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2016 Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and Appropriate Technology Course
This is a PRI Certified Permaculture Design Course (May 30th - June 11th) immediately followed by an Appropriate Technology Course (June 13th - June 25th), near Missoula, MT

Both events will be taught by PRI certified instructor Howard Story and the former land manager of PRI HQ Tim Barker. Other instructors include Paul Wheaton, Erica Wisner, Byron Joel and Dave Hunter. For more info, visit

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Webinar on Weed Management in Organic Cropping Systems
June 7, 2016 from 3:00 - 4:00 (EST)

The webinar will discuss the primary weed control strategies for organic systems: the role of prevention, cultural and mechanical control, crop rotation, crop competition, and cultivation. Experts from Penn State will also introduce the Organic Crop Production guide that includes weed management as well as many other organic topics and case studies of successful organic crop farmers. Pre-registration is not required for this webinar session. Learn more here.

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MOA 2016 Farm Tour
South Phillips County Farm Tours
June 21, 2016, 10:00 am

Near Malta, MT

The South Phillips County Organic Farm Tour will take place on June 21, 2016. The four farms that make up this tour are contiguous and representative of organic farming in Phillips County. 

Glenn Meisdalen (Sweetgrass Cattle and Grains) has been in the process of transitioning to organic for about four years. He is very much in the learning stage about what does and does not work. Glenn will grow a variety of crops this year, including: spring and winter wheat, Kamut®, Emmer, purple prairie barley, lentils, garbanzo and alfalfa hay. He also plans on using cover crops for soil building as well as fall/winter grazing for his cattle herd. Glenn is also going to start growing organic crops on some of his irrigated acres this year.

John Meisdalen is a third generation farmer and is located 15 miles south of Malta, Montana. The Meisdalen Farm has been in existence since 1910 and they have farmed organically since 2007. They are currently raising organic wheat, Emmer, Spelt, Einkorn, Kamut®, and garbanzo beans. They also plant cover crops on all of their acres, generally using sweet clover or peas.

Glen and Terri Sims have been organic producers since 2009. Their farm focuses on spring wheat production, but also incorporates companion crops, pulse crops and cover crops. Recent changes to their farming practices include a movement towards minimum tillage and a 1,000 cubic yard composting operation.

Clifford and Anna Merriman (4M Farms) started growing organic when they purchased an organic grain farm in 2012. This farm was originally transitioned to organic in the late 1990s. They grow a variety of crops consisting of Kamut®, spring wheat, winter wheat, flax, millet, lentils, purple prairie barley and garbanzo beans. They use cover crops, companion crops, smother crops and green manure to improve yields, weed control and soil health.

Tour participants will meet at 4M Farms at 10:00 am to register and the tour will begin at 10:30 am. Lunch will be provided and a benefit dinner will take place after the tour. There will be horse-drawn hayrides after the tour and before dinner. There is no charge for the tour. If you have any questions, contact Cliff Merriman at (406) 654-4391.

The tour will start at 4M Farm’s red and white Quonset hut, 15 miles south of Malta on Content Road. There will be signs along the way.

Read the MOA farm tours article in the Prairie Star here.

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MOA 2016 Farm Tour
Quinn Farm & Ranch with The Oil Barn
July 9, 2016, 9:30 am

Big Sandy, Montana

The second MOA Farm Tour of the season will be at the Quinn Farm & Ranch and The Oil Barn on July 9, 2016, at 9:30 am. Quinn Farm & Ranch is 100% Certified Organic and grows Kamut® khorasan wheat, winter wheat, peas, barley, safflower, clover, alfalfa, and experimental plots of dry land produce, including squash, potatoes, sweet corn, and mountain painted corn. There is also an experimental orchard with many varieties of apples, plums and berry bushes.  

The Oil Barn is an on-farm oilseed processing facility that specializes in organic high-oleic safflower oil for culinary and cosmetic purposes. The Oil Barn recovers used cooking oil from its customers, processes it, and uses it to fuel farm equipment.

Tours during the event will include: the organic orchard, dry land vegetable plots, rotation and experimental plots, ancient and modern wheat plots, and The Oil Barn’s production facility and waste oil processing equipment. We’ll also facilitate discussions of marketing organic grain, principles of organic agriculture, and transitioning to organic production. There will also be bread and pizza making demonstrations.

Lunch and supper will be provided, as well as free Kracklin’ Kamut snacks. The tour will last until about 5:00 pm, but be sure to stick around because a talent show and barn dance follows. There is no charge for participating in the Quinn Farm Tour. If you have any questions, call 406-378-3105.

The tour will be at the Quinn Farm & Ranch at 333 Kamut Lane, Big Sandy, MT  59520.

Directions from Big Sandy: Turn southeast on Hwy 236 (also called Judith Landing Rd.). Head 12 miles down Hwy 236. At 12 miles make a hard right onto Kamut Ln. Take Kamut Ln about 1/3 mile and turn left up the paved driveway.

Directions from Winifred: Take Hwy 236 from Winifred 53 miles (about 50 miles is gravel and you will cross the PN Bridge). About 3 miles after the paved road begins you’ll see a group of mailboxes and you’ll take a gradual left onto Kamut Ln. Take Kamut Ln about 1/3 mile and turn left up the paved drive.

Read the MOA farm tours article in the Prairie Star here.

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Montana Practical Permaculture Design Course
July 15-27, 2016 at Rathvinden Farm, Bozeman

Students will receive the 72-hour core permaculture curriculum, and will come away with skills to be practitioners in the areas of Edible Forest Gardening, Regenerative Agriculture, Community Development, Rural or Urban Homestead/Farm-scale Enterprise Planning, and Digital Mapping and Design Methods. For more info or to register:

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Learn How to Breed Crops in Montana
September 13 – 14, 2016

Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, and on five participating farms in Western Montana’s Mission Valley
Join the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) for a two-day classroom and field-based course on plant breeding. Nationally renowned organic plant breeders from the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, Oregon State University, and Organic Seed Alliance will lead this course at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, and on five participating farms in Western Montana’s Mission Valley: Fresh Roots Farm, Polson; Good Egg Farm, Moiese; Foothill Farm, St. Ignatius; Wild Plum Farm, Dixon; and Deluge Farm, Camas Prairie. Registration is required and will open in July. Contact OSA’s Kiki Hubbard with questions. Get more info here.

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Montana Farm to School Summit: Sprouting Success
September 22-23, 2016, Montana State University in Bozeman  
Learn and share how Montana schools and programs are sprouting success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, and nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inspiration and skill building. The conference features Chef Ann Cooper, a nationally renowned advocate for improving school meals as well as, Montana farm to school champions who will share their stories and experiences.  
Register online at: 
For more information contact: Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School Coordinator at or (406) 994-5996.

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Governor's Food and Agriculture Summit
October 28-29, 2016
Bozeman, MT

More details coming at

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Save the Date for MOA's 14th Annual Conference
MOA's Conference Committe has announced that MOA's 2016 Conference will be held December 1-3, 2016, at Flathead Valley Community College. Mark your calendars and check back soon for details as they develop.

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©2016 Montana Organic Association