BALLOT BY 10:00 pm on Friday, December 6. When you submit your ballot fill out a card to win a MOA logo organic T-shirt, organic hat, and beer glass! 

Friday December 6, 2019 8:00am - 6:00pm MST
Auditorium

9:00am MST

CREEP STOP - Status of Canada Thistle/Field Bindweed Project and What We've Learned During the First Year
This is a summary of year 1 activities and preliminary results from the field research, with a focus on Montana but also including Washington and North Dakota data of interest. The presentation is a project that is a direct response to requests from MOA members (and organic farmers elsewhere) to develop control strategies focused on Canada thistle and field bindweed.  All work is done in organic environments.


Speakers
avatar for Patrick Carr

Patrick Carr

Superintendent/Associate Professor of Cropping Systems, Central Agriculture Research Center - MSU
Superintendent and Associate Professor, Ph.D.Ph.D. 1989, Crop and Soil Science, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. M.S. 1986, Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. 1984 M.S. 1984, Natural Resources, Ball State University, Muncie, IN. B.S. 1982, Biology... Read More →

Moderators
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am MST
Summit Room Right

9:00am MST

Regenerative Agriculture
Biodiversity is foundational to the health and resiliency of agriculture. A diverse ecosystem of organisms in the soil and crops drives critical farm functions including nutrient cycling, pest control, pollination and many others. However, biodiversity is on the decline globally. Agriculture has a major role to play in restoring biodiversity and protecting life as we know it. Making major improvements to agriculture requires a new mindset, one that regenerates biodiversity. General Mills is supporting a small but growing revolution in agriculture. Known as Regenerative Agriculture, this farmer-led initiative employs a set of principles to restore soil health and agroecosystem function. The principles include minimizing physical and chemical disturbance, diverse cropping systems, continuous cover on the soil, maintaining a living root, and integrating livestock where possible. Regenerative agriculture practices restore the health of agroecosystems and may help bridge the transition to organic. This session will describe how General Mills is supporting regenerative agriculture in our supply chain and how we are using an outcomes-based approach to measure real improvements to biodiversity, farmer economic resiliency and soil health. This session will dive into the ecological principles underpinning regenerative agriculture and discuss how these principles apply equally to supporting organic agriculture.

Speakers
JO

Jim Olaf Eckberg

Research Agronomist, General Mills

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am MST
Frontier Room

9:00am MST

Land Purchasing and Leasing - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Land Purchasing and Leasing
  • The legal importance of a written lease
  • What a farmland lease should contain and the process of writing one.
  • How to create the paperwork for informal purchase arrangements such as seller-financing and land contracts.
  • Basic farm financing legal considerations including gifts and crowdfunding.

Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

9:00am MST

FSA Farm Programs Available for Organics
The primary focus will be Farm Loan Programs which provide financing options available to organic producers as well as our  Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program which provides crop insurance coverage to organic producers. This session will include a brief overview of all programs available which can assist organic producers, such as but not limited to: The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, Farm Storage Facility Loans, Organic Certified Cost Share Program, Tree Assistance Program, etc.
 

Speakers
MM

Marilyn McMullen

Farm Loan Programs Chief, USDA - Farm Services Agency
Marilyn has 35+ years experience with the agriculture loan program with USDA, first Farmers Home Administration and now Farm Service Agency.  She was a state specialist for 18 years working mostly with litigation cases and loan servicing in Montana.  After spending two years in... Read More →
avatar for Shelly Rolando

Shelly Rolando

Farm Program Chief, USDA - Farm Services Agency
I am a Chief Agricultural Program Specialist with U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Bozeman, Montana. FSA assists farmers and ranchers with stabilizing income, conserving land and recovering from natural disasters. I oversee the Risk Management Division for... Read More →

Moderators
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 10:20am MST
Summit Room Left

9:00am MST

KID's U - AgVenture Camp!
Youth participants will spend the morning in "AgVenture Camp" with fun activities like seed planting, making butter, painting and games. 

This year, MOA has worked with Dr. Shannon Arnold, MSU Agricultural Education and the Museum of the Rockies to offer enriching activities for MOA Kids age 4 - 12! The program will be led by MSU students in the morning at the Commons. After a delicious organic lunch, MOA kids and their parents are invited to the Museum of the Rockies for a specially organized docent-led tour of the Siebel Dinosaur exhibit and a presentation in the Taylor Planetarium. The Museum, including the butterfly exhibit, will be open to all MOA guests at no charge.

MOA is grateful for the support of MSU's Agricultural Education program and the Museum of the Rockies!

Sponsors and Supporters


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 5:00pm MST
Quest

9:50am MST

Vendor Appreciation
Thank you Quality Food Distributing for sponsoring!

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Quality Food Distributing

Quality Food Distributing

Quality Food Distributing
Randy Lindbergrandy@qfdistributing.com


Friday December 6, 2019 9:50am - 10:30am MST
Lobby

10:30am MST

Grass Growth and Response to Grazing
This first half of this presentation covers the science behind how grass grows and responds during different weather conditions throughout the year. In the second half, we discuss how we can apply grazing management using what we learned about grass growth so that our grazing treatments can have a positive effect on plant communities, the pasture, and the ranch. As always group discussion is encouraged! Grazing, turning grass into meat, is the ultimate in sustainable, input-free food production when done right. My goal is to help participants be better than they are already at grazing mgmt. so grass-animal production can be a viable component of their operation.

Speakers
RC

Rick Caquelin

Area Range Specialist, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service
I have been working with landowners on grazing land issues across MT for 30 years. I live at Stanford, MT where my wife and I helped raise our family and run about 100 cows in a cow/calf operation.

Moderators
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:20am MST
Summit Room Left

10:30am MST

Hemp Merits and Myths
Organic hemp production provides unique opportunity for Montana growers. Emerging markets have significant price premiums for certified and uncertified ‘organic’ production. This will be a free-flowing forum on hemp experiences centered around the question of how well does hemp fit Montana production? Session will include an update on crop insurance for hemp. 


