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The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will hold its spring meeting at the Tucson University Park Hotel in Tucson, Arizona, April 25- 27, 2018. Detailed information pertaining to the webinars and in-person meeting will be posted on the NOSB web page as it becomes available. NOSB will receive public comments via webinars on April 17 and 19 from 1-4 p.m. Eastern. The deadline to submit written comments and/or sign up for oral comment at either the webinar or face-to-face meeting is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 4.


Check out MOA's GMO Page

Read commentary from MOA members and learn the latest about GMOs by visiting MOA's GMO page here. Explore the links and resources on the GMO page to learn more about GMOs and the latest efforts to eradicate them. You can also join in the conversation by sending in your comments and links. Bookmark this new GMO page and visit often for updates.



photo of tractor run up onto a bin

MOA Member Benefit and Ag Safety Webpage
Montana Organic Association is now a member of the Montana’s Ag Safety Program.  MOA members (farmers & ranchers) may be eligible for Ag Group return premiums if overall accidents are reduced, as well as any general dividends issued by State Fund.  Find out how to make your workplace safe by visiting our Ag Safety webpage here.


Check out our Facebook page
here.


MOA Online Directory Webpage
Check out our online organic business Directory. Get your farm, business or organization listed in the Directory by becoming a member here.


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NEWS HGHILIGHTS

Read the organic industry's letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue,
regarding the delay in implementing the Animal Welfare standard. January 17, 2018.

A MOA-member farm and another Bitterroot farm are featured in a new resource manual for the growing field of “agritourism.” Read Agritourism is coming of age in Montana, by Eve Byron, Ravali Republic, December 22, 2017.

5 Ways to Improve Crop Insurance for Climate-Friendly Farms,
by Lara Bryant, NRDC, December 18, 2017.

Most American Farmers Will Be Hurt by the GOP Tax Bill,
by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, December 15, 2017.

Should ‘USDA Organic’ animals be treated more humanely? The Trump administration just said no,
by Peter Whoriskey, The Washington Post, December 15, 2017.

Compliance & Enforcement/Appeals Summary Report, Fiscal Year 2017,
USDA NOP, posted December 4, 2017.

Will Inclusion of Hydroponics Be the Death Knell of Organic Standards?,
by Dr. Mercola, Mercola.com, November 14, 2017.

MOA is one of 25 U.S. Farmer Organizations #Still-In on the Paris Agreement,
by FoodTank.com, November 13, 2017.

Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices - (Another) Delay of Effective Date, by USDA NOP, November 9, 2017.

Tester: Montanans Have a Right to Know What’s in Their Food,
tester.senate.gov, November 7, 2017.

Key Outcomes from Jacksonville NOSB Meeting,
by National Organic Coalition, November 7, 2017.

It’s the end of “organic” as we know it,
by Joe Fassier and Kate Cox, NewFoodEconomy.org, November 2, 2017.

Montana organic lentil pioneer David Oien to be honored as Outstanding Agricultural Leader,
by Jenny Lavey, MSU News Service, October 25, 2017.

Read about MOA Board member Nate Brown's ranch, Amaltheia Organic Dairy,
as profiled by Yellowstone National Park Lodges. Posted October 12, 2017.

NCAT survey seeks grower feedback on crop insurance
. Help create a more level crop insurance playing field by taking a 20-minute survey at www.ncat.org/cropinsurance.

2016 Sales of U.S. Certified Organic Agricultural Production Up 23 Percent from Previous Year,
USDA NASS Survey Results, by USDA, posted September 21, 2017.

Will Coming "Reforms" at the USDA Spell the End of Organic?,
by Alan Lewis, LinkedIn, July 3, 2017.

Industry Watchdog Calls for Independent Investigation of USDA’s National Organic Program
, by Cornucopia Institute, December 11, 2016.

5 States That Grow the Most Organic Food Per Acre,
by Ken Roseboro, EcoWatch.com, November 7, 2016.

Breaking: Organic standards under assault,
by Dave Murphy, Food Democracy Now, October 25, 2016.

MOA has been chosen to be listed in the 2016 Good Food Org Guide,
a definitive resource that highlights the exemplary work non-profit organizations in the United States are doing on food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. Posted October 31, 2016.

How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet,
by Thom Hartmann, AlterNet.org, August 5, 2016

USDA confirms unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state,
by Karl Plume, Reuters, July 29, 2016. (Image from KAMUT®)

MOA Opposes DARK Act / GMO labeling bill: Letter to MT Rep. Zinke and President Obama, July 12, 2016.

40 years of science: Organic ag key to feeding the world,
by Sylvia Kantor, Washington State University news, February 3, 2016.

MSU organic farming study finds diverse benefits using sheep,
by Jenny Lavey, MSU News Service, posted May 20, 2015.

