Organic Agriculture Research Symposium February 25-26th

We are busy working on all the details that go into making a conference a success. Below is the agenda for the Symposium. We hope you can join us!

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If you can’t join us in person, eOrganic is live streaming events in the Radisson Ballroom and will be posting the other events. To register, go to

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

The Radisson, La-Crosse, WI

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12:00-1:00pm Registration
1:00-1:30pm Welcome and introduction (Radisson Ballroom)Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin; Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust; Brian Baker, independent consultant
1:30-3:00pm Concurrent workshop session 1

  • Farming Systems: Seeing the Big Picture (Radisson Ballroom)
    • Stephane Bellon, French National Institute for Agricultural Research;Organics in 3D: diversity, dynamics and design of organic agriculture
    • Mathieu Ngouajio, USDA-National Institute for Food and Agriculture; Enhancing functional diversity in organic agriculture: The contribution of NIFA’s organic program
    • Aurelie Cardona, French National Institute for Agricultural Research; Collaboration between farmers, extension agents, wholesalers and consumers to design suitable sustainable and organic systems.
    • Michelle Miller, University of Wisconsin, moderator.
  • Organic Seeds: What is at Stake? (Minnesota)
    • Alexandra Lyon, University of Wisconsin; Seed Needs and Challenges: Interviews with Wisconsin Organic Vegetable Growers
    • Lisa Schlessinger; University of Illinois; Pollen Drift: Reframing the Biotechnology Liability Debate
    • Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance; State of Organic Seed: Results of a Survey
    • Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance, moderator, Certification Requirements and Quality Standards.
3:00-3:30pm Break and poster viewing (coffee, tea and refreshments provided)

Concurrent workshop session 2

• Organic Research: An International Perspective (Radisson Ballroom)

  • Brian Baker, independent consultant; A Comparison of European and North American organic agriculture research policies
  • Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University; Lessons from Italy: Policies and Provisions to Facilitate the Transition to Organic Farming
  • Marc Tchamitchian, French National Institute for Agricultural Research; Research and development integration to foster Organic Farming in France.
  • Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust, moderator.
  • Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 1: Back to the Future (Iowa)
  • Walter Goldstein, Mandaamin Institute; Breeding high nutritional value corn for organic farmers. 
  • Adrienne Shelton, University of Wisconsin; Collaborative Release of an Organic Open-Pollinated Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) Variety
  • Lisa Kissing Kucek, Cornell University; Participatory Breeding of Wheat, Spelt, Emmer, and Einkorn for Organic Farming.
  • Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin, moderator.
  • Biological Control: Working With Nature (Illinois)
  • David Lowenstein, University of Illinois at Chicago; Natural enemies and biological control of lepidopteran brassica pests in urban agriculture.
  • Alex Stone, Oregon State University; Contans as a tool for organic white mold management
  • Ken Johnson, Oregon State University; Biocontrol of fire blight: why a yeast represents a new paradigm is disease suppression
  • Eric Carr, Rodale Institute; Deploying microbes as a seed treatment for protection against soil-borne plant pathogens.
  • Alisha Bower, IPM Institute of North America, moderator.
5:00-6:00pm Reception, light meal and poster presentation in the lobby by the Radisson Ballroom
6:00-7:00pm Chuck Benbrook, Washington State University
The Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Evidence Based Results
Keynote in the Radisson Ballroom



Thursday, February 26, 2015

8:00-8:30am Registration and networking
8:30-10:00am Concurrent workshop session 3

