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MADISON - There are many reasons to grow organic grain: high demand for organic livestock feed, increased interest in locally produced food-grade grain, and seemingly tireless growth in the organic marketplace. However, weeds, the three-year transition, and a sometimes-steep learning curve can keep farmers or would-be growers from making the jump.

To remove these stumbling blocks and get more farmers growing organic grain, the Organic Grain Resources and Information Network (OGRAIN) and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) are holding an information-filled field day on August 11, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Doudlah Farms (FarmRite Organics) in Evansville, WI. Participants will come away with the information and resources they need to start growing organic grain, or to enhance their current operations.

“We have an incredible line-up of speakers and presenters from all over the Upper Midwest,” said Anders Gurda, associate researcher in the Organic and Sustainable Cropping Systems lab at UW-Madison and program coordinator for OGRAIN. “We have farmers and researchers that will help you deal with weeds, bankers that will get you through the three-year transition, agency personnel that will build your soils, experts that will help you navigate organic crop insurance, and many others.

“We’ll spend the morning listening to our invited speakers, and after a shared meal will make our way to the fields to ground and apply that knowledge. This field day will be time well-spent for all attendees,” Gurda added.

Registration is required and there is an optional lunch, made with local and organic ingredients, available for $10 that participants can sign up for during registration.

The field day is made possible by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program as well as through generous support from Badgerland Financial, Organic Valley, Albert Lea Seedhouse, AgriEnergy Resources, Chippewa Valley Bean, Dramm Corporation, The DeLong Company, Blue River Hybrids, and Prairie Creek Seed. Representatives from all of these companies will also be present at the field day to answer questions.

For more information about the field days and to register, visit mosesorganic.org or call 715-778-5775. To learn more about OGRAIN and its programs, contact Gurda at agurda@wisc.edu or 612-868-1208.

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