Speakers
avatar for Patrick Carr

Patrick Carr

Superintendent/Associate Professor of Cropping Systems, Central Agriculture Research Center - MSU
Superintendent and Associate Professor, Ph.D.Ph.D. 1989, Crop and Soil Science, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. M.S. 1986, Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. 1984 M.S. 1984, Natural Resources, Ball State University, Muncie, IN. B.S. 1982, Biology... Read More →
JF

Jamie Fitterer

Owner, Montana Hemp Company
avatar for Perry Miller

Perry Miller

Professor, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University
Research InterestsDiversified dryland cropping systems. Foci include soil water and nitrogen, no-till and organic systems, pulse crop ecology, winter dicot crops, cover crops, crop energy budgets, and BMPs for GHG mitigation.EducationPh.D. University of Minnesota, Agronomy and Plant... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Schahczenski

Jeff Schahczenski

Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Mr. Jeff Schahczenski is an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and he has worked on sustainable and organic for over 25 years. For the last 14 years he has worked on whole farm revenue and crop insurance generally... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for John Porterfield

John Porterfield

Manager, Hemp Holding Company
MOA Board. - Hemp Holding Company - wildhorsehotsprings.com - montanagrow.com- ignimbrite.com- VP Organic Marketing Associationjohnp@hempholdingcompany.com


Friday December 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:20am MST
Summit Room Right

10:30am MST

Organic seed: Understanding Market Opportunities in Montana
The lack of organic seed is recognized as a weak link in organic production and has resulted in ongoing exemptions to the National Organic Program’s organic seed requirement. Many organic farmers are interested in growing seed on their farm but don’t know how to get started. This session is for growers who already produce seed on their farm and want to scale up, as well as those growers who are just beginning to explore seed production. Organic Seed Alliance is working directly with organic seed growers in Montana, an agricultural economist, and national seed companies to develop enterprise budgets for farmers interested in growing seed as a commercial crop (either direct or contract sales). This session will provide information, and answer questions, about the economics of growing seed, including understanding how to choose profitable seed crops for your farm, how to manage risk, and how to participate in a growing network of seed growers in Montana who are sharing equipment and variety trial data.

Speakers
avatar for Micaela Colley

Micaela Colley

Program Director, Organic Seed Alliance
Micaela Colley leads OSA’s research and education programs focused on organic seed production and organic plant breeding. She is the author of several publications. Micaela frequently teaches and speaks on organic seed topics and collaborates on research projects nationally. Micaela... Read More →
avatar for Winston Oakley

Winston Oakley

Research Economist, Highland Economics
I conduct economics research and analysis for Highland Economics, a consulting company specializing in environmental and natural resource economics. We often work on issues dealing with the value of agriculture, water, economic development, and ecosystem services. I personally specialize... Read More →
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer


Friday December 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:20am MST
Frontier Room

10:30am MST

Insurance and Liability - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Insurance and Liability
  • When and how a farm becomes liable for an injury connected to the farm’s operations including food safety, farm events, farm food service, and value-added production
  • The best options for protecting the farm legally when injuries inevitably occur
  • When and how crop and livestock insurance is available to cover losses
Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:20am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

11:30am MST

Organic Standards and Pesticide Residues: What Does the Future Hold?

Agriculture largely occurs in an open environment where various types of production systems exist and impact one another. This open environment includes producers who are not only nearby, but also potentially much farther away from one another (as with the long-distance transport of pesticides, for instance). Organic producers are acutely aware of this reality. For instance, others’ use of agrichemicals has led to crop damage from pesticide drift or accidental aerial application onto organic fields. Recently, unavoidable contamination of organic grains at very low levels has threatened markets. Specifically, residues of glyphosate have exceeded a standard for organic products (10 ppb) in Italy and France. The dynamics of exactly how this low-level contamination is occurring (even in isolated fields) is under investigation, and concerns about the cost and reliability of laboratory testing further complicate the situation. In essence, some EU member states have added a kind of “product” standard for organic. Similarly, at least two new “glyphosate-free” certification programs are operating. Of course, organic certification has traditionally been a “process” standard with regulations that govern how a product is grown, harvested, and prepared.

This panel will explore how this situation impacts the organic industry and how it should respond.

Speakers
avatar for Jim Barngrover

Jim Barngrover

Procurement & Grower Liaison, Founding Farmer, Timeless Food
Timeless co-founder Jim identifies new growers, provides management information, balances production with inventory needs, and stays in regular contact with the Timeless grower base.Jim has over four decades of experience in organic gardening and farming and marketing locally grown... Read More →
avatar for Neva Hassanein

Neva Hassanein

Professor, Environmental Studies - University of Montana
In 2000, I joined the UM Environmental Studies Program in large part because of its long-held commitment to engaged, interdisciplinary scholarship and to civic participation in environmental affairs. I brought with me a professional and academic background that reflects my fundamental... Read More →
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB
avatar for Bob Quinn

Bob Quinn

President-Founder, Kamut International
Bob Quinn started Montana Flour & Grains in 1983 to sell his own grain directly to whole grain bakeries. The business soon expanded beyond his own farm and became a viable market opportunity for many other farmers. In 1984, he started selling organic grain. In 1986, Bob planted his... Read More →
MS

Margaret Scoles

Executive Director, International Organic Inspectors Association

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer


Friday December 6, 2019 11:30am - 12:20pm MST
Auditorium

12:30pm MST

Lunch with US Delegation Messages and Organic Advisory and Education Council Update
Delicious organic meals provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.

Conference greetings from Congressman Greg Gianforte, Senator Steve Daines, and Senator Jon Tester.

Research update from OAEC - includes film.

