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    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Organic Confluences Summit

Evaluating and Advancing Knowledge Transfer in Organic

Monday, May 21 – Tuesday, May 22, 2018
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Patriots Plaza III Conference Center


The Organic Confluences Summit brings together farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members and key policy influencers to address large-scale challenges that the organic sector is facing. This day and a half conference, organized by The Organic Center, will be held in conjunction with Organic Week in Washington, D.C.

Organic farming is fundamentally different from conventional farming. In the past, this has constrained the traditional extension system from successfully communicating with organic farmers. While we know that lack of information is a major barrier to success for organic and transitioning farmers, we don’t yet understand the extent to which current information delivery systems support organic farmers.

Organic farming is evolving at a rapid pace. As farms become more diverse and organic-focused research becomes more abundant, it is imperative that farmers have access to educational materials and technical expertise.

Please join us. This conference will bring together diverse organic stakeholders to assess the state of extension and education for organic and transitioning farmers, explore current innovations in information dissemination, and address barriers that constrain knowledge transfer within the organic sector.



2018 Organic Confluences Conference Agenda

May 21, 2018

8:00am Registration, Coffee, and Breakfast
9:00am Welcome, Opening Remarks and Introductions
9:15am – 10:30am Extension: Past, Present and Future

  • Moderator: Dr. Jessica Shade, The Organic Center
  • Kathleen Delate – Professor and Extension Specialist, Iowa State University
  • Laura Driscoll –  Research Fellow, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Stephen Brown – District Agriculture Agent, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Alice Formiga – eOrganic
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:15am Clicker Questions
11:15am- 12:15pm Public-Private Partnerships

  • Kevin Mahalko – Grassworks, River Country RC&D, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, & Organic Valley
  • Chris Schreiner – Oregon Tilth
  • Matt Dillon – Clif Bar
12:15pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm – 2:15pm Importance of Communication Among Diverse Stakeholders

  • Alex Racelis – Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
  • Javier Zamora – Owner and farmer, JSM Organics
  • Michael Wall – Director of Farmer Services, Georgia Organics
2:15pm – 3:30pm Assessing the Effectiveness of Extension Requirements in Organic Agriculture Research Funding

  • Mat Ngouajio – National Program Leader, Division of Plant Systems – Production, USDA NIFA
  • Vernon GrubingerExtension Professor, University of Vermont and Coordinator for USDA’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)
  • Erin Silva – University of Wisconsin, Madison
3:30pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 5:00pm Information Transfer to Transitioning and Split Operations

  • Thea O’Carroll – YieldOrganic
  • Anders Gurda – Pipeline foods
  • Tucker Gretebeck – Farmer, Organic Valley
5:00pm Conference adjourns


May 22, 2018

8:00am – 9:00am Coffee and Breakfast
9:00am – 9:15am Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Introduction
9:15am – 10:30am Innovation in Information Transfer: Lightning Session

  • Mike Menes: True Organics
  • Maureen Moutoux: Moutoux Orchard, Chesapeake Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT)
  • Suzanne Pender: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Organic Communications
  • Lindsay Haines: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Organic Champions Program
  • Steven Mirsky: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Development of Decision Support Tools for Farmers
  • Erin Silva: University of Wisconsin, Madison, OGRAIN (Organic Grain Resource and Information Network)
  • Chris Schreiner: Oregon Tilth
  • Nate Powell-Palm: Farmer and Montana Organic Producers Co-op
  • Brise Tencer: Organic Farming Research Foundation      
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 12:15pm Break-out Discussions
12:15pm – 1:00pm Synthesis Discussion and Development of Recommendations
1:00pm Conference Adjourns for the day


Make the most of your time in Washington, D.C.!


Organic Confluences Summit is a day and a half conference organized by The Organic Center. It is held in conjunction with Organic Week in Washington, D.C which includes the Organic Trade Association’s Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days, a Capitol Hill Reception, and more.

Don’t miss a minute of this exciting policy-shaping week in Washington D.C. You can register for both conferences at once when you choose the Organic Week Package.

Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


2017 Organic Confluences: Making Research Count

View presentations from Day 1 of the 2017 summit >>

View presentations from Day 2 of the 2017 summit >>