Read the Outcomes of the 2018 Organic Confluences Conference here!

The Organic Confluences Conference: Evaluating and Advancing Knowledge Transfer in Organic Production (May 21- 22, 2018, Washington, D.C.) brought together extension professionals representatives of relevant non-profit organizations, scientific experts, organic and conventional producers policymakers, industry participants and other stakeholders to help assess the current state of university extension and education as it relates to organic agricultural production. Conference participants engaged with and learned from a wide variety of panel discussions and lightning presentations before breaking out for small group discussions.


Click here for slides from the 2018 Organic Confluences panels and lightning talks.

May 21, 2018

8:00am Registration, Coffee, and Breakfast
9:00am Welcome, Opening Remarks and Introductions
9:15am – 10:30am Extension: Past, Present and Future

  • Moderator: Dr. Jessica Shade, The Organic Center
  • Kathleen Delate – Professor and Extension Specialist, Iowa State University
  • Laura Driscoll –  Research Fellow, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Stephen Brown – District Agriculture Agent, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Alice Formiga – eOrganic
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:15am Clicker Questions
11:15am- 12:15pm Public-Private Partnerships

  • Kevin Mahalko – Grassworks, River Country RC&D, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, & Organic Valley
  • Chris Schreiner – Oregon Tilth
  • Matt Dillon – Clif Bar
12:15pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm – 2:15pm Importance of Communication Among Diverse Stakeholders

  • Alex Racelis – Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
  • Javier Zamora – Owner and farmer, JSM Organics
  • Michael Wall – Director of Farmer Services, Georgia Organics
2:15pm – 3:30pm Assessing the Effectiveness of Extension Requirements in Organic Agriculture Research Funding

  • Mat Ngouajio – National Program Leader, Division of Plant Systems – Production, USDA NIFA
  • Vernon Grubinger – Extension Professor, University of Vermont and Coordinator for USDA’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)
  • Erin Silva – University of Wisconsin, Madison
3:30pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 5:00pm Information Transfer to Transitioning and Split Operations

  • Thea O’Carroll – YieldOrganic
  • Anders Gurda – Pipeline foods
  • Tucker Gretebeck – Farmer, Organic Valley
5:00pm Conference adjourns


May 22, 2018

8:00am – 9:00am Coffee and Breakfast
9:00am – 9:15am Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Introduction
9:15am – 10:30am Innovation in Information Transfer: Lightning Session

  • Mike Menes: True Organics
  • Maureen Moutoux: Moutoux Orchard, Chesapeake Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT)
  • Suzanne Pender: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Organic Communications
  • Lindsay Haines: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Organic Champions Program
  • Steven Mirsky: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Development of Decision Support Tools for Farmers
  • Erin Silva: University of Wisconsin, Madison, OGRAIN (Organic Grain Resource and Information Network)
  • Chris Schreiner: Oregon Tilth
  • Nate Powell-Palm: Farmer and Montana Organic Producers Co-op
  • Brise Tencer: Organic Farming Research Foundation      
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 12:15pm Break-out Discussions
12:15pm – 1:00pm Synthesis Discussion and Development of Recommendations
1:00pm Conference Adjourns for the day

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