AGENDA: June 17 2009

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AGENDA: June 17 2009


Where are we now and what is eOrganic's vision for the next few

We described this in our proposal, so lets take a look at
that. Please read the

to refresh your memory!

highlights will be shown in a brief powerpoint presentation. 30
mins incl discussion

Where do we need to be in October when the new rfa comes
out? What questions do we need to answer in our monthly
meetings? Let's make a list of the issues. Here are some ideas to
get us started. 30 mins incl discussion

What should be the agenda for July's call, and what do we need
to do to prepare for that call? 15 mins


the National Information, Training, and

System for Organic Agriculture

Timeline and Funding

eOrganic began to develop as an eXtension Community of
Practice in fall 2006 with funding from eXtension (45K)

eOrganic received OREI funding in fall 2007 (612K: lead
OSU, with UVM, UIL, UMN)

eOrganic launched its community workspace in fall 2007
and developed its first wave of content on that workspace
throughout 2008.

eOrganic (lead, Clemson, w/OSU) received an Extension
IPM grant: 100K: Oct 2008
Sept 2010

eOrganic published its first content to eXtension in January

eOrganic submitted a new proposal to IOP in March 2009
(10 Universities)

This proposal was not funded, but the IOP will fund
eOrganic at approx 300+K in 09

eOrganic Proposal


Heather Darby Title: Extension Assistant Professor UVM

Mary Barbercheck Title: Professor, PSU

Timothy Coolong Title: Extension Faculty, UKY

Cynthia Daley Title: Professor, CSU Chico

Darin Eastburn Title: Associate Professor, UIUC

Eric Gallandt Title: Associate Professor, U ME

John Hendrickson Title: Senior Outreach Specialist, UW

John Lambrinos Title: Assistant Professor, OrSU

Sally Miller Title: Professor, OhSU

Anusuya Rangarajan Title: Director, Small Farms Program, Cornell

Erin Silva Title: Associate Scientist, UW

Garry Stephenson Title: Director, Small Farms Program, OrSU

Danielle Treadwell Title: Assistant Professor, UF

Michelle Wander Title: Associate Professor, UIUC

Roger Leigh Title: IT Director, OrSU

Deborah Cavanaugh
Grant Title: Extension Specialist, UIL

Jim Riddle, Organic Specialist, U MN

Brian Baker, OMRI

People/PIs (12 institutions)

eOrganic's Public Content

eOrganic launched its public content at eXtension
in late January 2009. To date, over 60 authors
have contributed to more than 180 articles, 75
FAQs, and 100 videos.

Since our public launch, eOrganic's articles have
seen over 77,000 hits (total number of times our
pages have been viewed) on eXtension, with
more than 22,000 hits in May. The most
article in May was Bonnie Cox's
Training Systems
and Pruning in Organic Tomato Production

over 700 hits.

eOrganic's videos at Youtube

have seen over
25,000 total views. The most
viewed video is
footage of Suzy and Robelee Evans
demonstrating their Reigi weeder
. This video has
been viewed by people in India, Turkey, Russia,
and Brazil.

Content Templates

Citation formats

and eOrganic disclaimer

Geographic relevance

Permissions (image, excerpt, etc)/
types(creative commons)

Source of info (science, practitioner,

Contributors and contributions

eOrganic started developing an eOrganic
configured Drupal
based "collaborative
workspace" ( in August 2007 in
partnership with eXtension

eXtension agreed to work with us to "feed" our
completed articles from to for publication. Content developed
at and in publication
ready form
can now be published to with the
click of a mouse.

***OSU supports two other workspaces:
PBGworks, also supported by CSREES (Plant
Genome), and the OSU Hort Dept. workspace. functionality

Current functionalities of the website include:

individual member tools
: customizable personal profile pages, a task
manager, and blogging

groups of various types


discipline (e.g., soils, cover crops, and disease
management), farming system (e.g., dairy, diversified vegetables),
project (OREI, SARE, and other research/outreach projects), and
administrative (Leadership Team, Editorial Committee, Membership
Committee, etc.)

