Education

Education

Building healthy land, building healthy people

Education

Education

Building healthy land, building healthy people

Community

Community

Building a connection

Environment

Environment

Building a healthy future

Community

Community

Building a connection

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Events

Our Local Table~Harvest Dinner

A celebration of local food, farming & community. 

Plate info

welcome

brum

guest3

guests5

karri

two

setting

seats

glasses

chr

insulators

jar

pie

kids

kids2

feast

table3

wine

table3

vino

staff2

havest2

 

 

 

 

35th Winter Conference "Honoring our Roots-Celebrating 35 Years"

"Honoring Our Roots-Celebrating 35 Years"

The 35th Annual Winter Conference on January 24-25, 2014 at the Ramkota Best Western in Aberdeen, SD had a great turnout. Approximately 600 people attended the conference! 

 DSC 0489

 Karri Stroh, NPSAS Executive Director, and Charlie Jonson, NPSAS BOD President, presented the 2014 NPSAS Friend of the Farmer award to Carmen and Hugh Dufner. 

 

DSC 0485

Bob Petry accepted the Stewart of the Year award on behalf of Lynn Brakke. Karri Stroh, NPSAS Executive Director, and Charlie Johnson, NPSAS BOD President presented the award. 

 

To see more pictures from the Winter Conference check out our Facebook page  

 NPSAS can also be found on Youtube

Check out the 35th anniversary slideshow which features 35 years of photos! 

 

~ A Special Thanks to our Winter Conference Cosponsors! ~

Workhorse

Annie's, Inc.

Grain Millers, Inc.  

Grain Place Foods, Inc.    

Mountain High Organics, Inc.  

SD OCIA #1  

Thousand Hills Cattle Company  

Whole Hog

Cashton Farm Supply  

Hesco, Inc./ Dak. Organic Products  

ICS, Inc.  

Nature's Best, LLC  

Nature's Organic Grist   

OFARM 

SunOpta  

Top Dog

 A. Link  

AgMotion Specialty Grains  

Albert Lea Seedhouse  

Ciranda, Inc.  

FARRMS  

F.W. Cobs  

Farm Breeding Club (FBC)  

Foundation Organic Seeds   

Frontier Natural Products 

MN Crop Improvement Assoc.  

ND Dept of Ag 

ND NRCS  

ND SARE  

NF Organnics  

NICS  

Northern Plains Grain & Milling  

Pro-Cert Organic Systems  

Professional Alliance/SeaAgri  

Richland IFC, Inc.  

SARE  

SD Grassland Coalition  

SD SARE  

SK Food Int'l.  

Specialty Commodities Inc.  

Stengel Seed & Grain Co.  

Stone Mill, Inc.  

Sunrise Foods Int'l Inc.  

UNFI / Albert's Organic  

Cool Cat

Acres USA  

Domestic Hauling  

First State Bank of ND  

Johnny's Selected Seeds  

M&M Sales

MN Dept. of Ag  

ND OCIA #2  

Neptune's Harvest  

Rincon-Vitova Insectaries  

Rockwell Organic  

SD OCIA #2  

Traux Company 

 

 

 

From the Director's Desk

Soil Stewards
      When we think about organic farming, our thoughts often go straight to soil health. Soil health is the very foundation on which organic farmers make their cropping system decisions on. From cover crops, to compost, planting legumes within the rotations, to grazing the fields, the concept of improving soil health is the core of every organic farm. We rely on the soil and ecosystem biology to support our crops, our food, rather than the chemistry of pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer. 
      We are constantly challenged to think about the long-term implications of practices. One must go from treating agricultural problems to treating the causes of the problems and recognize that every decision you make will affect other aspects of the farm system. The organic farm system includes rotations, pest and weed management and soil health to remain both productive and profitable. 
      As organic family farmers, we know that the involvement on our operation often involves daily tasks that require care to be given by the entire farm family. Family members learn not only the responsibility of daily chores but also the sense of self worth knowing that they bring “good” to what they do each day.  
      As organic farmers, we are not only growing healthy soil and healthy food, we need to grow the next generation of organic farmers. As farmers and stewards of the land, the best crops we can plant are the seeds of opportunity for the next generation of farmers. Cultivating the future is the most important function of stewardship. Some critics of organic farming will ponder why anyone would involve farming practices that require more labor – more attention to management. Children can obtain a greater sense of confidence by planting the seed, cultivating for weeds and anticipating the harvest. Every harvest brings anticipation about what the yield and quality will be. Every harvest has the same preparations, the same stewardship for the land that plants the seed each Spring.  
      Organic farmers are stewards of the soil and we are also stewards of preparing the next generation of organic farmers. As stewards, let’s pass our knowledge of organic farming onto the next generation. We can keep our industry growing by “planting the seed” in the ground and in our young.   
 
 

