About the Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming Project

Welcome to the website for the NIFA OREI Project: Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming: e-Learning Materials and Decision Case Studies for Educators.

Transitioning to organic farming can be a risky prospect for those who have only farmed conventionally. A transitioning organic farmer is thrown into a whole new world with new rules, new production methods, and unfamiliar problems. When this new world is combined with a reduced support system, the risk of failure can be great. Information is available to farmers regarding the basic facts about organic agriculture, but real world situations that are beyond commonly-available knowledge can stymie even experienced producers. Our project will fill this void by offering unique interactive educational resources to not only increase knowledge of the transition process, but to also develop critical thinking abilities in the process.

Project Objectives

1. To develop interactive e-learning modules on transitioning to organic production in the Upper Midwest region
2. To create decision case studies that complement the e-learning modules topics
3. To organize educational events – such as listening sessions, workshops, and intensive training courses – on transitioning where we will utilize the modules and case studies with audiences in the Upper Midwest region

With these objectives, we will contribute to the success of transitioning organic grain, forage and horticultural producers. Another goal of our project is to educate undergraduate students on organic production and transitioning. Thus, our materials will be used by a variety of collaborators including university instructors, Extension educators and regional organizations to educate transitioning farmers, undergraduate students, and others interested in transitioning. By the end of this project, we will have developed the next generation of educational materials on organic transition specifically designed for active learning and development of critical thinking skills.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Kristine Moncada (monc0003@umn.edu)

News

Workshop attendees discussing a decision case study
We have the presentations available from the workshops on transitioning we conducted in December 2016.