Thank you MOA Friday Conference Lunch Sponsors

Speakers
MJ

Matt Johnson

President, Johnson Ranch, Inc.
TO

Ty O'Connor

Owner, O'Connor Crops and Cattle LLC
O’Connor Crops and Cattle is a 100% organic farm and ranch. Products that are raised are: winter wheat, spring wheat, Kamut®, oats, barley, sunflowers, peas, lentils, flax, corn, alfalfa, hay and straw. We also produce organic, grass fed, GAP 4 cattle.

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for 406 Agronomy

406 Agronomy

406 Agronomy
Andrew Bartelandrew.bartel@406agronomy.comFernanda Balansafernanda.balansa@406agronomy.comLance Lindbloomlance.lindbloom@406agronomy.comSantiago Planssantiago.plans@406agronomy.com
avatar for Dan Collins

Dan Collins

Entrepreneur, Bay State Milling
Daniel Collinsdcollins@bsm.com
avatar for Montana Farm Link

Montana Farm Link

Montana Farm Link
avatar for Montana Flour and Grains

Montana Flour and Grains

Montana Flour & Grains
Garry Pfilegarry@montanaflour.comKayla Pfilekaylapfile@gmail.com
avatar for Montana Gluten Free

Montana Gluten Free

Montana Gluten Free
Gary Iverson, Belgrade, MTgiverson@montanaglutenfree.com
avatar for Montana Milling

Montana Milling

Montana Milling
Sam Schmidt, Great Falls, MTsam@montanamilling.com
avatar for NatureSafe

NatureSafe

NatureSafe
Kirk Carls, Irving, TXkcarls@naturesafe.com
avatar for Pipeline Foods

Pipeline Foods

Pipeline Foods
Colin Wiegmancwiegman@pipelinefoods.comAnders Gurdaagurda@pipelinefoods.com
avatar for SoilCraft

SoilCraft

SoilCraft
Mason Gordonmason@soilcraft.comDenver Blackdenver@soilcraft.comTrent Graybilltrent@solcraft.com


Friday December 6, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm MST
Auditorium

1:00pm MST

MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES PROGRAMMING FOR MOA KIDS!!
After lunch, youth will visit the Museum of the Rockies for a special dinosaur tour and planetarium show just for Kids' U participants. There will also be time to learn about pollinators when Kids' U visits the Museum's latest exhibit Amazing Butterflies! MOA has partnered with Montana State University Ag Education students and the Museum of the Rockies to offer this unique Kids' U!
The fine print: For insurance reasons, MOA is not able to provide youth transport to/from the Museum of the Rockies. Instead, MOA encourages parents/guardians to coordinate transport so youth can enjoy an afternoon of fun and learning at the Museum. Kids' U is designed for youth in grades K-6, but older youth are also welcome.

A docent-led tour of the Seibel Dinosaur Complex begins at 2 pm and a special Taylor Planetarium presentation will be at 3:00 pm.

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies

Montana State University



Friday December 6, 2019 1:00pm - 5:00pm MST
Museum of the Rockies

1:15pm MST

Can We Change As Quickly As The Climate Is Changing?



Speakers
SJ

Stephen Jones

Wheat Breeder, Bread Lab

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer


Friday December 6, 2019 1:15pm - 2:20pm MST
Auditorium

2:20pm MST

Vendor Appreciation
Friday December 6, 2019 2:20pm - 2:50pm MST
Lobby

2:20pm MST

MOA Policy Priorities - Discussion
Interested in policy issues that affect organic agriculture? Part of MOA's mission is to advocate for policies that protect the environment, promote healthy living, and support individuals, farms and businesses that are actively engaged in developing sustainable businesses and communities. The round-table discussions will address topics like organic standards, federal policies and funding priorities, climate change, state programs, and more. Discussion portion will inform priority setting that takes place on Saturday (December 7) afternoon. It is not necessary to participate in the policy priorities setting discussions on Thursday if you would like to participate finalizing priorities on Saturday; however, discussion time will be limited on Saturday.

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Friday December 6, 2019 2:20pm - 2:50pm MST
Frontier Room

2:30pm MST

Food Safety - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Food Safety
  • How every farm can be responsible for a food safety incident, regardless of regulatory compliance.
  • When and how farms must comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act
  • How to manage the risk of food safety incidences with insurance.
Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 2:30pm - 3:20pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

2:50pm MST

Blackfeet Nation’s Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP)
Loren Birdrattler, the Project Manager for the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP) will share the Blackfeet ARMP, a road map to food sovereignty for Blackfeet Country. The plan is rooted in Blackfeet values, Blackfeet ways of knowing, being and planning. From 4-H Clubs to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers, to beef and bison processing and local food access, the ARMP is a truly holistic approach to conservation that addresses biodiversity, clean water, commercial food production, and community leadership.

Speakers
LB

Loren BirdRattler

Project Manager, Blackfeet Nation’s Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP)
Loren Bird Rattler currently serves as the Project Manager for the development of the Blackfeet Tribe's Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP), a plan that will create policy in agriculture resource, land, conservation, holistic management practice and water resource management... Read More →

Moderators
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member


Friday December 6, 2019 2:50pm - 3:40pm MST
Summit Room Left

2:50pm MST

Farming and Eating for Planetary Health
What are linkages of agriculture to human and environmental wellbeing? Is organic produce more delicious and nutritious than conventional produce? A multifaceted challenge of the Anthropocene is supporting healthy diets while conserving ecological resources in socially acceptable ways. At present, poor diets are the leading risk factor of the global burden of disease. Concurrently, food production places greater stress on ecosystems than any other human activity while being critically dependent on multiple ecosystem services including water, soil fertility, pollination, and climate regulation. These food system challenges are exacerbated by global change with notable consequences for human and environmental wellbeing. This presentation will outline global trends of food systems transitions and associated implications for sustainability. We will review the evidence of the implications of agricultural practices for planetary health with a focus on organic agriculture. Evidence will further be presented on the relationship of agricultural management, phytochemistry, and sensory profiles of crops.

