Organic Agriculture Research Symposium: Selected Live Broadcasts and Recordings

The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium took place on February 25 and 26, 2015. Links to selected recordings from the conference are available at and as a playlist on the eOrganic YouTube channel.

The event highlights research on organic farming systems, seeds and crop varieties suitable for organic production, holistic livestock care and feeding, soil health, organic markets and more.

To find out more about this conference and view more recordings and proceedings, visit

Session 1.1 Farming Systems: Seeing the Big Picture

Moderator / Session Coordinator: Michelle Miller, University of Wisconsin

  • Mathieu Ngouajio, USDA NIFA: Enhancing functional diversity in organic agriculture: The contribution of NIFA’s organic programs. Recording unavailable.
  • Stéphane Bellon, French National Institute for Agricultural Research: Organics in 3D: diversity, dynamics and design of organic agriculture Watch
  • Aurélie Cardona, French National Institute for Agricultural Research: Collaboration between farmers, extension agents, wholesalers and consumers to design suitable sustainable and organic systems. Watch

Session 1.2 Organic Seeds: What is at Stake?

Moderator/Session Coordinator: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance

  • Alexandra Lyon, University of Wisconsin: Workhorse Varieties for Organic Farms: Perspectives from Wisconsin Organic Vegetable Growers. Watch
  • Lisa Schlessinger, University of Illinois: Pollen Drift: Reframing the Biotechnology Liability Debate. Watch
  • Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance: State of Organic Seed: Results of a Survey. Watch

Session 2.1 Organic Research: An International Perspective

Moderator/Session Coordinator: Jim Riddle

  • Marc Tchamitchian, French National Institute for Agricultural Research: Research and development integration to foster Organic Farming in France Watch
  • Brian Baker, Independent Consultant: A Comparison of European and North American organic agriculture research policies Watch
  • Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University: Lessons from Italy: Policies and Provisions to Facilitate the Transition to Organic Farming. Recording unavailable.

Session 2.2 Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 1 : Back to the Future

  • Walter Goldstein, Mandaamin Institute: Breeding HIgh Nutritional Value Corn for Organic Farmers. Watch
  • Adrienne Shelton, University of Wisconsin: Collaborative Release of an Organic Open-Pollinated Sweet Corn Variety. Watch
  • Lisa Kissing Kucek, Cornell University: Participatory Breeding of Wheat, Spelt, Emmer and Einkorn for Organic Farming. Watch

Session 2.3 Biological Control: Working with Nature

  • David Lowenstein, University of Illinois at Chicago: Natural Enemies and Biological Control of Lepidopteran Brassica Pests in Urban Agriculture. Watch
  • Ken Johnson, Oregon State University. Biocontrol of Fire Blight: Why a Yeast Represents a New Paradigm in Disease Suppression. Watch
  • Eric Carr, Rodale Institute: Deploying Microbes as a Seed Treatement for Protection Against Soil-Borne Pathogens. Watch

Keynote: Charles Benbrook—The Benefits of Organic Agriculture Watch

Session 3.1 Livestock Care and Feeding

Session 3.2 Soil Health: Back to Basics


  • Anna Cates: Long-term Tillage, Rotation, and Perennialization Effects on Particulate and Aggregate Organic Matter Watch
  • Robert J. Kremer: Soil Health Improvement in an Organic Orchard Production System in Northwest Missouri Watch
  • Stuart Grandy: Increased microbial efficiency and growth drive soil organic matter increases in organic cropping systems Watch

Session 3.3 Organic Markets: Quality and the Consumer Connection

Moderator/Session Coordinator: Brian Baker, Independent Consultant

  • Kathryn Boys, Virginia Tech: Export Opportunities and Import Competition: Improving Understanding of International Markets for US Organic Farm and Processed Products. Watch
  • Bradley Heins, University of Minnesota: Effect of Growth, Meat Quality, Profitability and Consumer Acceptability of Organically Raised Dairy-Beef Steers. Watch
  • Kitt Healy, University of Wisconsin: Variety Trials for Direct Market Quality and Flavor. Watch

Session 4.1 Farming Systems: Putting it All Together

Moderator/Session Coordinator: Diana Jerkins, Organic Farming Research Foundation

  • Erin Hill, Michigan State University; Quantifying the impacts of cover crops on organic dry beans Watch
  • Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin; Implementing cover crop-based reduced tillage in small scale organic vegetable production. Watch
  • Rachel Weil, University of Wisconsin; Comparison of Labor Needs for Field Production, Harvest, and Packing on Organic Diversified Vegetable Farms in the Upper Midwest. Watch

Session 4.2 Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 2: Creative Partnerships and Emerging Varieties (Iowa)

Moderator/Session Coordinator: Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin

  • Ruth Genger, University of Wisconsin: Building a Healthy Organic Seed System for Potatoes through Farmer-Researcher Partnerships. Watch
  • Sara Turner, Texas A&M University: Evaluation of Carrot (Daucus carota, L.) for Traits Related to Early Seedling Establishment and Canopy Groth at Different Planting Densities in Organic Systems. Watch
  • Phillipp Simon, University of Wisconsin: The CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project: Location and Genetic Background Influence Carrot Field Performance and Flavor. Watch

Session 4.3 Economics of Organic: The Bottom Line

  • Timothy Delbridge, University of Minnesota; The Barriers to Organic Transition: Impacts and Policy Solutions. Watch
  • Tom Kriegl, University of Wisconsin; Comparing Feed Costs of Different Dairy Systems (Mainly Wisconsin) From 1995 to 2010 Watch
  • Carolyn Dimitri, New York University; The Organic-Conventional Yield Gap. Watch
  • Brian Baker, independent consultant, moderator.

Funding for this broadcast was provided by USDA NIFA-OREI and the Ceres Trust.


Published February 2, 2015

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.