  • Holistic Livestock Care and Feeding (Minnesota)
  • David Bane, DVM, Sydney, IL; Measurement of biomarkers in food animals to assess animal inflammation and wellness
  • Annie Donoghue, USDA-ARS, Fayetteville, Arkansas; Organic Poultry: Developing Natural Solutions for Reducing Pathogens and Improving Production
  • Jennifer MacAdam, Utah State; Enhanced forage intake and milk production on birdsfoot trefoil pastures in the western US
  • Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust, moderator.
  • Soil Health: Back to Basics (Radisson Ballroom)
  • Anna Cates, University of Wisconsin; Long-term Tillage, Rotation, and Perennialization Effects on Particulate and Aggregate Organic Matter
  • Robert J. Kremer, USDA-ARS, Columbia, Missouri; Soil Health Improvement in an Organic Orchard Production System in Northwest Missouri
  • Stuart Grandy, University of New Hampshire; Increased microbial efficiency and growth drive soil organic matter increases in organic cropping systems.
  • Alex Stone, Oregon State University, moderator.
  • Organic Markets: Quality and the Consumer Connection (Illinois)
  • Kathryn Boys, Virginia Tech; Export opportunities and import competition: Improving understanding of international markets for US organic farm and processed products.
  • Bradley Heins, University of Minnesota; Effect of Growth, Meat Quality, Profitability, and Consumer Acceptability of Organically Raised Dairy-Beef Steers.
  • Kitt Healy, University of Wisconsin; Variety trials for direct market quality and flavor.
  • Brian Baker, independent consultant, moderator.
10:00-10:30am Break and poster viewing (refreshments provided in Radisson Ballroom lobby)
10:30-noon Concurrent workshop session 4

  • Farming Systems: Putting it all Together (Radisson Ballroom)
  • Erin Hill, Michigan State University; Quantifying the impacts of cover crops on organic dry beans
  • Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin; Implementing cover crop-based reduced tillage in small scale organic vegetable production.
  • Rachel Weil, University of Wisconsin; Comparison of Labor Needs for Field Production, Harvest, and Packing on Organic Diversified Vegetable Farms in the Upper Midwest.
  • Diana Jerkins, Organic Farming Research Foundation, moderator.
  • Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 2: Creative Partnerships and Emerging Varieties (Iowa)
  • Ruth Genger, University of Wisconsin; Building a healthy organic seed system for potatoes through farmer-researcher partnerships.
  • Sara Turner, Texas A&M University; Evaluation of carrot (Daucus carota, L.) for traits related to early seedling establishment and canopy growth at different planting densities in organic systems
  • Phillip Simon, University of Wisconsin; The CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project: Location and Genetic Background Influence Carrot Field Performance and Flavor
  • Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin, moderator.
  • Economics of Organic: The Bottom Line (Minnesota)
  • Timothy Delbridge, University of Minnesota; The Barriers to Organic Transition: Impacts and Policy Solutions
  • Tom Kriegl, University of Wisconsin; Comparing Feed Costs of Different Dairy Systems (Mainly Wisconsin) From 1995 to 2010
  • Carolyn Dimitri, New York University; The Organic-Conventional Yield Gap.
  • Brian Baker, independent consultant, moderator.
12:00-1:00pm Lunch – Radisson Ballroom
1:00-3:00pm Listening session 1: Identifying Research Needs and Gaps (Radisson Ballroom)Facilitators: Brian Baker, independent consultant; Jessica Shade, The Organic Center; Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust; and Diana Jerkins, Organic Farming Research Center.
3:00-3:30pm Break (refreshments provided)
3:30-5:00pm Listening session 2: Strategic Planning and Bridge to MOSES Organic Farming Conference (Radisson Ballroom). Facilitators: Brian Baker, independent consultant; Jessica Shade, The Organic Center; Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust; and Diana Jerkins, Organic Farming Research Center.


Friday, February 27, 2015

6:00-8:00pm Listening session 3: Presentation from OARS Planners and Further Input (LaCrosse Center Room C). Facilitators: Brian Baker, independent consultant; Jessica Shade, The Organic Center; Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Jim Riddle, Ceres Trust; and Diana Jerkins, Organic Farming Research Center.



Posters in the lobby of the Radisson Ballroom:

  • Tessa Peters, UW; New methods for participatory development of sugary enhanced sweet corn varieties.
  • Tom Kriegl, UW; The Financial Performance Of Dairy Systems Across the U.S.A.
  • Abbe Hamilton, Penn State; How organic farmers maximize the ecosystem service provisioning potential of cover crops in the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Keefe Keeley, UW; Woodland grazing management and hardwood silvopasture in the upper Midwest.
  • Virginia Moore, UW; Cover Crop Adoption on Organic Vegetable Farms in Wisconsin.
  • Jessica Davis, Colorado State; Evaluation of an On-Farm Bio-Fertilizer Production System Using Cyanobacteria.
  • Timothy Delbridge, University of MN; An Analysis of Crop Insurance Alternatives for Organic Crop Producing Farms.
  • Andy Petran, University of MN, Extending the Season for Organic Strawberry Production in the Midwest