Thank you, Kamut International for being a MOA Conference Session Sponsor!

Speakers
avatar for Selena Ahmed

Selena Ahmed

Associate Professor, Montana State University, Health and Human Development
Research InterestsI am an ethnobotanist with research and outreach interests at the intersection of the ecological, cultural, and health aspects of food systems. The ultimate translational goal of my research program is to strengthen linkages and innovations in the food system from... Read More →

Moderators
MT

MonaRae Tuhy

MOA Board - Executive Committee, Secretary

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Kamut International

Kamut International

Kamut International
Trevor Blythtrevor.blyth@kamut.comBob Quinnbob@quinnorganic.com


Friday December 6, 2019 2:50pm - 3:40pm MST
Quest

2:50pm MST

Repairing the Public-Private Partnership in Organic Standards
A healthy market for organic products requires critical support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) for uniform and robust standards. However, the USDA is not advancing organic standards, and this failure to keep pace with consumers and the industry is harming and fragmenting the market. In the past 10 years, industry has advanced 20 consensus recommendations for improvements to the organic standards and the USDA has not completed rulemaking on a single one of them. Montana Senators Jon Tester (Democrat), Steve Daines (Republican) and Representative Greg Gianforte (Republican) recognized this issue in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue demanding that USDA move forward and act on a decade’s worth of stalled recommendations by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The Organic Trade Association is working on long-term solutions that will repair the broken public-private partnership between USDA and the organic industry to ensure continuous improvement and accountability of the organic standards. At this workshop, attendees will learn about the Organic Trade Association’s efforts to advance concepts for a new framework for advancing federal organic standards to keep up with the marketplace and ensure the credibility of the USDA Organic seal. Attendees will participate in a facilitated discussion about these concepts and other strategic ideas for how organic will evolve within the public-private partnership into the future.

Speakers
avatar for Johanna Mirenda

Johanna Mirenda

Organic Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association

Moderators
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Friday December 6, 2019 2:50pm - 3:40pm MST
Summit Room Right

2:50pm MST

Understanding the Barriers to Crop Insurance Usage in Organic and Diversified Farms
Since the 2000 Agricultural Risk Protection Act (ARPA), federal crop insurance programs directed to organic and diversified producers have expanded in terms of liability, policies, and coverage. In spite of this growth, participation in crop insurance, relative to conventional producers, remains low. Understanding gaps in the utilization of crop insurance for these groups are critical to investigate in order to better focus current education programs and inform farm policy. To solicit input from producers of organic and diversified crop production systems, we developed a national survey, in cooperation with the OREI, to learn more about this group’s risk management and production practices. Results from this survey provide direct insights into the barriers preventing further increases in crop insurance participation among these products, as well as how they can potentially be overcome. Under the current crop insurance programs, there is a disconnect between organic production and organic certification that we can better understand through this analysis. 

Speakers
avatar for Eric Belasco

Eric Belasco

Associate Professor, Montana State University
My main research interests in the areas of agricultural marketing and applied econometrics. The bulk of my research is focused on characterizing variability in cattle profits, production, and marketing. This research has also stimulated another complementary area of research that... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair


Friday December 6, 2019 2:50pm - 3:40pm MST
Frontier Room

3:30pm MST

Employees, Interns, and Volunteers - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Employees, Interns, and Volunteers
  • The basics of minimum wage, overtime, payroll tax, workers’ compensation, and wages in the form of food and lodging.
  • Whether and how farms may utilize unpaid or underpaid interns or apprentices.
  • The legal risks of utilizing volunteers in a for-profit business.
Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop!

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 3:30pm - 4:20pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

3:50pm MST

Why Do We Raise Organic Food?
Why do we raise organic food? Every year MOA does a great job answering the many aspects of this important question. It's a question my husband and I eagerly answered when we jumped into this movement 14 years ago. We raise organic food because it is the only profession where we can bring all our passions together: healing our land, improving our customers’ health, and producing a living.


Speakers
avatar for Jane Smith M.D.

Jane Smith M.D.

Owner, Aspen Island Ranch
I am an overcomer who refuses to accept that pain and suffering are the best life has to offer, which is one of the big reasons I got into organic food in the first place. As a physician I saw plenty of suffering. Over the years of Pediatric and Integrative Medical practice, I understood... Read More →

Moderators
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 3:50pm - 4:40pm MST
Auditorium

4:30pm MST

Agritourism and Adding Value - Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm
Agritourism and Adding Value
  • How zoning codes can limit or prohibit these activities and what do next if the farm’s desired activities are constrained by regulations.
  • Legal considerations when doing on-farm events relative to liability, employment law, business structures, taxes, and land use regulation.
  • The farm’s obligations in terms of access to persons with disabilities
Thank you to WSARE for partial funding of the "Cultivating Your Legally Resilient Farm" workshop


Speakers
avatar for Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong

Attorney/Consultant, Farm Commons
My passion for farming goes way back to the days when I proudly proclaimed that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I’ve lived out that dream in many ways, from working on farms to managing a community garden, starting a catering company that featured local foods and running... Read More →
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Western SARE

Western SARE

Fabian Menalledmenalled@montana.edu


Friday December 6, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

4:30pm MST

Vendor Appreciation
Friday December 6, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm MST
Lobby

4:40pm MST

Student Poster Sessions - Presentations
Students present their work on organic farming and food topics. 

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer
MB

Mac Burgess

Assistant Pofessor, Montana State University, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology


Friday December 6, 2019 4:40pm - 6:00pm MST
Auditorium

5:15pm MST

Social Hour and Silent Auction
Delicious organic hors d'oeuvres provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.
Thank you Columbia Grain for sponosoring the Social Hour. The Silent Auction closes at 8:00pm. 

