Decision Case Studies

Decision Case Studies

Another aspect of our education project will be the development of decision case studies, which will focus on actual situations and dilemmas facing organic producers in the Upper Midwest region.  Students become active participants by considering the farmer's dilemma to make their own decision for that situation.  The case studies will be used by educators in classrooms and workshops. 

Decision case studies in progress:

Cover Crop Conundrum

A farmer in south central Minnesota wants to include cover crops in his rotation to increase fertility and decrease weed pressure. However, his attempts to utilize them in the last several years have failed. After reading the details of this case, participants will consider these questions: Should he continue to use cover crops? Should he switch cover crop species? What other changes might he make to his rotation? What would you do in this situation?

Apple Orchard Options

This decision case study is about a couple who grow apples and their decision process in how to transition and the challenges of a split operation. This case offers a good example of how community and support from others can be important for making decisions during the transition phase. After reading details of this case, participants will consider these questions: Should they go organic? Should they transition the whole farm or run a split operation? What would you do in this situation?

Should I Become an Organic Farmer?

A young man, recently accepted to law school, has the opportunity to start farming organically in southern Minnesota.  While he had a great interest in farming, he did not have a farming background.  One factor in his favor was the help of an experienced mentor.  After reading this case, participants will consider these questions:  Should he become an organic farmer or a lawyer?  What are the biggest challenges for a new farmer? What would you do in this situation?

We are working on many more decision cases that will be available to educators at the end of our project.