group tools
: member lists, email notifications, forums, photo sharing,
task management, a "wiki" for group documentation, free
webconferencing, and activity streams

help section

aggregated news feeds
: "listening station" for the web featuring organic
and sustainable agriculture information

publishing workflow

(articles move from idea


final draft


author revisions


copy edit

ready to



7) a managed, anonymous,
review process

direct publishing


associated metadata

(data permanently associated with the page)
including contributor attribution and permissions, geographic relevance
(state and NRCS ecoregion), information type (science
, experience
and/or regulation
based), and date.

eOrganic Outreach

eOrganic members presented and staffed booths
on behalf of eOrganic from late 2007 to March

Collectively, eOrganic members have participated
in more than 38 events attended by over 13,000
people. Approximately 1000 eOrganic factsheets
and 2000 eOrganic bookmarks have been handed
out at these events.

Major events: Eco
farm conference, Southern
SAWG, the Midwest Organic Farming Conference,
PASA, Organicology, 6th International IPM
Conference, and many producer meetings,
classrooms, policy maker meetings, and more.

eOrganic Project Goals:

Goal 1: Further develop eOrganic, the Organic Production
Resource Area at, as a resource for farmers,
agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers, educators
seeking information on best organic agricultural practices,
research results, farmer experiences, and certification

Goal 2: Train organic farmers, extension personnel, and other
agricultural professionals in organic agricultural principles and

Goal 3: Facilitate researcher/educator/farmer networking,
collaboration, and research and outreach project management
through the workspace and web community

Goal 1: Further develop eOrganic, the Organic Production
Resource Area at

as a resource for farmers, agricultural
professionals, certifiers, researchers and

seeking information on best organic agricultural
practices, research results, farmer

experiences, and certification

Activity One: Publish text
based peer
, experience
, and regulation

information to

Our first content focuses on the fundamentals of
organic agriculture (soil and pest management,
certification) as well as dairy (model livestock) and
diversified vegetables (model cropping) systems.

Content is typically authored or co
authored by some
combination of group leaders and members, authors
outside the group who volunteer to submit an article to
the group, and/or contract authors.

Content models

Groups take leadership in providing models for specific
strategies or formats for content development.

The Soils Group led efforts to incorporate OREI
research results into eOrganic articles and to address the
relationship between organic certification and other federal

The Vegetable Group published video content and initiated the
eOrganic YouTube site (

The Dairy and Vegetable Groups described farmer experiences
in the form of both articles and videos.

The Cover Crops group is exploring with SARE how to bring
SARE content (using the book Managing Cover Crops Profitably
as a model) to eOrganic/eXtension.

The Seeds Group published an entire resource guide

Each group described future content
development plans

Dairy group future content topics: :

Forage and grain cropping and grazing systems for organic

Economics and marketing, with emphasis on value added
processing considerations and interactive economic
making tools;

Advanced content on organic dairy herd nutrition;

Advanced content on organic dairy herd health;

Livestock selection: breeding and purchasing

Infrastructure considerations. A special emphasis will be
placed on ration development based on high forage and low
grain diets as well as maximizing farm grown forage yield
and quality,

Vegetable Group:

Regional leaders: Anu Rangarajan, Cornell
(northeast); Tim Coolong, Univ of KY (south);
Erin Silva and John Hendrickson, Univ of WI
(midwest); Alex Stone, Oregon State (west)]

specific content will be developed in
one and two
on carrots, peas, beans, cucurbits,
brassicas, potato, lettuce, and spinach (adapting
content from the Cornell organic crop guides);

year three
on tomatoes, peppers, onions, and
garlic (crops not addressed by the NY project).

Content will be nationalized and regionalized.

Vegetable Group content (w/pest, soils,
covers groups):

Crop specific content will include: cover crops, soil health,
field selection, disease management, nonpathogenic
disorders, insect management, crop and soil nutrient
management, harvesting and post harvest handling, and
pesticide registrations.

Regional organic and conventional vegetable production
guides will be used as reference materials (e.g., the online
Southeastern US Vegetable Crop Handbook).

The Soils, Disease and Insect Management, and Cover
Crops groups will work closely with the Vegetable Group on
the crop specific articles.