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.
Jo Clark-Reiningjclark@columbiagrain.comThomas Wanquisttwanquist@columbiagrain.comShawn Mellingersmellinger@columbiagrain.com



Friday December 6, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm MST
Auditorium

5:30pm MST

Silent Auction
Check out the Silent Auction to find a great gift, a useful tool, a piece of art and more! Thank you for supporting MOA!

Bring donation items to the Silent Auction representatives at the conference.
All silent auction items must be collected by the winning bidder and paid for by the close of the conference.  

Moderators
CM

Cliff Merriman

Owner, 4M Farms
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer


Friday December 6, 2019 5:30pm - 8:00pm MST
Auditorium

6:30pm MST

Annual Awards Dinner
Delicious organic meals provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.

The MOA “Lifetime of Service” and “Leadership in Organics” Awards will be presented at the Conference and Awards Banquet. The “Lifetime of Service” award goes to an organic producer, handler, retailer, researcher, service provider (or other) who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to organic agriculture in Montana. A “Leadership in Organics” award goes to an organic producer, handler, retailer, researcher, service provider (or other) who demonstrates an on-going commitment to advancing the adoption, practice, and success of organic agriculture in Montana.

Previous recipients of the “Lifetime of Service” award are: Barry Flamm (2006), Bob Quinn (2007), David Oien (2008), Jim Barngrover (2009), Laughing Water (2010), Steve and Cindy Baril (2011), Russ Salisbury and Elsie Tuss (2012), Judy Owsowitz (2013), Becky Weed (2014), Wes Henthorne (2015), Ric and Dawn Blair (2016), Randy Hinebauch (2017), Jane Kile (post-humous, 2018), Dr. Jim Sims (post-humous, 2018).

Previous recipients of the “Leadership in Organics” award are: Jon Tester (2006), Jonda Crosby (2007), Mikel and Nancy Lund (2008), Jon and Amy Kvaalen (2009), Andre’ Giles (2010), Nancy Matheson (2011), Dave and Dee Turner (2012), Jeff Schahczenski (2013), Daryl and Linda Lassila (2014), Ole Norgaard (2015), Connie Poten and Andy Sponseller (2016); Kristina “Kiki” Hubbard (2017), Matt and Sonja Johnson (2018).

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.

Columbia Grain, Inc.
Jo Clark-Reiningjclark@columbiagrain.comThomas Wanquisttwanquist@columbiagrain.comShawn Mellingersmellinger@columbiagrain.com
avatar for General Mills

General Mills

General Mills
Christina Skonbergcskonberg@annies.comJim Oalf Eckbergjim.eckberg@genmills.com
avatar for Northwest Farm Credit Services

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Northwest Farm Credit Services
Farm Credit ServicesTM, also known as Northwest Farm Credit Services or Northwest FCS, is a financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 6:30pm - 7:30pm MST
Auditorium

8:00pm MST

Live Auction with Zane Burns, Auctioneer
Moderators
CM

Cliff Merriman

Owner, 4M Farms
avatar for John Wicks

John Wicks

Tiber Ridge, Inc.
MOA Board Member - Executive Committee, TreasurerOrganic Montana Board Member - Treasurer


Friday December 6, 2019 8:00pm - 10:00pm MST
Auditorium
 
Saturday, December 7
 

7:00am MST

Breakfast
Delicious organic meals provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.

Thank you, General Mills for sponsoring breakfast!

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for General Mills

General Mills

General Mills
Christina Skonbergcskonberg@annies.comJim Oalf Eckbergjim.eckberg@genmills.com



Saturday December 7, 2019 7:00am - 8:00am MST
Auditorium

7:00am MST

MOA Business Meeting
Saturday December 7, 2019 7:00am - 8:00am MST
Auditorium

7:30am MST

MOA Conference Registration
Saturday December 7, 2019 7:30am - 12:00pm MST
Lobby

7:30am MST

Student Poster Sessions
Saturday December 7, 2019 7:30am - 1:00pm MST
Auditorium

7:30am MST

Women in Agriculture Photo Display
Moderators
IG

Irene Grimberg

Deputy Regional Coordinator, Western SARE


Saturday December 7, 2019 7:30am - 1:00pm MST
Auditorium

7:30am MST

Trade Show
Saturday December 7, 2019 7:30am - 1:00pm MST
Lobby

8:00am MST

Engaging with Version 2.0 of the General Mills Regenerative Agriculture Self-Assessment
Join the General Mills team for an interactive demonstration of Version 2.0 of the General Mills Regenerative Agriculture Self-Assessment. Last year, during a farmer roundtable at MOA, participants shared feedback on Version 1.0 of the tool. This year, the General Mills team is thrilled to share how we incorporated farmer feedback and iterated on the assessment to launch Version 2.0. This session will be a great opportunity for farmers, business representatives, and other agricultural stakeholders interested in exploring how their farming practices align with 5 recognized principles of regenerative agriculture: keep the soil covered, maximize crop diversity, integrate livestock, minimize soil disturbance, and keep a living root in the ground.

Speakers
CS

Christina Skonberg

Senior Sustainability Analyst, General Mills
As Senior Sustainability Analyst within the General Mills Natural and Organic Operating Unit, Christina manages the farm-level sustainability strategy for the brands Annie's, Cascadian Farm, Epic, and Muir Glen.

Moderators
avatar for Gary Iverson

Gary Iverson

Montana Gluten Free Procesors
MOA Board - Executive Committee, At -Large


Saturday December 7, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Summit Room Right

8:00am MST

Federal Policy Update
This panel will provide an of-the-moment update on federal policy related to organic agriculture, including implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. Specific focus will be given to Strengthening Oversight and Enforcement of Organic; Appropriations; Research; Conservation Programs; Risk Management Programs.

