April 11 Webinar: Variety Trials:Trial Evaluation, Analysis and Interpreting Results
The webinar on Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Reduce Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers: Trial Evaluation, Analysis and Interpreting Results is the second webinar a 2-part series on conducting variety trials to reduce risk for organic and specialty crop producers. Presenters are Julie Dawson of the University of Wisconsin Madison and Jared Zystro of the Organic Seed Alliance. The first webinar was recorded and is available here. These webinars are part of an online variety trial toolkit created by the Organic Seed Alliance and their collaborators. Also included in the toolkit are a guide to on farm variety trials and a free online variety trial tool. Find the toolkit here. Please note, to attend this free webinar, you must register here in Webex, since we have switched programs and the older Gotowebinar link will not work!
All recent eOrganic webinars and broadcast recordings available now on YouTube
Recordings are now available from the entire Fall-Spring eOrganic webinar season including all the Organic Seed Growers Conference recordings, and the webinars on tomato foliar pathogens, abrasive weeding, tools for farm biodiversity and more. Find them all at https://www.youtube.com/user/eOrganic.
April 4 at 11:59 Eastern Time: Spring NOSB meeting comments deadline
If you would like to submit comments for the Spring NOSB meeting or sign up for oral comments at their webinars or in person, the deadline is today at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.The in-person meeting takes place on April 25-27, and the two webinars take place on April 17 and 19. The many issues, proposals and substances they will be discussing are contained in their meeting materials here. Find out more details about the meeting and webinars here, and submit written comments by tonight April 4 at 11:59 Eastern here.
NSAC Update on Food Safety Modernization Act
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition just published a helpful blog post which summarizes new information published by the FDA about how farms and processors can determine whether they qualify for various exemptions from the Food Safety Modernization Act Rules. Exemptions are determined by sales thresholds based on an average of the past 3 years' sales and adjusted for inflation. Find out more about how this works and which exemptions your farm may qualify for at http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/fsma-exemptions-update/
Seed Internship Program Accepting Applications
Are you an experienced seed grower seeking interns for your farm? Or are you an individual looking for a farm internship that would teach you how to grow seed? Then check out the Seed Internship Program, co-hosted by the Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA). The program matches host farms that produce seed with individuals interested in a farm internship that teaches these skills. The program also provides host farms seed production curriculum to support their training efforts. Click here to learn more and register as a host farm or interested intern.
Learn How to Grow Seed in California on April 7th
Join OSA’s Southern California Seed Hub, San Diego Seed Company, and Bancroft Center for Sustainability for a one-day training on incorporating organic seed production into your diversified farm plan. The workshop will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Steve Peters of OSA and Brijette Pena of the San Diego Seed Company will provide hands-on instruction to help you grow organic seed for the commercial market. This training will help participants understand seed production biology; on-farm breeding; seed harvesting and cleaning; and how to conduct variety trials and choose seed crops for a specific system and climate. Participants will also learn about the economics of seed production and how to identify markets. Learn more and register here.
NOVIC and CIOA Projects work with the University of Hawaii to Teach Plant Breeding
Two NIFA-OREI funded organic plant breeding projects: the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) and the Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project recently joined tropical plant breeders at the University of Hawaii to teach a two-day workshop on organic plant breeding for Hawaiian organic farmers. The event was co-hosted by the University of Hawaii’s Go-farm Hawaii program – an applied apprentice program that trains beginning farmers. Go-farm Hawaii trainer Jay Bost led the workshop, which included both a classroom and field component with trials of several NOVIC, CIOA and Hawaiian tropical crops. Read more about this event and view pictures here.