New Experimental GE Wheat Contamination in Montana Puts Wheat Farmers at Risk,
Center for Food Safety, September 26, 2014.

USDA says unapproved GMO wheat found in Montana,
by Mary Clare Jalonick and Jo Dee Black, Associated Press and Great Falls Tribune, September 26, 2014.

MOA's statement regarding escaped GMO wheat in Oregon,
June 12, 2013.

Get involved!
Get the contact list for your Montana Representatives here.

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NEW RESOURCES

ATTRA has a new publication for you to help develop sustainable and profitable fruit tree, bush, or vine production. "Soils and Sites for Organic Orchards and Vineyards"
contains useful information about site selection and soil preparation for organic fruit plantings. Posted January 29, 2018.

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018. While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period. Contact your local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans 
was published by National Young Farmers Coalition and written for farmers and ranchers who want to access low interest federal credit options that are aimed at family farmers. Posted January 18, 2018.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS ) plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program,
funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018. 

The recent ATTRA publication, "Building Healthy Pasture Soils
,"
introduces properties of soil, discusses evaluation and monitoring of soil quality, and introduces grazing management principles and techniques that promote healthy soil.

Rodale Institute and Delaware Valley University have been awarded a $498,706, three-year Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant in support of their joint Organic Farming Program.
The one-year program includes two semesters at the University and one semester at Rodale Institute. Students graduate with the knowledge and experience necessary to start or work on a small-scale organic farm. Posted January 4, 2018.

The Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) is accepting applications for mini-grants and demonstration projects.
The mini-grants will provide funding for educational events throughout the year and support partners and organizations with an interest in the conservation, education, and awareness of grazing lands and natural resources in Montana. Limit mini-grant funding requests to a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $1,000. There is no application deadline. Submissions will be considered year-round by the Montana GLCI steering committee.

NRCS in Montana has EQIP funding available to producers and landowners for several special initiatives.
These include High Tunnel Systems, Honey Bee Pollinators, the National On-Farm Energy Initiative, the National Organic Initiative, The Sage Grouse Initiative, and Wildfire Recovery. The application deadline is January 19, 2018.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering additional funding through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
to target specific resource concerns in Montana in 2018:  on-farm energy, honey bee pollinators, organic, high tunnel systems, Sage Grouse Initiative invasive conifer removal, Sage Grouse Initiative cropland seeding, and wildfire recovery. NRCS has set a deadline of Jan. 19, 2018, to apply for 2018 initiatives funding.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS ) plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program,
funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.

The National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs and the Council of Development Finance Agencies have released the 2017 National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs Directory.
The directory outlines 83 individual programs that assist beginning and first-time farmers, existing family farm operations, and agribusiness firms. The 177-page directory is free online in PDF. Posted December 27, 2017.

In Case of Drift: A Toolkit for Responding to Pesticide Drift,
by Pesticide Action Network North America, posted December 4, 2017.

Sheep and Goats: Frequently Asked Questions,
free digital publication from NCAT ATTRA, posted December 18, 2017.

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for $17.7 million through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which supports the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical-assistance programs. Applications are due February 8, 2018.

Whiteflies are tiny, white insects that cause crop losses on a global scale. This tipsheet,
"Whiteflies - Botanical Control Formulations," offers advice and direction on eliminating these pests through botanical pesticides. From NCAT, posted November 27, 2017.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) focuses on restoring and protecting wetlands as well as conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands.
Applications due March 1, 2018.

ATTRA Grazing Planning Manual and Workbook (free digital publication) available here.
Posted November 22, 2017.

Western SARE Graduate Student Grants
provide a maximum of $25,000 and may last for up to two years. Masters or Ph.D. students enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region are eligible to apply. Grant proposals are due January 12, 2018. More here.

A Crop Budgeting Tool from the Organic Trade Association
is available to help farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana plan future organic crop production and understand the economic impacts of their agronomic practices. Learn more about the project and download the worksheets.

NCAT's free, updated publication, "Small-Scale Poultry Processing,"
explains the poultry slaughter process step by step and some of the factors that affect final carcass quality. This guide also covers equipment needs, waste product management, and packaging needed to get poultry meat to market.

Finding Farmland is a calculator, from Young Farmers, to compare finance options on a single property or between two properties.
Explore the case study to see how one farmer navigated the path to secure land access.

NCAT's free publication, "Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production,"
provides an overview of maple sugaring, including business planning, financial considerations, marketing, equipment and supplies, value-added products, organic certification, regulations, and quality control. Posted October 27, 2017.