Speakers
avatar for Johanna Mirenda

Johanna Mirenda

Organic Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association

Moderators
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Saturday December 7, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Auditorium

8:00am MST

Integrated Weed Management for Organic Chickpeas
Shared presentation with Joseph Kibiwott covering improving practices for organic pulse production. I will present results of our recent organic chickpea weed management trials were we evaluated planting date, seeding rate, and several organic weed control practices.

Speakers
ZM

Zach Miller

Assistant Professor/Superintendent, MSU- Western Ag Research Center

Moderators

Saturday December 7, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

8:00am MST

Long-term effects of a single compost application to yield, quality and soil health in organic dryland wheat
The majority of organic wheat in the United States is produced in the West. However, growers are transitioning out of organic production due to problems with weeds and soil health. We propose to present the results of 25 years of research on the long-term benefits of a single application of compost to wheat yield, grain quality, and soil health. Previous research at Utah State University measured dryland wheat yield response to dairy manure compost in 1995 and 1996 at two certified organic sites in northern UT. Yields of winter wheat increased 250% in response to compost applied at 25 tons per acre. Sixteen years later, improvements in soil health and wheat yield in the compost-amended plots was still dramatic, with approximately 200% greater yields and soil organic matter than those in control plots. 

Speakers
JR

Jennifer Reeve

Associate Professor Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Plants Soils and Climate - Utah State University
The overall goal of my research is to develop strategies for organic and integrated annual and perennial crop production adapted to shallow alkaline soils, short growing seasons, cold winters and hot summers. My aim is to improve soil health, crop quality, on farm biodiversity, and... Read More →

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer


Saturday December 7, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Frontier Room

8:00am MST

Utility Patents and Certified Organic Seeds
In a recent New York Times feature article entitled: Save Our Food. Free the Seed. Dan Barber exclaimed, “The knockout punch for farmer-controlled seed was the utility patent.” The Organic Seed Alliance Website states: “Over the last four decades, the seed industry has consolidated, and much of our commercial seed is now owned and managed in the hands of a few transnational firms. Intellectual property practices (e.g., utility patents on seed) stand out as a major cause.” What most organic farmers and gardeners have yet to realize is that more and more certified organic seeds being offered for sale in the U.S. now carry utility patents. Complete and accurate information about which varieties being patented is difficult to find. The presentation will include a short history of plant patenting including the difference between The Plant Variety Protection Act passed in 1970 and the newer, more restrictive Utility Patents which prohibit for the first time growers from actually saving any of their own seeds. The presentation will include a discussion about individual and regional strategies growers can use to assure long-term access to varieties with superior traits along with the regional and cultural adaptation that comes only from local seed saving.

Speakers
BM

Bill McDorman

Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, Inc.
Bill McDorman is a seed saver, writer, and educator based in Cornville, Arizona. He is a co-founder of The Down Home Project, Garden City Seeds, Seeds Trust, High Altitude Gardens, the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, Seed School and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. He is the author of... Read More →

Moderators
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member


Saturday December 7, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am MST
Summit Room Left

9:00am MST

Climate Change Resilience in Organic Systems
This session brings together producers and scientists to explore through presentation and discussion how we envision organic agriculture under projected climate conditions in Montana. Each speaker will be charged with providing their perspective on the following questions:
  • What will be the greatest challenge to production in Montana, or on your place, when growing season temperatures increase by 7.5 degrees F, we increase up to 35 days over 90 degrees F and we become drier over the next 20-30 years?
  • How do you anticipate modifying crop or livestock production to adapt to these new conditions? 
  • What information will improve your ability, or the ability of producers in general, to adapt to these unprecedented conditions?

Speakers
avatar for Anton Bekkerman

Anton Bekkerman

Associate Professor of Economics, Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, Montana State University
I currently serve as the associate director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and an associate professor of economics at Montana State University. After receiving a B.B.A. in Business Economics in 2005 from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University in Maryland... Read More →
avatar for Bruce Maxwell

Bruce Maxwell

Co-Director Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University
Ph.D. Forest Ecology and Crop Science.1990, Oregon State University; M.S. Agronomy/Weed Science,1984, Montana State University, 1978-79 Peace Corps Micronesia, B.S. Botany, 1977, Montana State University. Research and teaching specialization in applied plant ecology including agroecology... Read More →
avatar for Fabian Menalled

Fabian Menalled

WSARE Regional Coordinator, Western SARE
Fabian is a Professor in Weed Ecology and Management at Montana State University. His research and outreach activities focus on improving the sustainability of agricultural systems by developing management approaches that are based on ecological principles. Specific interests include... Read More →
TO

Ty O'Connor

Owner, O'Connor Crops and Cattle LLC
O’Connor Crops and Cattle is a 100% organic farm and ranch. Products that are raised are: winter wheat, spring wheat, Kamut®, oats, barley, sunflowers, peas, lentils, flax, corn, alfalfa, hay and straw. We also produce organic, grass fed, GAP 4 cattle.
avatar for Dave Prather

Dave Prather

General Manager, Western Montana Grower's Coop
General Manager, Western Montana Growers Cooperative- going on 12 years.Talk to me about wholesale marketing and distribution in Montana, Cooperative business, challenges in growing Organic farm businesses, and your favorite recipes and cooking techniques (and basketball)

Moderators
BW

Becky Weed

Owner, Thirteen Mile Lamb & Wool Company
MOA Board - Executive Committee, ChairOrganic Montana Board Member


Saturday December 7, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am MST
Auditorium

9:50am MST

Vendor Appreciation
Thank you Quality Food Distributing for sponsoring!

Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for Quality Food Distributing

Quality Food Distributing

Quality Food Distributing
Randy Lindbergrandy@qfdistributing.com


Saturday December 7, 2019 9:50am - 10:15am MST
Lobby

10:15am MST

Integration of Livestock into Small Scale Vegetable Cropping Systems
This presentation includes the results and a description from a graduate-level research project investigating livestock integrated systems in the Great-Northern Plains on small scale vegetable crops, specifically looking at differences in grazed versus un-grazed sampling sites with an emphasis on soil health, soil microbial diversity and crop yield. Previous studies of livestock integration have shown a positive impact on soil health. We expect that the grazed portions will have improved crop production due to nutrient cycling compared to non-grazed portions.

