OCLC Workshop Descriptions

Monday, March 6, 2017
Mount Olive, NC
9 am – 5 pm


Workshop A:

Track 1: Commodities Crop   

Organic Tobacco Pest Management

Speakers: Jane Iseley, Iseley Farms
Carolina tobacco growers must defend their crops against tobacco thrips, aphids, beetles, splitworms and other pests. Learn the strategies successful organic tobacco growers are using to deter, eliminate and ameliorate pest damage.

Jane Iseley is the owner of the 5th generation run Iseley Farms, which grows 25 acres of USDA certified organic Tobacco and has 153 acres of USDA Certified organic diversified crops. In 2013, Iseley Farms was named North Carolina State Soil and Water Conservation Farm Family of the Year. It is also recognized as a Conservation Farm, a member of Forestry Stewardship Program, and is a NCDA Certified Roadside Farm Market. She serves on the N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame Board.

Track 2: Specialty Crop

Grafted Tomato Production in High Tunnels

Speaker: Gena Moore, CFSA

Wholesale and fresh market sales of tomatoes from high tunnels can be an asset for North and South Carolina farmers. High tunnels offer a protected growing environment that lends many benefits to tomato production. Grafting also has many benefits in tomato production including increased yield and disease resistance. By combining both grafting and high tunnel production, tomato yields can be maximized leading to a greater profit over non-grafted and field production methods.

Gena Moore is CFSA’s Organic Research Coordinator. Her work includes research on high tunnel production, including a focus on organic tomato production, and providing consulting services for farmers producing in high tunnels. She received a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in Agriculture Education from North Carolina A&T University. Her thesis work was in sustainable organic high tunnel vegetable production and season extension. Gena, her husband Aaron, and their three boys live on a sustainably managed horse farm while also producing livestock, poultry, and specialty crops.


Track 3: Agribusiness

Exploring the US Organic Market Sector

Dr. Renee Gebault King, Chief of Staff, National Organic Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

The National Organic Program is a regulatory program housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, responsible for developing national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. Learn more about the Program’s mission to enforce the U.S. organic regulations, provide oversight of USDA-accredited organic certifiers, protect organic integrity, and support the growing organic sector.

Dr. Renée Gebault King has been involved in the organic agriculture industry for over 16 years and is currently the Chief of Staff for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP). She has worked in multiple facets of the organic industry, including inspection and compliance, education, outreach, marketing and research. She served as President of the Wyoming Farmers’ Marketing Association for seven years. Dr. Gebault King earned her Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming), where her research focused on organic farming principles and managing inputs to enhance soil phosphorus availability in calcareous soils. She has a Master’s Degree in Food Science and Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, also from the University of Wyoming. Renée was raised on a small cattle farm, but has also worked on large cattle and sheep ranches. She currently lives in West Virginia and enjoys running on the Appalachian Trail.


Track 4: Livestock

Strategies for Productive and Resilient Grazing Operations

Speaker: Miguel Castillo, NCSU & Windy Smith, Dairy Unit Specialist NCDA and Cherry Research Farm at CEFS/NCSU

In this workshop, we will examine several strategies to increase and maintain productive and resilient pasture-based livestock systems. These strategies are easily adapted for a variety of grazers, including dairy and meat cows, goats, and even pigs. Specifically, we will cover pasture establishment, grazing management (frequency, intensity, time of year), and choice of forage species to extend the grazing season and promote uniform nutrient cycling in the grazing system. Take your pasture management to the next level with these research verified and real-life tested strategies.

Dr. Miguel Castillo was born in Loja, Ecuador, South America. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Science and Animal Production from Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture in Honduras, Central America. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in Agronomy with a minor in Soil and Water Science from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.  His areas of expertise include Plant-herbivore interaction in grasslands, forage management, fertilization and use of alternative sources of nutrients for plant production, and bioenergy feedstock from grasses.  He joined the faculty at NCSU in Aug. 2013.

Windy Wainright is the Herdsperson for the CEFS Pasture Based Dairy Unit, which houses 140 dairy cows of multiple species.  This research based facility works to examine grazing strategies and other herd management techniques that provide environmentally sound and economical milk production while also generating an acceptable level of family income and quality of life and disseminate practical results to farmers and farm advisers.  


