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EVENTS


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Rancher Workshop on Biological Soil Management
May 21, 2015, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Indreland Ranch, Big Timber, MT

Nicole Masters with Integrity Soils of New Zealand is very knowledgeable concerning soils, with a great approach to helping people understand soils and presenting tools that are very easy to use for monitoring soil conditions and increasing nutrient cycling. Ann Molloy from Neptune's Harvest Organic Fertilizer, in Gloucester, MA, who is sponsoring Nicole for the workshop, will be on hand to give information on their products, derived from the nutrient rich North Atlantic Ocean.
The workshop is $50 per person.  Lunch and all supplies for the day will be provided. Please RSVP by May 15. Contact Roger & Betsy Indreland. 406-932-4232 or 406-930-0671 or e-mail: iaranch@mtintouch.net

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MOA 2015 Farm Tour
Alger Ranch in Stanford, Montana
June 10, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Alger Ranch is 100% Certified Organic. Jess Alger grows, uses and sells lentils, Kamut®, winter wheat, peas, barley, Sainfoin and alfalfa as well as grass-fed cattle. Researchers Dr. Perry Miller, MSU Agronomist, Dr. Pat Hatfield, MSU Livestock Specialist, and Dr. Fabian Menalled, MSU Weed Specialist will also be presenting research findings and observations during the tour.

Participants attending the tour will see and learn about Jess’s organic grass-fed cattle’s high intensity mob grazing system (a form of rotational grazing in which cattle graze in small areas for short periods of time). MSU researchers and Jess will explain his grazing system, movement of the cattle through the pastures, the water system to support cattle on pasture, his portable shade structure and fencing design. Jess will also share how using cattle in a grain and legume-cropping system is working to build soil nutrients while providing rotations to break up disease and weed cycles. For instance, Jess’s operation is in an area of Montana with significant Sawfly predation, though he experiences very little damage due to the rotation systems he has developed.

Weed management and building soil nutrients in organic systems can be challenging. On this tour participants will learn how Jess uses a mechanical tillage system and extensive crop rotations to control weeds and build soil nutrients, sustain and improve moisture-holding capacity by building organic matter and overall soil health for future crops.

Jess and the MSU researchers will share information on weed management that is working well and will share the results of the use of vinegar to control Bindweed, White-top and Canada Thistle.

The Alger Farm Tour is free and open to the public and lunch will be provided.

Directions to the Alger Ranch at 7617 Elevator Road, Stanford, MT 59479:
From the west end of Stanford, Montana, go east on 4th Ave North. After crossing the railroad tracks, take an immediate left (north) onto Elevator Road. Elevator Road parallels the railroad tracks. Travel 8 miles to the Alger Ranch entrance on the left (west) side of road. There will be signs to follow.

For more information and to register (to determine lunch count), call Jess Alger at 406-799-3528.

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MOA 2015 Farm Tour
Lassila farm, East of Great Falls, MT
June 26, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The second event of the season is a Farm Tour Extravaganza east of Great Falls, Montana, at the farm operated by Daryl and Linda Lassila. Scheduled speakers are Max Blodgett from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Ron de Yong, Director of Montana Dept. of Agriculture; David Oien, CEO of Timeless Seeds; and Ron Milo from Dave’s Killer Bread.

This tour will focus on innovative approaches to soil, nutrient and moisture management in an organic cropping system. Daryl has a Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract with NRCS that includes several enhancements that utilize cover crops to mine nitrogen that is deeper in the soil profile to break up the hard pan and utilize dual seeded crops. The Lassila farm organic cropping system includes the crops of winter wheat, barley, spring wheat, spelt, peas, lentils and green manure plowdown.

Come and participate in the discussion about crop rotations, nutrient and weed management practices that have been working while improving crop yields, moisture retention and reducing weed, disease and pest issues for the Lassila operation.

The event is free and open to the public and treats of ice cream and cookies will be served around 4:00 as the conversation continues.

Directions to the Lassila farm, Bickford Road
Great Falls, Montana:
Go east from Great Falls out 10th Ave. South for 3 miles. Turn left at the blinking light onto Highwood Road for 3 miles. Turn left at mile marker 3 onto Bickford Road at the group of mailboxes. Go on the gravel road for 3 more miles to the farm. Watch for signs.

For more information or to RSVP (not required, but helpful), call Daryl or Linda Lassila at 406-452-0565.

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Food Safety training focusing on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) guidelines webinars
200 Level Webinar – July  9, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m AND July 10, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (PDT)
Basic GAP On-Farm Food Safety Training and Regional Independent Verifier Certification
IOIA Trainers: Karen Troxell & Jonda Crosby
The course is a six-hour training and will include pre-course exercises and a post course exam for those pursuing certification as a food safety Regional Independent Verifier. The trainings are designed for farmers, sanitarians, cooperative extension agents, local food educators, farmers market managers, food safety auditors, organic inspectors, food retailers, restaurant owners, farm interns, farm to school and farm to college professionals and agricultural service providers. The course will specifically cover food safety issues including: farmer self-inspection preparation, traceability, ground history, adjacent land, fertilizer and crop nutrition, irrigation and water use, crop protection, field worker hygiene, and harvesting practices. Participants will gain skill in navigating the regulations and using standard assessment tools.

For more information about the training, please visit www.ioia.net/schedule_list.html or contact: Jonda Crosby at 406-227-9161, or email her at jcrosby@mt.net

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Food Safety training focusing on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) guidelines webinars
200 Level Webinar – September 25, 2015,  8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (PDT).
Basic GAP On-Farm Food Safety Training and Regional Independent Verifier Certification
IOIA Trainers: Karen Troxell & Jonda Crosby
The course is a six-hour training and will include pre-course exercises and a post course exam for those pursuing certification as a food safety Regional Independent Verifier. The trainings are designed for farmers, sanitarians, cooperative extension agents, local food educators, farmers market managers, food safety auditors, organic inspectors, food retailers, restaurant owners, farm interns, farm to school and farm to college professionals and agricultural service providers. The course will specifically cover food safety issues including: farmer self-inspection preparation, traceability, ground history, adjacent land, fertilizer and crop nutrition, irrigation and water use, crop protection, field worker hygiene, and harvesting practices. Participants will gain skill in navigating the regulations and using standard assessment tools.

For more information about the training, please visit www.ioia.net/schedule_list.html or contact: Jonda Crosby at 406-227-9161, or email her at jcrosby@mt.net

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Mark your calendars for MOA's 2015 Conference
Cultivating Soils. Opportunities, and Relationships
December 3-5, 2015
Bozeman, MT

Visit again soon for more information!

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8th Organic Seed Growers Conference
February 4 - 6, 2016, Corvallis, Oregon

For more information, visit
http://seedalliance.org/events/organic_seed_growers_conference


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