The Vegetable Group will also address cross
crop issues in
partnership with appropriate groups: transition, rotation
planning, soil health, systems plan development, whole
farm systems strategies, cover crops, nutrient
management, plastic mulches, season extension, irrigation,
transplant production methods, seeding methods, potting
mixes, packing shed design and management, and food

Activity Two: Publish video
based information
demonstrating practitioner experiences and

research results to

eOrganic will develop short video clips and more
polished video series to demonstrate farmer

generated organic production strategies and

Video clips will be available at eOrganic's YouTube
channel (, as
series with audio transcription at,
embedded in articles as appropriate, and used in
webinars/short courses

Group video initiatives

The Vegetable Group: V
ideo effort will focus on communicating
farmer expertise. At least 5 clips and one video series will be
published per region. Video topics will include rotation planning,
harvest packing and handling (emphasis on food safety),
reduced tillage, and season extension.

The Disease Management Group
will produce at least three
videos: 1) grafting of greenhouse tomatoes for disease
management (OREI
funded project led by Francis, OhioSU), 2)
hot water and chlorine treatment of vegetable seed, 3) scouting
for vegetable diseases on your organic farm.

The Weed Management Group
will produce at least 8 short
videos demonstrating research results for a grower audience.

The Weed Group will also identify at least two experienced
"systems weed managers" in each of the 4 regions and produce
videos demonstrating farmer weed management strategies. The
videos will highlight specific management practices and systems
level approaches. The farming systems will include diversified
vegetables, cash grain, and integrated animal systems.

Activity Three: Develop Models for
Regionalization of eOrganic Content

The New Ag Network
- will
serve as a model for eOrganic regional networking and
communication that includes development of regionally
content for publication to

NAN (led by Deborah Cavanaugh Grant, in cooperation with Liz
Maynard, Purdue; Dale Mutch and Joy Landis, MSU) is a 5 year old
outreach collective directed by educators at 3 Midwestern Land
Grant Universities and advised by midwestern organic farmers.

NAN will form a Research
Outreach Group in eOrganic’s
workspace. NAN will facilitate networking among organic farmers,
educators, and researchers in the Great Lakes Region using the interface by coordinating virtual project tours and
seminars with regional researchers, educators, and farmers (see
Goal Three); at least one third of these seminars will be
developed into eOrganic articles. In addition, NAN will
collaboratively develop its regional newsletter in the workspace,
and some newsletter content will be adapted for publication to

Activity Four: Build Partnerships with other Organic
Agriculture Information Providers

eOrganic published cover crop articles adapted from SARE's
Managing Cover Crops Profitably
in its January launch The text
from the chapter was brought into, information
that was not compliant with the NOP regulations was removed,
and additional photos, text and videos were inserted as

eOrganic will continue to collaborate with SARE representatives
(Andy Clark and Dena Liebman, see SARE Letter of
Collaboration, Appendix 1) to develop strategies by which SARE
content can be updated and augmented through the collaborative
efforts of the eOrganic Cover Crops Group and made available
at This model may then be adapted for
partnerships with other organic agriculture information

Activity Five: Further develop and
eXtension public site:

Customizable personal pages

Customizable group workspaces

Training on the adoption of other group communication
and collaboration tools:

Training strategies to suit different learning styles

Improved public site usability

Activity Six: Build and Manage the
Expert system.

Goal 2: Train organic farmers, extension
personnel, and other agricultural
professionals in

organic agricultural principles and

Activity One: Conduct webinar series for farmers and
agricultural professionals highlighting eOrganic content,
OREI/other research results, and regional expertise.

All webinars will be taped and video streamed from and at least one third will be developed
into text
based eOrganic articles.

eOrganic will evaluate the utility and efficacy of
coordinating "webinar parties" at local Extension
offices or farms with high speed internet.


eOrganic will offer a minimum of 6 FOA webinars each year.
The webinars will target farmers, Extension educators, other
agricultural professionals.

eOrganic will seek out presenters representing past and current
funded projects in an effort to bring OREI project
research results and researchers together with farmers and
agricultural professionals.

Topics: Principles of Organic Soil Fertility; Organic Agriculture
and Soil Health; Organic Management of Plant Health; Organic
Management of Livestock Health; Cover Cropping in Organic
Cropping Systems; Introduction to Organic Systems Planning;
Soil Testing in Organic Farming Systems.

