Virtual Organic University 2020

Montana Organic Association Organic University 2020


Organic University (Organic U) is offered to beginning farmers and those new-to-organic as a virtual workshop as part of the MOA Annual Conference and Business Meeting. It offers the chance to meet seasoned inspectors, producers, and other professionals to learn about how organic certification and production can work for you. The instructors have experience in diverse operations; from small scale direct-to-market to large scale grain, pulse, and livestock operations, as well as experience with alternative crops such as hemp and other oilseeds. Organic U will take place beginning at the end of November and into December.

As part of Organic U, Organic Inspector Margaret Scoles will help you develop your own Organic System Plan. Other presenters include Judy Owsowitz, Terrapin Farm; Jess Alger, Alger Ranch; Doug Crabtree, Vilicus Farms; Nate Powell-Palm, Organic Inspector and Cold Springs Ranch. The sessions are also appropriate for those with questions about their existing certified operation. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

11:00 AM — 12:30 PM:

The Story of Vilicus Farms
Doug Crabtree, Farmer and Founder, Vilicus Farms

4:00 — 5:30 PM:

Systems Thinking: Holistic Farming
Becky Weed, MOA Board Chair and Tim Seipel, Professor, MSU

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

9:00 AM — 10:30 PM:

11:00 AM — 12:30 PM:


4:00 PM  —  5:30 PM:

OATS Is On the Way to the Rocky Mountain West 
Mallory Krieger, OATS National Program Director and Nate Powell-Palm OATS Trainer

Introduction to the Organic System Plan 
Margaret Scoles, Executive Director, International Organic Inspectors Association

Organic Standards, Inspection, and Certification: Fitting It All Together
Georgana Webster, Montana Department of  Agriculture Organic Program and Nate Powell-Palm, National Organic Standards Board

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

9:00 AM — 10:30 AM:


11:00 AM — 12:30 PM:

4:00 PM  —  5:30 PM:

Crop Insurance for Organic Operations
Jeff Schahzcenski, Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist,  National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

Developing and Preparing Your Organic System Plan
Margaret Scoles, Nate Powell-Palm, Judy Owsowitz, Doug Crabtree

Accessing Federal Working Lands Programs
Jeff Schahzcenski, Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist,  National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

11:00 AM — 12:30 PM

Ranching Organic Discussion Session
Jess Alger, Rancher, MOA Board & Ty O’Connor, O’Connor Crops and Cattle

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