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eOrganic Plans Pasture Rule
Webinars for Summer / Fall 2010

Added July 17, 2010. When it works, the Internet can be a wonderful tool for receiving information and networking with others across the country. Luckily, it was “wonderful” and cooperated on March 17, 2010 when the eOrganic Dairy Team held its first Webinar.

If the term “Webinar” is new to you, you’re not alone. It is a fairly new term and is an emerging distance learning technique; basically it stands for “web-based seminar.” Webinars (aka “webcasts” and called “farminars” by the Practical Farmers of Iowa) are basically workshops or seminars transmitted live over the Web.

The eOrganic Dairy Team has scheduled a series of Pasture Rule related Webinars for late Summer and Fall 2010. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

  • August 20, 2010, 2 pm ET. How to Calculate Pasture Dry Matter Intake on Your Organic Dairy Farm, with Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting.
  • September 16, 2010, 2 pm ET. Maximizing Dry Matter Intake on Your Organic Dairy Pastures, with Karen Hoffman, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • October 1, 2010, 2 pm ET. Setting Up a Grazing System on Your Organic Dairy Farm, with Cindy Daley, California State University at Chico, and Sarah Flack, Sarah Flack Consulting.

We are also planning a Webinar for November that will look at the Living Conditions provisions in the Pasture Rule, with Harriet Behar, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and personnel from the USDA NOP.

To register or for more information, please visit our “Upcoming Webinars” page at http://www.extension.org/organic_production. They are free-of-charge but do require a high-speed Internet connection. And following each live Webinar, an archive of each presentation will be posted on the website listed above.

eOrganic started its Webinar series during Winter/Spring 2010. eOrganic is an online community of more than 600 ag service providers and farmers who are developing science-, experience-, and regulation-based certified organic articles, videos and other content—including Webinars--at eXtension.org.

The eOrganic Dairy Team’s first Webinar focused on the newly released Access to Pasture Rule, with speaker Dr. Kerry Smith of the USDA National Organic Program. Dr. Smith gave an overview of the Rule and responded to questions from the Webinar’s virtual participants. You can see an archive of Dr. Smith’s presentation at http://www.extension.org/article/26133. More than 100 farmers and ag service providers from 31 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces participated in the Webinar. We also broadcast it live at the Western Regional Grazing Conference in Chico, California organized by the Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance and Dr. Cindy Daley at CA State University at Chico. Of the 39 farmers and others who attended the session at the conference, 83% said the Webinar improved their understanding of the topic addressed, and 73% intended to apply their knowledge in their work on the farm or with farmers. We also received lots of comments from participants which have been helpful in planning future articles, videos and Webinars.

If you have any questions about eOrganic or our Webinar series, please contact Deb Heleba, eOrganic Dairy Team Coordinator, at debra.heleba@uvm.edu or 802.656.4046.