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Business & Economics

Project helps beginning farmers raise organic crops in five states, including South Dakota

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This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology will hit the road to help train beginning farmers and ranchers about raising organic field crops.

Jeff Schahczenski is the agriculture and natural resource economist and project director of Preparing a Resilient Future. The project was selected for funding in a national competition under the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program funded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“And we pitched the idea that organic field crop scale farms have a great profitability potential and have not received kind of the education and chance for producers to explore this kind of novel system of production,” Schahczenski said.

Schahczenski said the two-day training will include on-farm workshops, tours and one-on-one technical assistance. Experienced organic farmers and ranchers will be some of the lead trainers.

NCAT will lead the $600,000 three-year project along with the Montana Organic Association, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, Center for Rural Affairs, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, International Organic Inspectors Association, North Dakota State, and University of Wyoming.

Preparing a Resilient Future will travel to South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming. Exact dates and locations have not yet been announced.