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Organic Advisory Council Fall Meeting

The Fall meeting of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council was held on Tuesday, October 29 at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) located at 2811 Agriculture Drive in Madison.

Agenda: FINAL October 29 2013 Agenda

DRAFT minutes: DRAFT October 29, 2013 Minutes

The featured guest at the meeting was Jimmy Bramblett, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin, who was appointed in 2012. The conversation will include an opportunity for attendees to meet Bramblett and allow the Council to share information about the organic farming community in Wisconsin.

The meeting included reports from state and federal government agencies. Updates were also given on the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Farm Bill and genetically modified organisms.

The next meeting of the Organic Advisory Council will be January 15, 2014.

To learn more, contact DATCP’s Laura Paine at 608-224-5120 or laura.paine@wi.gov. For additional information on the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council, visit http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Organic_Farming/Advisory_Council.

Organic Advisory Council Summer Meeting

The Summer meeting of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council was hosted by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) in Elkhorn, WI. The meeting featured reports from state and federal government agencies and updates on priority issues such as the Food Safety Modernization Act, Farm Bill and genetically modified organisms.

Meeting Agenda: FINAL July 9 2013 Agenda

Meeting Minutes: FINAL July 9, 2013 Notes

The highlights of the day was a presentation by David Andrews, MFAI Executive Director and his staff on the mission of the Institute and a virtual tour of Krusen Grass Farm, the pasture-based organic dairy farm owned and operated by Altfrid Krusenbaum, a council member whose term is ending this year.

The twelve Council members work throughout the year to support organic production, processing and purchasing opportunities for Wisconsin farmers, processors and consumers. At the July meeting, four Council members began their three-year term of service including Elena Byrne, Jennifer Casey, Steve Pincus and Inga Witscher.

Byrne is a representative of a certified organic business. She is the outreach coordinator for the Organic Processing Institute in Middleton. Byrne has a PhD in nutrition education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Institute’s goals are to expand opportunities for the organic business sector in the Upper Midwest.

Casey is a returning Council member and serves as the consumer representative. She is a registered dietitian with the Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center in Milwaukee. She is active in the Milwaukee sustainable food movement and is a member of the Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast.

Pincus serves as a farmer representative. Pincus and his wife grow about 50 acres of vegetables and berries, selling wholesale and through community supported agriculture shares. Previously, he was an initial founder and manager of the Outpost Natural Food Coop in Milwaukee.

Witscher serves as an at-large representative on the Council. She is an organic dairy farmerand cheesemaker Witscher is also a videographer and is the co-creator and host of “Around the Farm Table,” a web-based video series.

March 18, 2013 Organic Advisory Council Meeting

MADISON – The spring meeting of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council was held on Monday, March 18 at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), 2811 Agriculture Drive, Madison.  The Agenda and DRAFT March 18 2013 Notes are available for this meeting.

The Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council brings together public and private resources to advise government agencies on organic issues and support organic production, processing and purchasing opportunities in the state. The public is welcome to attend the Council’s quarterly meetings.

The March meeting opened with recommendations from the nomination committee for the four open seats on the Council. The Council has twelve members, and each year four of the three-year terms expire.

Steve Ingham, DATCP’s Food Safety Division Administrator, made a presentation to the Council on the Food Safety Modernization Act. Following this presentation, Council members discussed updates on their 2013 priorities. A power point of his presentation is available here (Ingham FSMA presentation).

During new business, Dr. Paul Mitchell from the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussed the implications of the report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency on the crop insurance program for organic farmers. Mitchell’s presentation is available here (Mitchell Crop Insurance Presentation). The report is available at http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/05601-0006-KC.pdf.

The meeting concluded with old business and agency reports. For a meeting agenda, directions or other information, please contact Laura Paine, DATCP’s Organic Agriculture Specialist, at 608-224-5120 or laura.paine@wi.gov.

January 7, 2013 Organic Advisory Council Meeting

MADISON The Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council met on Monday, January 7 at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) located at 2811 Agriculture Drive, Madison. Please see links to the Council’s agenda and FINAL Minutes from the January meeting.

The Council began the new year by discussing a reorganization of roles and outlining Council priorities. Possible new priorities for 2013 include trying to keep organic acres in production and providing input to the National Organic Standards Board on the National Organic Program. The meeting included updates from state and federal government agency partners.

The twelve-member Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council meets quarterly to advise agencies, farmers, processors and consumers on organic agriculture issues. Information about the Council is at http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Organic_Farming/Advisory_Council.

For more details, contact Laura Paine, DATCP’s Organic and Grazing Specialist, at 608-224-5120 or laura.paine@wi.gov.