University of Wisconsin–Madison

Harvest of Ideas

advancing organic transformations

October 30-31, UW-Madison hosted Harvest of Ideas

A two-day forum exploring how education, research, and outreach on organic agriculture can support Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural landscape and resources, strengthen rural communities and economies, and connect organic agriculture from producer to plate. This event seeks to determine how the University of Wisconsin can best contribute to the advance of organic agriculture locally, nationally, and globally through education, research and outreach activities.

The forum began Tuesday, Oct 30 at 6 PM with a public presentation by Ricardo Salvador,  internationally renowned senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dr. Salvador presented his vision for how organic agriculture can contribute to the transformation of the U.S. food and agriculture system. View the video of Dr. Salvador’s presentation here.

Continuing at 8 AM Wednesday, October 31, a half day of discussions featured thought and action leaders in organic agriculture from around the world. Speakers and the audience were invited to highlight guiding principles for and examples of successful research, education, and outreach programs that support organic farmers and identify next-generation innovations.

Ideas and inspirations collected in the morning will be further processed to distill key themes. With these in hand, the goal is to develop plans for strengthening the coordination and reach of UW-led initiatives on organic agriculture.

Detailed schedule:

Tuesday October 30
6 PM Opening Address, Ricardo Salvador, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
7-8:30 PM Reception, cash bar, idea exchange

Wednesday October 31
8 AM Opening Remarks, Kate VandenBosch, Dean, UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Missy Hughes, Organic Valley/CROPP

8:20-9:45 Organic Science Panel
Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Horticulture Department
Dave Mortensen, University of  New Hampshire, Professor of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems
Maria Finckh, University of Kassel, Germany, Organic Plant Protection Department

9:45-9:55 Break

9:55-11:20 Organic Consumer, Marketing and Economics Panel
Matthew Dillon, director of agricultural policy and programs, Clif Bar & Company
Alfonso  Morales, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Urban & Regional Planning Department
Mary Hendrickson, University of Missouri, Rural Sociology Department

11:20-11:35 Break

11:35-1:00 PM Organic Education and Extension Panel
Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison, State Extension Specialist in Organic Agriculture
Carol Miles, Washington State University, Horticulture Department
Brad Heins, University of Minnesota-Morris,  Dairy-Animal Science Department

1:00 PM Concluding Remarks

This initiative has been organized by the following team:
Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin-Madison Plant Pathology Department
Brad Barham, University of Wisconsin-Madison Agriculture and Applied Economics Department
Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Department
Alfonso Morales, University of Wisconsin-Madison Urban & Regional Planning Department
Logan Peterman, Organic Valley
Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin-Madison Agronomy Department

For more information or answers to questions, contact Jody Padgham, padgham@wisc.edu 715-667-3203