Sustaining the Northern Plains by Janet Jacobson-GMO Wheat

Sustaining the Northern Plains by Janet Jacobson
 
GMO Wheat
      While participating in a North Dakota Senate committee hearing on glyphosate tolerant wheat more than a decade ago, a proponent of GMO technology compared opposition to tinkering with organisms’ cellular building blocks to a car. He claimed opposing the technology of GMOs was similar to opposing the development of the automobile. He was trying to disparage GMO opponents by calling us Luddites. The result of opposing development of the automobile, according to him, would have resulted in our continued walking or use of a horse and buggy. We, he smirked, were guilty of asking plant breeding to travel in metaphorical horse and buggy. Then he made several references to good science and bad science.
      Ten years later, the same flawed analogies are still being made. My response to the automobile analogy then was and remains, that if we had used better science in how we had developed and used the technology of the internal combustion engine, we could possibly have saved ourselves many problems. Perhaps we would not now be facing global warming, smog or freeway gridlock. We might not need to have debates about drilling for oil in the arctic and national parks. We might not need to stay awake at night worrying about energy independence and security. We might have even saved ourselves billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost in unnecessary wars fought to secure oil sources. I am not advocating the abandonment of automobile travel just yet. My point is that adopting the technology of cars and trucks has led to far-reaching and serious negative effects which Henry Ford could not have imagined.
Genetically modified organisms are an example of a relatively new technology. These plants and animals are not themselves “science.” Like the car, they are the application of science. They are the result of applied genetics. The car achieves the goal of moving people from one place to another and paying profits to the corporations’ executives and shareholders. Likewise, GMO organisms appear to achieve the goals set out by the companies selling them. They resist insects or they tolerate applications of herbicides. Just as sales of cars make money for Ford, GM and Chrysler, these products generate profit to the owners of the technology.
      Just as cars have created unforeseen problems, GMOs are creating problems. Even though GMO wheat has never been approved for commercialization, glyphosate resistant wheat has been found growing in a field in Oregon. This is not a surprise to the organic farmers in North Dakota who tried to raise the possibility of such contamination with researchers more than a decade ago. If more wheat fields are tested, my guess is it will be found that this is not an isolated case. Weeds are developing resistance to glyphosate because of the overuse of this single pesticide. Recent research hints that GMO corn and soybeans are having negative effects on the livestock which eat them. Proponents of the technology continue to maintain that no one has ever gotten sick from eating foods containing GMOs, but no one has done any epidemiological studies to back that up.
      Scientists, at least those practicing “good science,” do not become so enamored with a hypothesis that they stop testing their ideas. Even Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is constantly being checked for validity. For proponents of GMOs to claim that science is on their side and has proven that their products are safe is a misuse of science. It is not good science to stop asking questions, to withhold seeds from independent researchers, or to claim no one has ever gotten sick from eating an altered food. The real answer is that no one knows if anyone has gotten sick. Investment in a technology changes the research questions being asked if those doing the research are paid by those profiting from the application. Science influenced by money is not good science. 
      Neither is science which asks questions based on an ideology good science. We need to make sure that those of us who oppose the use of GMOs are not falling into the same trap. If our scientific arguments are to have credibility, we must be sure the research we cite is just as rigorously designed and just as free from the bias.
      I learned just enough from the genetics class I took forty years ago to understand that I know almost nothing. I did learn enough then and in my study since then to know that we have just touched the very surface of what there is to know about genetics, genes, chromosomes, not to mention what we don’t know about all the interactions between genes, hormones and the world around us. Genetic modification is far more complex than souping up your car.
      If a piece of mechanical technology like a non-self-replicating car can cause so many changes in our environment, health, economy, politics and culture, what kinds of problems might we not see in the application of a technology that alters chromosomes of living organisms and reproduces on its own? It seems foolhardy, in this case, to put the technology before the science.
 
One time serial publication rights granted.
Copyright © 2013 Janet Jacobson
 
 

Organic in Demand

       It is becoming a well known fact that the organic industry is growing steadily as consumers are educating themselves on food safety, environmental issues and health concerns. “The U.S. organic sector continues to show steady and healthy growth, growing overall by 9.5 percent during 2011, and, for the first time, surpassing the $30 billion mark,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO.
      To meet the growing demand, food manufacturers are looking for domestically-produced ingredients, along with food safety and traceability. 
      Ron Schlecht, SK Food International Crop Production Manager comments, “of course, it is much easier to produce crops conventionally, so there is that challenge for growers when growing organic crops.” A premium is paid to growers who accept that challenge which rewards producers for succeeding within the constraints involved in organic production.
      There is a need for reliable, conscientious growers to step up to the challenge to meet the growing demand for organic crops. “We look to growers to partner with us in answering that demand for high quality organic products,” notes Schlecht. 
      “Organic is not a fad. Rather it is the result of consumer education and interest in safe, healthy food and to know where that food comes from,” says Jennifer Tesch, SK Food International Marketing Director. “We look forward to growing with the future of organic by working with producers to supply the industry with Premium Quality Ingredients that we’re proud of.”  
 
 

Organic is not a Fad...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SK Food International, Inc.

Fargo, ND – It is becoming a well known fact that the organic industry is growing steadily as consumers are educating themselves on food safety, environmental issues and health concerns. “The U.S. organic sector continues to show steady and healthy growth, growing overall by 9.5 percent during 2011, and, for the first time, surpassing the $30 billion mark,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO.

To meet the growing demand, food manufacturers are looking for domestically-produced ingredients, along with food safety and traceability.

Ron Schlecht, SK Food International Crop Production Manager comments, “of course, it is much easier to produce crops conventionally, so there is that challenge for growers when growing organic crops.” A premium is paid to growers who accept that challenge which rewards producers for succeeding within the constraints involved in organic production.

There is a need for reliable, conscientious growers to step up to the challenge to meet the growing demand for organic crops.  “We look to growers to partner with us in answering that demand for high quality organic products,” notes Schlecht.

“Organic is not a fad. Rather it is the result of consumer education and interest in safe, healthy food and to know where that food comes from,” says Jennifer Tesch, SK Food International Marketing Director. “We look forward to growing with the future of organic by working with producers to supply the industry with Premium Quality Ingredients that we’re proud of.”

For more information contact:

SK Food International, Inc.

4666 Amber Valley Parkway

Fargo, ND  58104

Ph. 701-356-4106

Fax 701-356-4102

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
 

Charlie Johnson is MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year!

CharlieFaye

CharlieJ

Charlie