Speakers
avatar for Trestin Benson

Trestin Benson

Graduate Student, Montana State University
Trestin Benson is a master's student studying the Impacts of Integrating Livestock into Small Scale Vegetable Farming Systems. She also works as a research associate at the Montana Wool Lab.

Moderators
HE

Heather Estrada

Associate Professor and Agriculture Program Director, Flathead Valley Community College
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Treasurer


Saturday December 7, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am MST
Expedition/Venture Room

10:15am MST

New Agrarian Program: Supporting apprenticeships in organic agriculture
Help train the next generation of regenerative land managers and food producers. Come and learn about Quviria's New Agrarian Program that helps pair up regenerative farmers and ranchers with apprentices. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice intentional, regenerative methods of food production, provide excellent animal care and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers. Learn about Quivira's program and what it takes to be a mentor. Quivira provides training and technical support to mentors in finding qualified apprentices and a good fit; understanding the legalities and logistics related to having an on-ranch or on-farm employee; communicating with apprentices and evaluating their work and learning. 

Speakers
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for Anna Jones-Crabtree

Anna Jones-Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms


Saturday December 7, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am MST
Summit Room Right

10:15am MST

Organic & Soil Health- Moving beyond organic to regenerative!
Soil Health and how an organic farmer can improve their operations by adopting soil health practices. Simple yet effective regenerative agriculture and soil health practices will be shared. Examples: Improving water infiltration, increases soil biology, increasing soil structure & aggregates, pollinator strips, conversations strips, and increasing organic matter. How to reduce compaction and understanding plow plan and what to do about it. Soil slake testing demonstration, why, and what the test can tell you and how to do it on your operations. Ideas on how to make your own soil microbes (soil amendments & compost) on your own operation and understanding soil health practices can reduce fertilizer input and reduce nutrient run-off.

Speakers
avatar for Patti Armbrister

Patti Armbrister

Soil Health Consultant, Agrarian Food Web Consultant LLC
Patti born in Michigan on a farm started in 1866. Patti has 55 years of experience in agriculture, beef, vegetables, and forage production. Patti has traveled to agriculture operations in 45 of the lower 48 states and all of the lower providence of Canada. In 2007, she joined the... Read More →

Moderators
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am MST
Frontier Room

10:15am MST

The Real Value of Lamb: Trust, Transparency, Disruption and Blockchain in a New Organic Food Economy
Blockchain technology as applied to agriculture product supply chains offers promises of a new and disruptive form of algorithmic economic trust, even referred to as a “trust machine.” Can blockchain technology usher in a transformation to a new transparent “sharing” organic food supply economy? In this presentation we will explore through the comparative examination of three case studies of lamb supply chains, how blockchain is and is not living up to its many promises of improved transactional efficiency, transparency and, most importantly building trust in food products with multiple attributes such as certified organic.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Schahczenski

Jeff Schahczenski

Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Mr. Jeff Schahczenski is an agricultural and natural resource economist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and he has worked on sustainable and organic for over 25 years. For the last 14 years he has worked on whole farm revenue and crop insurance generally... Read More →

Moderators
avatar for Gary Iverson

Gary Iverson

Montana Gluten Free Procesors
MOA Board - Executive Committee, At -Large


Saturday December 7, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am MST
Summit Room Left

11:15am MST

An Assessment of Influences on Beginning Sustainable Agriculture Producers’ Decisions to Adopt Innovative Practices
Organic agriculture is a transformative approach that balances the goals of sustainable agriculture. Understanding how producers identify themselves may give insight as to what drives their decision to explore innovative practices. The purpose of this study was to assess influences on organic agricultural producers’ attitudes, behaviors, and decisions related to sustainable best management practices.  Rogers’ Diffusions of Innovations and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) were used to analyze organic producers’ attitudes, behaviors, and decisions related to sustainable best management practices (BMP). This descriptive study utilized a survey research design of producer members of the Montana Organic Association. Data analysis was conducted to assess the relationships between questions and constructs of the TPB. Respondents considered themselves risk-takers, leaders, and deliberators who use an integrated whole farm approach. Influences of peers and social groups had a significant effect on producers’ decisions to implement sustainable BMPs.

Speakers
avatar for Rebecca Kurnick

Rebecca Kurnick

Sustainability Director, Montana Ale Works
Born in the tiny town of Lovell, Maine, ‘Becca’ arrived in Montana in 2006.While working towards a B.S in Soil Science from MSU, she spent time working as a line cook for Montana Ale Works, working in the field for a certified organic market farm, and learning about pastured livestock... Read More →

Moderators

Saturday December 7, 2019 11:15am - 12:05pm MST
Expedition/Venture Room

11:15am MST

Data Intensive Organics
This talk will explore my current Ph.D. research topic of data-intensive agriculture applied in organic systems. Recommended regional crop seeding rates have been well established across the United States, however, these seeding rates represent the average best rate to apply, and variability within even an 80-acre field is significant. Therefore it is becoming increasingly useful to determine differences in productivity across a field to determine management practices differently for each part of a field. This idea is central to data-intensive agriculture. My project aims to take the old ideas of organic farming and the new techniques of precision agriculture to close the organic-conventional yield gap. It is often said that organic production substitutes agroecosystem knowhow for inputs. Now we can employ modern technology to really understand how each agroecosystem works at appropriate time and space scales. Work has begun with various organic growers in Montana to begin using the large data sets acquired from today’s modern equipment to explore within-field variability to establish variable seeding rates specific to individual fields. Preliminary data and further pursuits will be discussed.

