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Organic courses to address interests of dairy support professionals

Published 12/17/2007

-- ST. PAUL - Recognizing the growing interest in organic dairy production, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is cooperating with organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin to offer “Organic Dairy 101: A Workshop for Dairy Support Professionals” at various locations in both states in early 2008. “Organic dairy products are flying off the shelves, and buyers are looking for more Midwest producers,” MDA organic and diversification specialist Meg Moynihan says. “Many professional dairy advisors would like to expand their client base to include organic dairy farms, but they have not been exposed to organic dairy production principles, methods, and requirements.” In 2008, four locations in Minnesota and three in Wisconsin will offer this daylong professional development workshop. Topics include organic certification-legal and practical requirements; livestock health and nutrition; economics; and organic dairy performance. The trainings will emphasize scientific understanding as well as practical experience. Wisconsin sessions will offer a special emphasis on organic livestock health management. The dates are Jan. 17, St. Cloud, Minn.; Feb. 5, Marshall, Minn.; Feb. 6, Madison, Wis.; Feb. 22, LaCrosse, Wis.; March 13, Clark County, Wis.; March 25, Rochester, Minn.; and March 27, McIntosh, Minn. Minnesota sessions have largely been planned by the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, with assistance from Minnesota Dairy Initiative regional teams. In Wisconsin, the major organizer is the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The Minnesota workshops cost $35 per person (early registration discounts available). The full brochure and registration form are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/food/organic or by calling (320) 226-6318. Wisconsin program materials are available at www.cias.wisc.

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