Intensive: Climate Action Plans

While many companies would like to incorporate climate change action into their companies, it can be challenging to know where to start, how to balance efforts with limited resources, and the extent to which climate efforts might stretch across the globe.

It Starts with You is focused on helping natural product companies understand 3 main objective:

  1. in which areas they can make the most climate impact

  2. how they support business operations

  3. how to incorporate these efforts into a system-based climate action plan.

This intensive will balance delivery of information with real-life case studies. We will hear from companies that represent a spectrum of organic industry sectors with varying degrees of progress (i.e. beginners, advanced) in their formalized climate action. Throughout the day, presenters will introduce tools and exercises to help attendees assess the priorities, goals, and tactics that their companies’ climate plans could include.

Participants will walk away with a strong knowledge of what other peers are doing to address climate action, and the goals and tactics that are most relevant and realistic for their companies to implement.

Please note: In order to provide actionable information, this intensive will focus on Manufacturers, Retailers, Distributors, and Brands. While the manners in which the agricultural supply chain can be engaged will be addressed, a deep discussion on farm practices will not be the focus of this intensive.

Intensive: Are You Cannabis-Curious?

Interested in learning more about legal cannabis production? Join this Organicology intensive for a thorough look at the opportunities and challenges in this rapidly growing sector.

This full-day workshop caters to the cannabis-curious: those who want to know more about cannabis production systems, the legal environment, and the economic outlook for the industry.

Could cannabis be a good diversification strategy for your farm?  What are the numerous products on the market--industrial, medicinal, recreational--and how are they produced? What are the key regulations affecting producers and sellers? How strong and stable is the current market and what are the projections for growth? How is cannabis impacting our communities and natural resources?

Hear from experienced farmers and processors, legal experts, and marketing and certification specialists. Learn from the latest research on organic cannabis systems. Find out more about seed sourcing, pest management, soil health, and water quality concerns. Understand the complicated co-existence of hemp and cannabis. Get the lowdown on cannabis banking and finance.  Find out about state and university programs, licensing, registration, permits, and record keeping. We'll also cover equipment and facilities; manufacturing, handling, and transport regulations; and many other considerations for those exploring the quickly changing cannabis world.



Intensive: Equity in the Organic Movement

Is social equity in organic agriculture more than empty rhetoric, good intentions, an impossible dream? Are we as organic farmers, educators, and advocates really paving the path to fairer food? How do we fight racism, sexism, and classism that we know shape our own beliefs and actions? What concrete, courageous actions must we take--in the field, on the ground-- to change ourselves and change the system?  

 

This intensive workshop will guide us in a provocative, participatory exploration of social equity in organic agriculture. Our sector wants to be the farming movement of diversity and inclusion, fair wages and worker protections, equal access to a healthy environment and healthy food. But we know how short we fall from these ideals. We see who's missing when we look at our customers, co-workers, and conferences. We recognize the vast, historical, structural causes, the powerfully entrenched barriers to equity. We feel guilty and overwhelmed and helpless. We struggle to figure out what it means to “be an ally” and “stand with” the marginalized; which votes, Tweets, data, and donations make a difference; what in the world we can do beyond outreach, outrage, and magical thinking?

 

This special intensive will focus on our individual and collective roles in keeping farms profitable and productive, improving farm wages and working conditions, making healthy food accessible to all, and diversifying leadership in our sector. It will create a comfortable space for discomfort, for reflecting on our own responsibility and vulnerability. We'll investigate the interactions between structural and institutional inequalities and our personal experiences and perspectives. We'll examine the problems, causes, connections, and solutions. We'll deepen and broaden our thinking about our own choices and priorities: Which partners do we cultivate? Which policies do we champion? Which practices do we change? Finally, we'll lay a foundation for ongoing dialogue and support, exploring possibilities for a learning/working group or community of practice for social equity in organic agriculture.

Intensive: Seed Production Essentials

Are you interested in learning how to grow seed on your farm? This full day intensive will give you the tools you need to get started!

The Seed Production Essentials Intensive at Organicology will include top-notch training on the basics of growing seed – from production practices, to cleaning techniques, to the economic considerations for a successful crop. Seasoned seed growers who live the ins and outs of producing seed will lead this daylong intensive. Our goal is for you to finish the intensive with the knowledge and confidence you need to grow your own seed for your farm or markets.

Intensive: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? Integrity, Continuous Improvement and Evolution in the Organic Trade

THE ONE INNOVATION that is our legacy to pass on is the idea that local and regionally based and privately owned for-profit businesses can be effective vehicles for large scale social change. We are not philanthropically funded NGOs. We are not in the street marchers. We do not do electoral politics. We buy things and sell things and provide services to our customers and by doing so we have enabled and facilitated a profound and enduring change in farming. By doing so, we have demonstrated the effectiveness of an overlooked model of social change. We must work to ensure that this lesson is not lost on those who come after us.” – David Weinstein, organic produce trade pioneer.

 

As the movement birthed the organic trade, those who stepped into the work were individuals and collectives holding vision for the potential of organic businesses to join forces with the organic movement in order to not only change agricultural practice but business practice as well. Now, more than 4 decades later, we find that our vision of what could be has not only created a flourishing market for our goods but done so on a scale resulting in the “mainstreaming” of the organic trade. This unfamiliar position has spawned increasingly contentious debates about what is “truly” organic, what responsibility organic has to “evolve” (or not) in order to help address numerous global crises that may be aggravated or abated by agricultural practice, and who should be carrying the organic flag into the future. Many of the visionaries and early entrepreneurs are no longer active participants, many iconic businesses and brands have been acquired and their voices diminished, and there is a sense of uncertainty and even despair in some circles related to how to proceed.

 

In this intensive, we will look at IFOAM’s “Organic 3.0” and the OTA’s “Bold Steps” as potential guides for navigating the challenges now before us, and the “Middle Path”, developed by Organic Agsystems Consulting and Organically Grown Company staff as a process for deliberating options with the requirement that they provide