Agricultural producers in Big Horn, Carbon, and Yellowstone counties have until January 19, 2018, to apply for financial assistance for conservation practices funded through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
More info at http://tinyurl.com/ycycu8d3

Local Food Marketing Practices Survey results were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Visit www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Local_Food/index.php or the Quick Stats database at https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov.

Deep Winter Greenhouse Construction Documents Available Online,
from the University of Minnesota. Posted July 13, 2017.

White Paper: Increasing Agricultural Sustainability Through Organic Farming,
by the Organic Center, Posted June 16, 2017.

Crop Planning Resources from NCAT and AATRA here.
Accompanying video can be found here. Posted January 31, 2017.

The National Organic Coalition released a white paper titled, "Expanding Organic Production in the US: Challenges and Policy Recommendations,"
which can be read here. Posted January 3, 2017.

“How to Grow Your Organic Food Business” presentation from the Montana Organic Association Conference in Kalispell, December 2016,
courtesy of MTDA's Angie Nelson and Headwaters RC&D's Joe Willauer. Posted December 23, 2016.


Organic Farming Research Foundation's 2016 National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) report
provides comprehensive recommendations for future investment in organic agricultural research. Read the report here.

Organic Seed Alliance's Montana Organic Seed Assessment: Vegetables, 2016
is available for free download here.

ATTRA Webinar: “Crop Planning for Vegetable Farmers”
was recorded and archived on NCAT’s ATTRA program website at, where it’s available to view free of charge. If you have questions concerning the webinar or any other sustainable-agriculture issues, you can use the email “Ask an Ag Expert” feature on the website or call the ATTRA “hotline” at 800-346-9140. Both are free of charge.

Organic Seed Alliance released a report that details the organic seed needs of vegetable growers in Montana.
The findings can be found here. Posted December 16, 2016.

Community Food & Agriculture Coalition launched a statewide specialty crop mini-grant, a regional 0% interest loan, and a free technical assistance program for those considering Farm Service Agency financing, posted November 18, 2016. More here.

Reports Describe Plant Breeding Priorities for Organic,
OSA and Cornell University have each released a report that details plant breeding priorities for organic agriculture in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast. October 7, 2016.

A new ATTRA tipsheet, “Grasshoppers – Botanical Control Formulations”
summarizes the most effective ways to use some of those botanicals, including neem, garlic, mint, and eucalyptus. It also contains references for further study. Download this free publication here.

The Organic Seed Alliance has published "State of Organic Seed, 2016.
To download the report, visit http://stateoforganicseed.org/. Posted July 6, 2016.

FarmAnswers.org is a Clearinghouse to Help You Start and Advance Your Agricultural Business. Find out more here.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Livestock, Poultry, and Grain (LPG) Market News recently published the National Organic Grain and Feedstuffs report. Published bi-weekly, this report provides organic price information at the farm gate and on a delivered elevator basis. The report also highlights the market's spot trade and forward contract activity.

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects:
16 page bulletin to help you use cover crops to encourage pollinators and beneficial insects, by SARE.org, posted December 2, 2015.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program
can be viewed here. Posted May 22, 2015.

Organic Labeling at Farmers' Markets,
Guidelines by the National Organic Program. Posted May 22, 2014.

The Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification
is meant for vegetable farmers who embrace the philosophy of organic agriculture, but aren’t yet certified. Free download of publication from the National Young Farmers Coalition. Posted March 17, 2014. 

The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing,
Drake Agricultural Law Center, posted November 20, 2013.

ATTRA creates Farmer Knows Best forum,
posted November 19, 2013.

Organic Control of Perennial Weeds with Vinegar and Biologicals,
SARE research report, coordinated by Jess Alger, posted April 22, 2013.

The National Organic Program Handbook
provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. Posted March 1, 2013.

Farm Journal's Legacy Project graciously offers a free online Farm Succession Workbook
here. Posted January 28, 2013.

DriftWatch
is an online tool to help protect pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats from the drift that sometimes occurs during spray operations. Visit www.driftwatch.org. Posted January 28, 2013.

Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) has released a comprehensive and much-anticipated publication, the Farmers’ Guide to Organic Contracts,
written to help farmers make informed decisions at every stage of the contract relationship (available for free download at www.flaginc.org).

Read the Organic Growers Association's stewardship article, Compost Matters
, here.

OSA Publishes Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit,
by Cathleen McCluskey, posted June 9, 2012.

Organic Seed Alliance has created new multi-media seed production tutorials
for beets
and chard, brassicas, carrots, lettuce, onions, and wet seeded crops, along with tutorials
on seed climatic considerations, seed disease and seed quality. To access the tutorials, visit http://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=377. Posted July 2, 2011.