Speakers
SL

Sasha Loewen

PhD student, Land Resources and Environmental Science - MSU
The use of on-farm precision experimentation (OFPE) to improve management practices in organic grain farming.

Moderators
avatar for Jamie Ryan Lockman

Jamie Ryan Lockman

Organic Montana
Organic Montana was founded to provide educational and support resources for anyone interested in organic farming, food, and fiber. Organic Montana is a community of diverse individuals united by the ideals of the organic movement and sustainability. It elevates Montana's organic... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2019 11:15am - 12:05pm MST
Summit Room Left

11:15am MST

Montana Grasslands Carbon Program
Challenge & Opportunity Healthy grasslands have significant potential to provide ranchers with important supplemental income arising from the public’s concern over climate change. A growing number of scientists believe grasslands hold even greater potential than tropical rainforests in their ability to draw dangerous carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and sequester the carbon deep in the ground. Motivated by the surging desire in consumers to reduce CO2, major companies are positioning themselves as leaders in the attempt to find effective ways to solve this problem.

Speakers
CM

Chris Mehus

Program Director, Western Sustainability Exchange
Born, raised and educated in Montana, I have been passionate about agriculture and conservation forever. WSE and our partner NativeEnergy is developing a first-of-its-kind carbon trading program for improved grazing practices. In the trial stages currently, we hope to create a broad... Read More →

Moderators
JA

Jess Alger

Farmer/Rancher, Alger Ranch
MOA Board MemberJess Alger graduated from MSU in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He returned to the Alger family ranch near Stanford where he worked for his Dad until 1981, after which he bought the place. He first certified his cropland in 2000 and his cattle were certified... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2019 11:15am - 12:05pm MST
Summit Room Right

11:15am MST

Towne's Harvest Garden - MSU's Organic Experiential Learning Farm
 Towne's Harvest Garden is a 3-acre certified organic vegetable farm operated by MSU students. Vegetables are sold through a Community Supported Agriculture program, two farm stands each week, and wholesale sales to University Catering. Each year thousands of lbs of premium veggies are also distributed through Gallatin County Food Bank and the Bobcat Pantry to members of the community who cannot afford to pay market prices. Each spring, summer, and fall semester students plan, implement, and analyze the workings of a diverse certified organic production system including cultivar selection, crop rotation planning, greenhouse plant production, tillage, plasticulture and season extension, irrigation, cover cropping, integrated pest management, harvest, processing, marketing, organic certification, and reflection. Dr. Mac Burgess has been the director of Townes Harvest Garden since beginning as a faculty member at MSU in 2013. Dr. Burgess will present a lively photo-heavy slideshow of learning opportunities, humorous anecdotes, examples of lessons learned, and reflection on the place of experiential learning in the educational system.


Speakers
MB

Mac Burgess

Assistant Pofessor, Montana State University, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology

Moderators
JO

Judy Owsowitz

Owner, Terrapin Farms
MOA Board Member


Saturday December 7, 2019 11:15am - 12:05pm MST
Frontier Room

12:15pm MST

In Praise of Hopelessness
Speakers
avatar for Matthew Dillon

Matthew Dillon

Senior Director of Agricultural Policy and Programs, Clif Bar
Matthew Dillon is senior director of agricultural policy and programs at Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods. Matthew works with state and federal officials, academia, ingredient suppliers, farmers within Clif agriculture supply chain and the organic industry to improve the success of the rural communities from which we source our food.R... Read More →

Moderators
SJ

Stephen Jones

Wheat Breeder, Bread Lab


Saturday December 7, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm MST
Auditorium

12:15pm MST

Lunch
Delicious organic meals provided by Chandee Bomgardner, Bomgardner Catering, Loma, MT.

Thank you MOA Conference Saturday Lunch sponsors!


Sponsors and Supporters
avatar for 406 Agronomy

406 Agronomy

406 Agronomy
Andrew Bartelandrew.bartel@406agronomy.comFernanda Balansafernanda.balansa@406agronomy.comLance Lindbloomlance.lindbloom@406agronomy.comSantiago Planssantiago.plans@406agronomy.com
avatar for Dan Collins

Dan Collins

Entrepreneur, Bay State Milling
Daniel Collinsdcollins@bsm.com
avatar for Montana Farm Link

Montana Farm Link

Montana Farm Link
avatar for Montana Flour and Grains

Montana Flour and Grains

Montana Flour & Grains
Garry Pfilegarry@montanaflour.comKayla Pfilekaylapfile@gmail.com
avatar for Montana Gluten Free

Montana Gluten Free

Montana Gluten Free
Gary Iverson, Belgrade, MTgiverson@montanaglutenfree.com
avatar for Montana Milling

Montana Milling

Montana Milling
Sam Schmidt, Great Falls, MTsam@montanamilling.com
avatar for NatureSafe

NatureSafe

NatureSafe
Kirk Carls, Irving, TXkcarls@naturesafe.com
avatar for Pipeline Foods

Pipeline Foods

Pipeline Foods
Colin Wiegmancwiegman@pipelinefoods.comAnders Gurdaagurda@pipelinefoods.com
avatar for SoilCraft

SoilCraft

SoilCraft
Mason Gordonmason@soilcraft.comDenver Blackdenver@soilcraft.comTrent Graybilltrent@solcraft.com


Saturday December 7, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm MST
Auditorium

1:15pm MST

MOA Policies - Setting Priorities for 2020
What policies should MOA prioritize for 2020? Your input is valued in this wrap-up session. 

Moderators
avatar for Doug Crabtree

Doug Crabtree

Farmer, Vilicus Farms
MOA Board - Executive Committee, Chair
NP

Nate Powell-Palm

Farmer/Rancher and Organic Inspector, Cold Springs Ranch
MOA Board MemberNOSB


Saturday December 7, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm MST
Auditorium