Workshop B

Track 1: Commodities Crops   

Organic No-Till Production and Soil Health

Speaker: Mark Dempsey, CFSA’s Farm Services Coordinator

Get an in-depth look at organic no-till production methods and system management. We’ll start with a wide angle lens looking at organic no-till systems and then zoom in to cover the management of cover crops, nutrients, weeds, and soil health. We will also examine crop selection, hear some success stories, and identify potential pitfalls. Come learn how to reduce tillage and promote soil health on your farm!

Mark Dempsey is Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Farm Services Coordinator, working with farmers to help transition to organic production and implement conservation practices on-farm. Mark worked for years as a researcher studying soil microbiology, organic no-till, and weed management, and is happy to now serve farmers more directly at CFSA. 


Track 2: Specialty Crop

Winter Squash Production and Research

Speaker: Edmund Frost, Common Wealth Seed Growers

Edmund has been engaged in winter squash research, breeding and production for several years, especially focused on butternut and other moschata species squash. In this workshop he will present results from the SARE-funded trialing and selection projects he conducted in 2014 and 2016, which focused on eating quality, productivity, and disease resistance (especially Downy Mildew). He will compare current available varieties, and discuss breeding goals and methods for creating new varieties for the Southeast, and improving existing ones. In addition to breeding and research, Edmund produces wholesale winter squash on his farm for sale to Eastern Carolina Organics. In this workshop he will touch on production basics such as planting, spacing, cultivation, diseases, pests, harvest logistics and storage, in addition to variety choice and variety development. Edmund wants to hear from other winter squash growers during the session, creating discussion about what the needs and challenges are in producing this popular crop.

Edmund Frost has grown organic vegetable seeds and produce in Virginia since 2007, including wholesale winter squash. He is a founder of Common Wealth Seed Growers, a new growers cooperative and retail seed company. He works on breeding, research and seed production of Downy Mildew resistant winter squash, cucumber, melon, watermelon and gourd.


Track 3: Agribusiness

Challenges and Opportunities for our Farming Future

Speaker: Fred Kirschenmann, President of the Board, Stone Barns Center Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University

While none of us are very good at predicting the future, we can anticipate changes and begin preparing for them. Some of those anticipated changes, which will affect farming in the future,  are the impacts of climate change, depleting natural resources, and an aging farm population—all unprecedented challenges we will likely face, but that also will present us with many opportunities.

In 1976, Fred converted his family’s 1,800-acre farm in North Dakota to a certified organic operation, developing a diverse crop rotation that has enabled him to farm productively without synthetic inputs while simultaneously improving the health of the soil. His farm has been featured in numerous publications including National Geographic, Businessweek, Audubon, the LA Times and Gourmet magazine and he is the author of the book of essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher.  His appointments have included Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Iowa State University, Board President of the Stone Barn Center, member emeritus of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.


Track 4: Livestock

Heritage Goat Breeds for the Carolinas

Speaker: Ryan Walker, The Livestock Conservancy

Adaptable, curious, and sociable, goats were among the first animals to be domesticated. Goats’ hardiness makes them a part of subsistence agriculture almost everywhere, yet they are also found in highly developed production systems and as pampered companion animals. The global distribution of goats, as well as their many uses, has led to the development of a large number of standardized breeds and landraces, though most of these are not well documented.  Learn about special characteristics of some of the most popular goat breeds in the Southeast and what breeds are best adapted to our climate, market demands, and forage environment.

Ryan Walker is a native Texan and the Marketing & Communications Manager for The Livestock Conservancy. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, and is currently finishing a Master of Science degree in Agriculture & Consumer Resources from Tarleton State University. Ryan’s agricultural experience includes raising goats, sheep, cattle, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and horses. He also enjoys judging hay and forages.


Workshop C

Track 1: Commodities Crop   

Organic and GMO Free Canola: Production, Processing and Marketing

Speakers: Chris Reberg Horton, NCSU, Angela Post, NCSU, Jackie Bunch (Braswell), Robert Davis, AgStrong,

Join us for this intensive one hour workshop on organic and GMO-free canola in the Carolinas. Learn why buyers prefer domestic crush over imported meal, how canola fits in with other rotational crops, production considerations for canola farmers including pest management, cover crops, and specialized equipment, processing considerations for delivering crushed grain, and emerging market opportunities for certified organic or GMO-free canola in the Carolinas.  Our panel of presenters includes buyers, processors, and production experts.

Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton is NC State’s extension specialist for Organic Cropping Systems.  He works primarily with soybeans, corn, wheat and cover crops. He holds a B.S. from UNC in Environmental Science, an M.S., from the University of California at Davis where he worked on crop modeling in the Department of Agronomy. After working with Cooperative Extension in California and North Carolina, Dr. Reberg-Horton returned to graduate school at NC State where he earned his PhD.

Dr. Angela Post is the Small Grains Extension Specialist at NCSU.  Her areas of expertise include weed control and wheat and canola cropping systems.  She received her PhD from Virginia Tech and holds a masters in weed science from NCSU.

Jackie Bunch is the Mill Operations Manager at Braswell Milling Company, one of the largest organic feed manufacturers in the United States.  Braswell Milling was established in 1942 and is located in Nashville, North Carolina, 45 miles east of Raleigh.  Annually, Braswell Milling Company purchases over 3.75 million bushels of corn and 22,500 tons of soybean meal.

Robert Davis is the President and CEO of AgStrong, which has two crushing facilities (one in Georgia and one in Kentucky and contracts farmers to grow Canola and Sunflower oilseed.  He holds a B.S. in Ag Engineering from University of Georgia and is a  registered professional engineer with over 20 years of overall management, startup, engineering, and plant management experience.  


Track 2: Specialty Crop

Sweet Potato Production: Variety Selection and Increasing Yields

Speakers: Mark Dempsey, CFSA; Mary Wilks, Carolina Precision Consulting, Inc

North Carolina has ranked the number one state for sweet potato production since 1971, providing about half of the US supply each year. Join this discussion on the best farming practices to ensure a high yielding, disease free crop.


Track 3: Agribusiness

Buyers Panel: Advice for Wholesale Success

Speakers: Thomas Moore, CFSA (Moderator); Sandi Kronick, ECO; Jason Kampwerth, Foster-Caviness; Kevin O’Connell, The Produce Box

What qualities do wholesale buyers look for most in their growers? Hear from this panel of buyers who are sourcing North Carolina grown produce and meats to learn accessible strategies for strengthening your relationship with your buyers, as well as what North Carolina crops have unmet demand.

Sandi Kronick got her start in the sustainable food scene in college as the Local Food Coordinator for a 700-member dining co-op in Oberlin, Ohio. After learning how to communicate efficiently with the area’s Amish farmers (who don’t drive or use phones, fax or email), she figured she could set up a vibrant local food system anywhere. After consulting with Cleveland restaurants to help them set up local buying programs, Sandi moved to NC and hooked up with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, launching ECO in 2004. She oversees all business management activities, ensuring that the company is growing in-line with our goals of making a positive impact in both the consumer and grower communities. In 2010 Sandi was awarded the 40 Under 40 Business Leadership Award for the Triangle area in NC and traveled to Chile on behalf of the Chilean Trade Commission to give lectures on the US organic marketplace. 


Track 4: Livestock

Healthy Ruminants on Pasture: Natural treatments and Management Strategies 

Speakers: Dr. Hubert Karreman, Cowmaster, LLC and Suzanne Nelson Karreman, Reverence Farms & Cafe

This workshop convenes farmer Suzanne Nelson of Reverence Farms and Cafe and esteemed organic veterinarian Dr. Hubert Karreman to discuss organic controls for advancing the health of ruminant farm animals in pasture systems.  Learn how ruminants can be treated for a wide variety of problems with plant-derived and biological medicines, and practices in genetic selection, dietary inputs and barn maintenance can reduce disease, improve animal performance and make your enterprise’s future more robust.

Dr. Hubert Karreman is an organic dairy veterinarian and a leading voice in organic veterinary medicine. Working with real cases in clinical practice under the extremely strict “no antibiotics” rule for organic livestock in the U.S., he pioneered non-antibiotic treatments for infectious disease. His methods have attracted attention from around the world.  Dr. Karreman was in full-time clinical and emergency practice in Lancaster, PA, for two decades, and now focuses on teaching and sharing the methods he successfully utilized as an in-the-trenches clinician and managing a 100-percent forage-based dairy and diversified farm with his wife Suzanne at Reverence Farms.  He is the author of Treating Dairy Cows Naturally, The Barn Guide to Treating Dairy Cows Naturally and Four Seasons Organic Cow Care.

