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SUCCESS STORIES

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

CIAS Eco-Fruit Program Receives Wisconsin Idea Award

Since 2000, the CIAS Eco-Fruit program has been helping growers reduce or eliminate risk from pesticides by using IPM. Participating growers have reduced their pesticide risk by 46 percent and increased their reliance on IPM strategies by 54 percent.


DIRECTOR'S BLOG

Current and Past Citizens Advisory Council Members Gather for Summer Meeting

CIAS is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, and our Citizens Advisory Council is at the center of our history. Past and present members of this unique advisory group gathered at Ferguson's Orchards on July 17 for its summer meeting.

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Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

February 25-26, 2015
Radisson Hotel, La Crosse, WI

The first Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) will focus on building a solid foundation for organic agriculture, in order to provide healthy food for the future in a sustainable and ecologically sound way. The event will highlight research on organic farming systems, seeds and crop varieties suitable for organic production, holistic livestock care and feeding, soil health, organic markets and more. Researchers from all over the world will present their work at this event.

Keynote speaker Chuck Benbrook will speak on The Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Evidence Based Results. Benbrook is Research Professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, where he leads a project quantifying the impacts of farming systems, technology, and policy on food nutritional quality, food safety, agricultural productivity, economic performance, natural resources and the environment.

Organic farmers and students are particularly encouraged to attend this symposium, and a limited number of scholarships are available (scholarship information coming soon). Registration fees include a program, educational materials, break refreshments and lunch on Thursday.

Register online

The OARS is co-sponsored by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, The Organic Center and Ceres Trust. This symposium is being held in conjunction with the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, Feb. 26-28.

Program

Tentative schedule: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12:00-1:00pm Registration
1:00-1:30pm Welcome and introduction
1:30-3:00pm Concurrent workshop session 1
• Farming Systems: Seeing the Big Picture
• Organic Seeds: What is at Stake?
3:00-3:30pm Break and poster viewing (coffee, tea and refreshments provided)
3:30-5:00pm Concurrent workshop session 2
• Organic Research: An International Perspective
• Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 1: Back to the Future
• Biological Control: Working With Nature
5:00-6:00pm Reception and poster presentation (non-alcoholic beverages and refreshments provided)
6:00-7:00pm Keynote: Chuck Benbrook
The Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Evidence Based Results

Wednesday night dinner on your own

Tentative schedule: Thursday, February 26, 2015

8:00-8:30am Registration and networking (coffee provided)
8:30-10:00am Concurrent workshop session 3
• Holistic Livestock Care and Feeding
• Soil Health: Back to Basics
• Organic Markets: Quality and the Consumer Connection
10:00-10:30am Break and poster viewing (coffee, tea and refreshments provided)
8:30-10:00am Concurrent workshop session 4
• Farming Systems: Putting it all Together
• Plant Breeding for Organic Farmers 2: Creative Partnerships and Emerging Varieties
• Economics of Organic: The Bottom Line
12:00-1:00pm Lunch (provided)
1:00-3:00pm Listening session 1: Identifying Research Needs and Gaps
3:00-3:30pm Break (coffee, tea and refreshments provided)
3:30-5:00pm Listening session 2: Strategic Planning and Bridge to MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Accommodations

The event will be held at the Radisson LaCrosse. A limited number of rooms are available for Wednesday night. Room reservation information coming soon.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Registration and hotel reservations for the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference are handled separately. Click here to learn more and register.