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Montana Organic Association Conference

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 7:00pm to Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 5:00pm

The 2018 Montana Organic Association Conference will be a gathering of diverse but like-minded people who have dedicated themselves to living by organic standards that convey trust and transparency to the consumer. They will come together to share their stories, learn from each other and confront the many challenges that face them at this time in history. The Conference will present more than 40 speakers over the three-day conference. 

The Organic Trade Association's Farm Policy Director, Johanna Mirenda, will be speaking at the following sessions during the 2018 Montana Organic Association Conference. For more information, contact Johanna Mirenda

2018 Farm Bill Panel – What’s at Stake?, (During Lunch), Friday, 11:45 AM – 12:35 PM
Panelists: Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association;  Aaron Shier, Government Relations Representative, National Farmers Union; Alyssa Charney, Senior Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition;  Alison Vergeront, Agriculture Liaison & Field Representative for Senator Daines; Jesse Anderson, Agriculture Liaison for Senator Tester

Panelists will provide an update on 2018 Farm Bill negotiations. The House and Senate have both passed their respective drafts of the next farm bill and began working to negotiate the differences between the two bills, but the 2014 Farm Bill expired on September 30 without a new bill passed or an extension of current law. As farm bill negotiators continue to work to pass a new bill by the end of the year, there is a lot at stake for organic farmers and ranchers across the country. Panelists will include policy experts from the Organic Trade Association (OTA), National Farmers Union (NFU), and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), who will provide their analysis and insight regarding opportunities, challenges, and a path forward for the 2018 Farm Bill. The panel will also include presentations from the agriculture liaisons for Senator Daines and Senator Tester, who will speak to the importance of the next farm bill for Montana’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

Policy Updates and Emerging Programs that Matter to Montana Organic Farmers, Saturday, 8:00 AM – 9:50 AM (2 sessions)
Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association
Panelists include Doug Crabtree (Vilicus Farms), Kiki Hubbard (Organic Seed Alliance), and Anders Gurda (Pipeline Foods)

Organic Trade Association (OTA) staff and representatives of OTA member community groups will present the highlights of OTA’s current policy platform and priority initiatives. Panelists will share stories of how OTA’s policy agenda supports, and is shaped by, organic farmers. Featured topics will include: promoting organic priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill; overcoming challenges in organic grain supply chains; continuous improvement of organic seed usage; and strengthening organic animal welfare regulations.

Conference Information:

December 6-8, 2018

Mansfield Center

Great Falls, Montana