Webinars: Primary audience

farmers, ag

Dairy Webinars

Year 1 Theme: Critical Issues for Organic Dairy

Year 2: Advanced Herd Health and Nutrition

Vegetable Webinars

Years 2
3: Regional Webinar Series (all 4 regions):
"Making Your Organic Systems Plan Work for You".
Exploring the organic system plan as a tool to improve
a farm's productivity and sustainability.

Audience: experienced diversified organic vegetable

Activity Two: Train extension agents/agricultural
professionals in organic principles/practices and organic
farming systems mngmnt by conducting online certificate
short courses (dairy and vegetable production)

Vegetable Production Short Course: “Introduction to Organic
Vegetable Production: a Systems Approach”.
Vegetable group in
partnership with Cover Crop, Soils, Disease and Insect Management, and Weed
Management Groups.

Module 1: Introduction to organic vegetable production: a
systems approach

Module 2: Organic certification and systems plans

Module 3: Organic soil management: cover crops, composting and
nutrient budgeting

Module 4: Crop selection and rotation practices

Module 5: Pest Management: a systems approach (4 module

Module 6: Organic and ecological weed management

Module 7: Organic and ecological insect management

Module 8: Organic and ecological disease management

Module 9: Organic vegetable crop harvest and postharvest

Module 10: Business management and enterprise budgeting

Module 11: Course evaluation and discussion

Goal 3: Facilitate
researcher/educator/farmer networking,

and research and

outreach project management
through the
workspace and web community

Activities One and Two: Invite and support research
and outreach group use of the workspace for project

management; evolve workspace for this use.

Identify OAREI and other organic agriculture research/outreach

Bring them into; use workspace for project

Collaborative writing, review, all work archived

Group decision making (forums, archived)

Image gallery (with metadata)

Meeting scheduling, webconferencing

Other group management tools

Publication to eXtension and other venues

Interaction with the larger eOrganic community

Improve workspace for this use in collaboration with users

Activity Three: Foster Research
Group Networking

Virtual Seminar Series
: Each research and outreach project, farming
system, and discipline group will host or co
host at least one
seminar series
during the course of this project. These will consist of at
least four 1 hour virtual seminars hosted through Adobe Connect Pro. The
host group will select a seminar topic, work with the ROG coordinator to
identify, invite, and schedule 4 presenters with expertise in that topic,
invite participants (typically, all eOrganic members and others), and
conduct the seminars. All seminars will be taped and available as
streaming video from In addition, at least one third of all
seminars will be reformatted into text
based eOrganic articles.

Possible topics include:

Planning and Managing Farming Systems Trials,

New Ideas in On
Farm and Participatory Research and Outreach,

Core Data Sets in Organic Systems Research,

Using as an Integrated Research and Outreach Tool,

Long Term Organic Systems Trials: What have we learned?,

Reduced Tillage in Organic Farming Systems.

Virtual Project Tours:
In addition, each RO group maintaining a
workspace in eOrganic will host at least one virtual group tour during the
course of the project. These tours would include: introduction of group
members, brief overview of group objectives and activities, in
consideration of one or more activities, and problems the group has
encountered. Virtual tours would be 1

1.5 hrs in duration.

How you can incorporate eOrganic
into your OAREI proposal

Create an

outreach group to manage your project, create a public
and web presence,

collaborate, and communicate with your members.

Describe how you plan to participate in and/or take leadership for
research community activities, including virtual project tours and virtual seminars,
For example, coordinate 4 virtual seminars given by research/integrated groups from
various parts of the country on a given topic

Designate at least one member of your group to serve on an eOrganic committee and
state this in your workplan. Currently, these committees include 1) Workspace
Development, 2) Publication, 3) Outreach, 4) Evaluation, 5) Membership, 6)
Research/integated project groups, 7) Farmer engagement.

Project staff managing
eOrganic activities must participate as members of the eOrganic Staff Group.

State in your plan of work that you and other group members will join relevant
eOrganic discipline

farming system groups

(e.g. soils, insect management,
dairy, vegetables).

Make a plan to develop outreach materials appropriate for publication to the
Agriculture Resource Area


Each new group joining eOrganic should designate and budget for a person or
persons that 1) provides group content development vision/leadership, 2) trains
group members on use of the workspace, 3) coordinates content development,
formatting, and editing, 4) works with eOrganic staff to manage content review, and
5) coordinates webinars and seminars, if appropriate.

