Free Organic Farmer Training Coming to Fargo 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, along with nationally recognized organic leaders, will offer an Organic Academy Roadshow session in Fargo, North Dakota, on January 26-27, 2023. Beginning farmers and ranchers in the northern Great Plains will have the opportunity to explore regenerative, certified organic production systems for grains, oilseeds, and pulses.

Thirty travel scholarships for beginning farmers and ranchers are available for up to $200 each to defray costs of attending. The academy is free to attend, but registration is required by January 20, 2023. Online registration is available at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG/EVENTS.

“This series of educational opportunities is not just another farming training,” said Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree of Vilicus Farms in Montana. It is about leveraging training to further build the network of beginning organic producers who are farming and ranching at a scale that will have a tremendous impact on land stewardship across the Northern Great Plains.”  

The Organic Academy will include intensive training sessions and one-on-one technical assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. Topics will cover transitioning to organic production, an introduction to organic system planning, organic grass-finished ruminant production, and more. Session leaders will include experienced organic farmers and ranchers. The event schedule and speaker list can be found here.

In addition, attendees will be able to interact with civic leaders, county Extension agents, and staff from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service during a public event on January 26 from 7-9 p.m.

The trainings are part of the three-year federal Beginning Farmers and Rancher Development Program, Preparing a Resilient Future, in partnership with the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, Center for Rural Affairs, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, International Organic Inspectors Association, North Dakota State, and University of Wyoming.

The project targets medium to large-scale field crop and livestock operations, unlike most programs focused on beginning farmers and ranchers. This project was selected in a national competition under the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program funded through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society (NPSAS) is hosting this event in collaboration with NCAT. NPSAS will hold its annual Food and Farming Conference at the same location. Registration for the NPSAS conference is here.