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MOA's 15th Annual Conference and Member Meeting
“Organic Resiliency in a Changing World”
December 7-9, 2017, Mansfield Center, Great Falls, Montana

Use the links on the upper right to navigate through the conference pages.



7:00 am - 8:00 am: Registration and Breakfast

8:00 am - 12:00 pm: ORGANIC UNIVERSITY (OU)
Pre-registration is required.
The Basics of Organic Production, facilitated by organic industry expert, Margaret Scoles.

8:00 am - 12:00 pm: GAP TRAINING
Pre-registration is required.
Fresh produce farmers will have access to help developing their on-farm food safety GAP plans. Facilitated by David Wise.

9:45 am - 10:00 am: Coffee Break
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm: Lunch

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm: Load Vehicles for Tours (meet in the foyer of the Mansfield Convention Center, 2 Park Dr S., Great Falls, MT)

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm:
MOA ORGANIC TOURS Pre-registration is required and space is limited.
Tour 1: Prairie Heritage Farm: Join owner/operators Jacob and Courtney Cowgill at their farm 25 miles northwest of Great Falls. Jacob will provide an overview of winter vegetable production. After the tour, there are limited (6 spots) available for a bread baking demonstration with Blue Truck Bread.

Tour 2: Wilcox Family Farms: 38th Street and 10th Avenue N., Great Falls, MT. Wilcox Farms Organic eggs come from flocks of organically raised and grown hens. Tour the organic processing plant that uses locally sourced eggs.

Tour 3: Timeless Natural Foods: 48 Ulm-Vaughn Road, Ulm, MT: Now in its third decade, Timeless Natural Foods remains committed to sustainable agriculture, good health, and the local community. Tour the recently upgraded facilities of Montana’s top organic lentil processor.

5:15 pm – 6:30 pm: MOA Social
Everyone is encouraged to attend our social. The hour will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, a no host bar, and a pre-conference welcome from the MOA Board.

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Unbroken Ground: a short film by Patagonia Provisions. Bringing It Home: a documentary about industrial hemp production. Discussion will follow.


7:00 am – 8:00 am: Main Hall, Registration and Breakfast

7:30 am, Main Hall, Ron Larson, Coordinator, Montana Ag Safety Program, “Agricultural Safety and You”

8:00 am – 8:15 am: Welcome: Doug Crabtree, MOA Board Chairman, Vilicus Farms

8:15 am – 9:15 am: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Sam Day, Everything Organic Nursery, Kathmandu, Nepal, “Subsistence Farming In Nepal: Perennial Staple Crops, Fukuoka Natural Farming, Climate-Adaptable Agriculture”
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Panel Discussion with Jacob Cowgill, Daryl Lassila, and Ole Norgaard; “So, I’ve Been Drifted: What Next?”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Becky Weed, Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool Company, “Meat or No Meat? How We Have Allowed the Wrong Question to Derail the Debates and Inquiry We Need About Food and Agriculture”

9:15 am - 9:45 am: Break and Vendor Appreciation

9:45 am – 10:45 am: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Bruce Maxwell, Professor of Agroecology and Co-Director, Montana Institute on Ecosystems, “Montana Climate Assessment and Next Steps to Adapt to a Changing Climate”
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Al Kurki, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Sustainable Ag Program Specialist, “Are Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants the Right Tool for You?”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Panel Discussion with Kiki Hubbard, Margaret Scoles, Georgana Webster, Doug Crabtree, and Jay Hould, “Advancing Organic Seed”

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Main Hall, Keynote Address, Dr. Stephen Jones, The Bread Lab, Washington State University, “Wheat, Bread and Community”

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Lunch, with address by Ben Thomas, Director Montana Department of Agriculture, “Montana Department of Agriculture Update”

12:45 am - 1:30 pm, Georgana Webster, Montana Department of Agriculture, Organic Program Manager, “Organic Trends, Issues, and Resiliency”