Incorporate funding for eOrganic platform and publication support into your budget.
This funding supports development of and basic training on the workspace; oversight
of review, copy editing, and publication of eXtension content; and webinar and
webconferencing capabilities.

If your project is focused specifically on vegetable or
dairy production, the two systems eOrganic is focusing on presently, your group does
not have to include eOrganic funds in its budget.

Activity Four: Foster Farmer
Networking and Collaboration

Develop a core group of experienced farmers representing
various regions who are interested in web interactivity and
networking. This group will identify, explore, and evaluate
various strategies for developing farmer networking
through and other web initiatives.

Strategies may include:

virtual farm tours (similar to a seminar) in which farmers take
virtual tour participants on a farm tour using photos/videos
depicting the farm operation or specific strategies;

discussion forums on specific topics;

led webinar discussions on specific farming topics, e.g.
packing shed design/management; conservation practices.

Vegetable leader Hendrickson will partner with this effort to
determine how the Univ of WI website
( might be developed as a
site for farmers to post equipment reviews and plans,
keeping forms, and reports from on
variety/research trials.


eOrganic will reach out to farmers, extension and other agricultural
professionals, researchers, and others through many activities from the public site itself and through webinars, short courses, and
virtual seminars.

In addition, eOrganic will reach out through:

eOrganic News:
eOrganic will publish an on
line newsletter on a quarterly
basis. Each edition will include updates on newly published content
available at, a profile of an eOrganic member,
announcements of webinars, seminars, and short courses, feature articles
on timely organic education topics (e.g. the recent changes in the organic
pasture standards), and news from organic research projects.

Outreach at conferences, workshops, and other events

Identify, prioritize, schedule and staff outreach events, develop and
distribute press releases, as well as collect data and report on events
attended, presentations conducted, booths staffed, numbers of people
contacted, and materials distributed.

Develop, improve/update, and print outreach materials. eOrganic
distributes a trifold brochure for recruitment of CoP members, as well as a
fact sheet and bookmark describing the eOrganic public content at

Regional travel and materials distribution, as well as communication with
regional media, will be coordinated by regional “press secretaries”


The project evaluation will provide:

ongoing feedback to eOrganic project groups in order to
support continuous improvement in their work,

an independent, objective accounting of the outcomes and
impact of the project.

The scope of the evaluation will focus on:

the extent to which the publicly available information resources
developed by the project provide high quality, relevant, and
useful educational materials that support the nation’s organic
farming enterprises

the extent to which the eOrganic project has developed an
effective workspace that supports collaboration among
researchers and agricultural professionals

Evaluation Tools and Strategies

Published content:

Public content users (farmers, ag professionals. others).
Survey instruments and feedback forms will include questions that address the
content, format and accessibility of the information resources

Participatory events:

Survey participants about the effectiveness of
participatory events such as webinars. Pre

and post
test assessments of
knowledge, attitudes, skills, aspirations, and behaviors.


: will generate a database of users from which a
sample will be surveyed about the effectiveness of this eOrganic service. In
each case, a common core set of questions will be used across all content
areas to provide an overview of audience feedback across all eOrganic topics;
questions of special interest to specific groups may be added as necessary.

Individual or focus group interviews:

Common protocols for conducting
individual or focus group interviews, website usability testing, and content
reviews will be developed.

Discussion of Proposal

Identification of areas in which
eOrganic is supporting/enhancing
mission/goals of Integrated
Organic Program

Questions to be answered by Oct?

Where do we need to be in October when the new rfa comes
out? What questions do we need to answer in our monthly
meetings? Let's make a list of the issues. Here are some ideas to
get us started. 30 mins incl discussion

What is/should be the relationship between eOrganic

and the IOP (and
how does this relate to CSREES/eXtension


How does/can eOrganic support/enhance the mission and

goals of the IOP?

What is eOrganic core, and what is not?

How can

CSREES support
eOrganic core?

How should IOP
supported projects partner with eOrganic, should they
write eOrganic into their budgets, and if so, how much?

Next step: What should be the agenda for July's call, and what do
we need to do to prepare for that call? 15 mins