Organic Grower Summit (OGS) Presented by Western Growers and OPN has announced a pair of educational sessions devoted to improving soil health and innovative inputs for organic growers as part of the upcoming two-day event in Monterey, CA, on December 1-2.
The first educational session, “Building Resilience Through Organic Farming Systems,” will be an intensive workshop on soil health practices and strategies employed in organic production systems that can build resilience to climate shock.
The second session, “Innovative and Compatible Ag Inputs for Today’s Organic Grower,” will examine how organic growers can best utilize approved bio inputs in the most efficient and effective manner for their crops and bottom line.
The first session, hosted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and moderated by Brise Tencer, executive director of OFRF, and Haley Baron, partnership and development manager at OFRF, will be a two-hour intensive focusing on ways growers can develop programs and effective soil health practices to combat climate change.
Building Resilience moderators Brise Tencer and Haley Baron, OFRF
Panelists for the session include Joji Muramoto, assistant cooperative extension organic production specialist at University of California-Santa Cruz; Eric Brennan, research horticulturist and lead scientist at USDA Agricultural Research Service; and Tom Willey, policy advisor to the Cornucopia Institute.
Building Resilience panelists Joji Muramoto, Eric Brennan, and Tom Willey
“Climate change has become one of the most pressing issues in the agricultural industry. Rising global temperatures have already intensified droughts, heat waves, and storms, making crop production more difficult. Intense rainstorms have accelerated soil erosion which contributes to nutrient runoff and losses, and higher temperatures contribute to rapid oxidation of soil organic matter,” said Tencer. “This intensive will focus on the importance of building soil organic matter (SOM) for long-term resilience and address the breadth of benefits that cover crop implementation and diversification has to offer.”
“Climate change has become one of the most pressing issues in the agricultural industry. Rising global temperatures have already intensified droughts, heat waves, and storms, making crop production more difficult.” - Brise Tencer
The second educational session, “Innovative and Compatible Ag Inputs for Today’s Organic Grower,” will explore the various inputs available for the production of organic crops and how these bio products can impact costs. Moderated by Neal Gutterson, President of Radicle Growth, the session will include panelists from organizations directly involved in the approval, distribution, and application of biological inputs for organic growers: Pam Marrone, founder of Marrone Bio; Doug Currier, technical director of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and Tim Stemwedel, founder of California Organic Fertilizer.
Ag Inputs panelists (clockwise) Neal Gutterson, Pam Marrone, Doug Currier, and Tim Stemwedel
Topics of the Ag Inputs session will include the role of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in determining what the USDA allows or eliminates from the organic grower’s toolbox; how growers can be stakeholders in the process of bio input selection; new OMRI-approved products and how farmers can best utilize these inputs; the environmental impact of various inputs; and current input trends for specialty crops.
“While farming is a biological process, the organic grower is faced with the question of when does biology become chemistry in the development of organic materials? Further, how best can a grower choose what items should be a part of the toolbox—and what are the impacts of those selections?” said Tonya Antle, co-founder of the Organic Grower Summit and executive vice president of OPN. “The panel for this session is ideally suited to explain both the challenges and opportunities organic growers face in the selection of inputs that benefit both their crops and their bottom lines.”
“While farming is a biological process, the organic grower is faced with the question of when does biology become chemistry in the development of organic materials? Further, how best can a grower choose what items should be a part of the toolbox—and what are the impacts of those selections?” - Tonya Antle
The fourth annual OGS is designed to provide information vital to organic growers and producers as well as an overview of the opportunities and challenges in the production of organic fresh food. The newly announced sessions are part of an extensive educational program designed to inform and engage organic producers, their service providers, and supply chain partners.
OGS exhibition and general registration is currently open. There are only a couple of booths available before the OGS trade show floor sells out, and exhibitors include soil amendment, ag technology, food safety, packaging, and equipment manufacturers who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.
OGS 2021 will be held December 1-2 at the Monterey Hyatt Conference Center in Monterey, CA. More details on the educational program, including session topics and speakers, will be released in the coming weeks. For more information on the fourth annual Organic Grower Summit, please visit www.organicgrowersummit.com.