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
KIDS’ UNIVERSITY (KU), Children’s Museum of Montana. Pre-registration is required. Runs concurrently with Conference.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall - Organic Policy Update with Nate Brown, Doug Crabtree, Nate Lewis, and Nate Powell-Palm
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Dr. Perry Miller, Professor, Sustainable Cropping Systems, MSU, “Fort Ellis, Organic Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Reduced Tillage Through Grazing”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Shelly Rolando, Chief Program Specialist, USDA-Farm Service Agency, “Organic Certification Cost Share, Microloans, Farm Storage Facility Loans, and Disaster Assistance for Noninsured Crops Available Through FSA”

2:30 pm -2:45 pm: Break and Vendor Appreciation

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Organic Policy Discussion: Part 1
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Dr. Pat Carr, Superintendent/Associate Professor of Cropping Systems, Montana State University, Central Agricultural Research Center, “Developing Enterprise Budgets for Montana Organic Farmers: Early Iterations”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Organic Hemp Forum: Ian Foley, Hemp Program Coordinator, Montana Department of Agriculture, “Montana Industrial Hemp Pilot Program” and Jeff Kostuik, Hemp Genetics International Inc. “Hemp Agronomy 101”

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm Break and Vendor Appreciation

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Organic Policy Discussion: Part 2
Session 2, Chambers, Rick Caquelin: NRCS Area Range Specialist, “Grazing Cover Crops, Bale Grazing and Making the MOST of Your Grass!”
Session 3, Student Poster Presentations

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Social and Reception

6:30 pm – 10:00 pm: Dinner, Auction, and MOA Awards
7:00 pm: Shaud Schwarzbach, Northwest Farm Credit Services
7:15 pm: Dr. Bob Quinn, Dinner Address


7:00 am – 8:00 am: Registration and Breakfast

8:00 am – 8:15 am: Announcements and Updates

8:15 am – 9:15 am: Keynote Address, Dr. Stephen Jones, The Bread Lab, Washington State University, “City Wheat, Country Bread: The Beauty of Place”

9:15 am - 9:45 am: Break and Vendor Appreciation

9:45 am – 10:45 am: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Dr. Cheryl Reichert, MD, PhD, Emeritus Member, College of American Pathology, “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Fact or Fiction?”
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Alyssa Charney, Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), “Federal Policy Update: The Path to the 2018 Farm Bill”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Eric Sommer, State Statistician, USDA - NASS, “Census of Agriculture - Your Voice, Your Future/Certified Organic Survey Results”

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Buyers Panel with Dan Collins, Mariann Van Den Elzen, Chef Philip Winkler, and Michael Vetere
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Panel Discussion with Heather Estrada, “Women in Montana Organic Agriculture Panel”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Bill O’Haire and John Porterfield, “New Organic Technologies, Tools, and Inputs”

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Main Hall, MOA Business Meeting

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm: Main Hall, MOA Board Elections

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch, Ole Norgaard, Chair, Organic Advisory & Education Council, “OAEC Update”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Session 1, Main Hall, Jen Swanson, University of Providence, “Growing Grass-Fed Beef”
Session 2, Cascade County Chambers, Dr. Zach Miller, Assistant Professor and Director of the MSU-Western Ag. Research Center, “Integrated Weed Management in Organic Systems”
Session 3, Gibson Room, Jacob Cowgill, Farmer and Baker, Prairie Heritage Farm & Blue Truck Bread, “Made of Montana: Farm to Loaf Sourdough”

3:00 pm -3:15 pm: Break and Vendor Appreciation

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm: Main Hall, Plenary Session: “Nuggets of Knowledge Exchange” with Wes Gibbs

3:45 pm - Closing Remarks, Doug Crabtree

Agenda is subject to change. (Updated 12/4/17)


If you’d like more conference information or would like to volunteer or make a scholarship donation, call Patti Gregerson at (406) 333-1054 or email her here.

Vendor spaces are going very quickly this year. Please contact Jamie at (406) 251-9418 to make a reservation.

If you'd like to make a donation for the silent auction, call Cliff Merriman at (406) 654-4391 or email him here.

Image by iStock/leolintang

©2017 Montana Organic Association