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Future of Agriculture

Welcome to the Future of Agriculture Podcast with Tim Hammerich. This show explores the people, companies, and ideas shaping the future of agribusiness. If you are curious about innovations in AgTech, rural entrepreneurship, agricultural sustainability, and food security, this is the show for you! For more details on the guests featured on this show, visit the blog at www.FutureOfAg.com. Or, to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture, visit www.AgGrad.com Make sure you’re subscribed so you can catch another fascinating ag innovator next week!
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Now displaying: Page 1
Oct 13, 2021

OGRAIN: https://ograin.cals.wisc.edu/

YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/uwipm/search?query=erin%20silva

Today’s episode is all about organic farming. Now, organic may be a concept that you have strong opinions about one way or another, but no matter what your perspective, I really encourage you to listen to what our guest has to say. 

I originally invited today’s guest, Dr. Erin Silva onto the show to clear up one specific question I had: are organic standards so restrictive that it makes it difficult to grow organically and build soil health through practices like no-till. But once we started the interview I started thinking of all sorts of perceptions of organic that Erin was able to clear up for me. If you’re open to really examining the myths and realities of organic agriculture, we’ve got a great show for you. 

Dr. Erin Silva is an associate professor and state extension specialist in organic and sustainable cropping systems at University of Wisconsin - Madison, a position she’s held for about 15 years. She works in partnership with farmers to conduct research related to organic grain production, with a focus on reducing tillage and incorporating soil health practices. 

Erin and I will try to pick apart myth from reality on several assumptions that exist out there about organic agriculture, such as: 

  • Organic is just about marketing
  • Organic is not conducive with building soil health
  • Organic is winding back the clock and moving backwards instead of forwards
  • Organic is only the super small and super big farmers 
  • Organic systems can’t ever be as productive as conventional systems
  • Organic doesn’t embrace technology

Of course there is no one perfect system for the future of agriculture, but in my opinion, organic does have an important role to play, and there’s even practices that other growing approaches, even conventional, can learn from the organic principles. 

Have a listen and see if you agree. Erin first dove deep into learning about organic agriculture in the early 2000s, but says her real education came when she started working directly with farmers in 2006.

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