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The Organic Grain Resources and Information Network – OGRAIN – Organic Grain Conference will be held Jan. 26-27 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St., in Madison, Wisconsin. The conference will feature presentations, panels and discussions as well as time to network with farmers interested in organic grain production.

Topics addressed will be:

  • Soil health
  • Cover crops
  • Organic no-till
  • Specialty cereal-grain production
  • Marketing
  • Organic certification
  • Post-harvest handling
  • Financial planning
  • Insect, weed and disease management

Attendees can visit more than 20 business and non-profit booths. They also will receive an organic resource book. Workshops will feature presentations, panels and discussions led by experienced organic farmers, researchers, agency personnel and industry representatives.

“The workshops will address production and marketing issues that transitioning, beginning and experienced organic-grain farmers wrestle with,” said Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Extension specialist in organic agriculture, assistant professor of plant pathology, and program leader for the organic grain network. “Conventional producers interested in exploring the transition to organic-grain production, livestock farmers interested in growing their own feed, produce growers curious about adding grain to their system, or anyone considering or currently growing organic grain will find something of value at the event.”

Harriet Behar, organic-production specialist, said, “Strong demand for domestically produced organic wheat, barley, oats, specialty grains, corn, beans and forage provides a variety of opportunities for aspiring organic growers and those looking to diversify their operations. Transitioning to organic, as well as improving organic-farming systems, is a focus of the conference.”

The Organic Grain Resources and Information Network is a collaborative effort between UW-Madison’s Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems laboratory, UW-Extension, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and Farm and Industry Short Course. The conference is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Register by Jan. 22. Registration fee – including breakfast and lunch – is $80 for both days. Visit ograin.triforce.cals.wisc.edu or contact harriet.organic@gmail.com or 608 872-2164 for more information.