Suzanne Nelson Karreman operates the multi-generational owned and operated 300-acre Reverence Farms in Saxapahaw, NC. Their diversified meat, poultry and dairy farm includes 50 Jersey cows, 50 young stock and breeding-age Jersey bulls, 200 sheep, small herds of Red Devon cows and Kiko goats, and annually raises 150 turkeys, 150 pigs, 1,800 broilers and 700 laying hens. In 2016 her family opened a farm-to-table restaurant, Reverence Farms Cafe, and they also markets their products directly to customers through a mobile farm store.


Workshop D

Track 1: Commodities Crop   

Soybean Production You’ve Never Heard of and Home-grown Corn Hybrids That Will Surprise You

Speakers: Chris Reberg Horton, NCSU, Kelli Dale, RAFI, Michael Sligh, RAFI

A new system of cross-drilled soybeans, high seeding rates, large seed size and new soybean genetics have led to the development of an unusual system of organic soybean production with no between-row cultivation. Either a bold new development in agriculture or a disaster waiting to happen, we will let you be the judge. We will also look at another crazy idea, but one that is already working on organic farms in NC. Farmers across the state have started producing their own hybrid corn seed and we will discuss what it may mean for future seed sourcing.

Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton is NC State’s extension specialist for Organic Cropping Systems.  He works primarily with soybeans, corn, wheat and cover crops. He holds a B.S. from UNC in Environmental Science, an M.S., from the University of California at Davis where he worked on crop modeling in the Department of Agronomy. After working with Cooperative Extension in California and North Carolina, Dr. Reberg-Horton returned to graduate school at NC State where he earned his PhD.

Kelli Dale is the RAFI Project Coordinator for the ‘Breeding for Organic Production Systems’ program.  She was raised on an organic farm in northeastern North Carolina. Prior to her work at RAFI, she worked in the crop consulting field where she gained knowledge of conventionally grown commodity crops.Kelli holds a degree from North Carolina State University in Agriculture Business Management with a minor in Animal Science.

Michael Sligh is the Director of the Just Foods Program at RAFI.  As a founding member of RAFI, Michael manages policy, research and education regarding agricultural best practices, agricultural biodiversity, biotechnology, organic identity preservation and a range of food justice and other value-added food labeling, and marketing issues. He has more than 30 year of experience in agricultural practices and policy analysis. His titles include: Founding Chair of the National Organic Standards Board (a federal advisory committee to the USDA); Founder of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG); Founder of National Organic Coalition.  Michael lives, farms and works in North Carolina.


Track 2: Specialty Crop

The Emerging North Carolina Hemp Market

Speaker: Jeff Cartonia, Executive Director, North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association

Industrial hemp is used in textiles, cosmetics, food and animal bedding and feed, and demand for this commodity is rapidly increasing. An acre of hemp can yield 700 lbs of grain, which can be processed into 50 gallons of oil or 530 pounds of meal. That same acre can yield 5,300 pounds of straw each year. North Carolina has taken several steps in 2016 to pave the way for an industrial hemp crop to be harvested in spring of 2017. Come learn about the forthcoming pilot program for NC growers of this potentially profitable crop and how it can fit in with your existing production.

Jeff Cartonia is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association, which successfully lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly to make industrial hemp a legal crop in the state in 2015.  He has spoken extensively throughout the state about the benefits of hemp since the crop was returned to legal status in the 2014 farm bill.


Track 3: Agribusiness

Protecting Your Farm: How to Maintain Financial Security with Crop Insurance

Speaker: Scott Marlow, Executive Director Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA (RAFI-USA)

Managing financial risk is a key part of farm sustainability. Crop insurance is one of the tools growers can use to reduce financial risk and increase credit worthiness. This workshop will examine how the USDA Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy, new organic crop price elections for organically produced crops, and Non-insured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) buy-up options. Join us as we work to understand how these programs can increase the competitiveness of highly diversified and organic farms.

Scott Marlow is the Executive Director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA (RAFI). He previously directed the organization’s Farm Sustainability Program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers seeking to increase the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. His specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers.

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