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MULTIMEDIA

Farm-Based Approaches to Food Safety
is a video series that has answers to your GAP audit questions, by National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCA)T, posted November 22, 2017.
Video: Keeping the Soil in Organic
- The integrity of the USDA organic seal is at risk if hydroponic and contained animal feedlot operations are allowed to be certified as organic. Posted October 27, 2017.
Video: Organic starts with a seed!,
by The Organic Center, posted September 28, 2017.
Video: Organic Soil-based Farming Benefits All Life,
by Cornucopia Institute, March 28, 2017.
Webinar: Connecting with Institutional Markets: Strategies and Programs for Producers.
Video covers developing partnerships, direct marketing, wholesaling, forward contracting, utilizing MOUs and food safety.
Farm to Healthcare
is a video focused on the relationships between Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the Western Montana Grower’s Cooperative, Harlequin Produce, and the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center. Posted February 23, 2017.
Meet Four Young Farmers Who Are Rising to the Challenge of Water Scarcity in the Western U.S.,
by Chelsey Simpson, Alternet.org, December 7, 2016.
Vienna’s Veggie Orchestra Literally Plays with Food,
CNN, September 23, 2016.
The Organic Effect: What Happens When You Switch to Organic Food,
Coop via RobynOBrien.com, September 15, 2016.
“The Organic Life” Chronicles a Year in the Life of One Organic Farmer,
by Dr. Mercola, mercola.com, July 11, 2015.
Organic Producer Video Profiles in Soil Health
, USDA, posted May 12, 2015.
MSU organic farming study finds diverse benefits‬ video,
YouTube.com, posted May 12, 2015.
PBS video of MOA Board Members
Andrew Long, Seth Swanson, and Casey Bailey working with the NRCS.
New Video: Say Goodbye to Old MacDonald and Choose a Better Future!
by OnlyOrganic.org, posted March 6, 2015.
2014 Farm Tour at Terrapin Farm video,
by USDA RMA and NCA
2014 Cover Crop Tour video collection, by NCAT/ATTRA, posted September 29, 2014.
Dr. Don Huber: GMOs and Glyphosate and Their Threat to Humanity (Podcast),
by Carol Grieve', FoodIntegrityNow.org, April 8, 2014.
Organic Matters: Vermont Organic Growers on Food and Farming,
by Helen Whybrow and Michael Sacca, posted February 27, 2014.
U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers Safety Videos,
posted November 1, 2013.
Humus - the essential ingredient: Graeme Sait at TEDxNoosa
Video: 11 year-old takes down Monsanto in TED Talk,
by Anthony Gucciardi, NaturalSociety.com, May 29, 2013.
What's So Special About Organic Seed?,
by Gail Nickel-Kailing, Good Food World, February 21, 2013.
Food Mythbusters' Movies: The real story about what we eat. Posted February 27, 2013.
Non-GMOs after Prop 37 with Jeffrey Smith, via GaiamTV.com, November 23, 2012.
Eight videos from Institute for Responsible Technology newsletter,
Nov. 1, 2012.
View groundbreaking documentary, Genetic Roulette, for free until Nov. 6,
Institute for Responsible Technology, September 15, 2012.
Watch the trailer to Jeffrey M. Smith’s groundbreaking new feature length documentary,
Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives, narrated by Lisa Oz. Institute for Responsible Technology, August 8, 2012.
Four food documentaries everybody should watch,
by John McKiernan, NaturalNews.com, May 16, 2012.
Food Matters, You Are What You Eat.
Watch the first 40 minutes free.
The Video Collection from NutritionFacts.org
offers hundreds of videos with the latest in nutrition research.
GMOs failing across America - Farmer to Farmer film reveals disastrous failure
by PF Louis, posted Sept 19, 2011. The mainstream media reports almost nothing about the downside of GMO farming. Only the propaganda of creating more agricultural abundance cheaply is broadcasted. A short video documentary "Farmer to Farmer: The Truth about GM Crops" offers a glimpse into the undisclosed downside reality of GMO farming.
The best new online videos you'll want to check out: Define Better, FLOW, Awakening and more, NaturalNews.com, posted Sept 19, 2011.
OCA's Thalia Kazakos offers another great video on how and why anti-GMO activists should organize local activists and dump GMO-tainted products in front of natural food stores, posted May 26, 2011.
Nourishing the Planet TV: Empowering Women to Feed Communities, posted February 9, 2011.
Herb Sand's Organic Farm Video, posted January 27, 2011.
Eleven-year-old Describes Broken Food System in Five Minutes, CommonDreams.org, Posted September 29, 2010.

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farmer's market veggie bounty photoAnother Bountiful Growing Season is Gearing Up
But MOA is still busy with event planning, publication production and web development. Please bookmark this site and visit again soon for updated information.

We look forward to serving you and welcome any comments, suggestions or ideas on how to make MOA a more effective organization for you.







©2018 Montana Organic Association