The production of Biodynamic grains, pulses, and oilseeds is not keeping up with the demand in the marketplace. Challenges to expanding acres of Biodynamic production include:
- Lack of knowledge to scale Biodynamic practices across larger acreages, and to manage these farms as individual organisms
- Inadequate mechanisms for equitable risk-sharing relationships between farmers and the rest of the supply chain that are truly cooperative (versus competitive)
- Insufficient networking that enables sharing information and building strong relationships across the grain, pulse, and oilseed production and distribution system from seed to consumer
This workshop will share a case study on a project launched to address these challenges and identify ways that spirit and relationship are the basis of a resilient cooperative supply chain, avoiding the tendency to move towards industrialization. Several farmers across North Dakota and Montana are currently forming a Biodynamic Farmer to Farmer Education Hub specific to grain, pulse, and oilseed production. This hub will meet throughout the 2018 growing season and focus on sharing practical ways to implement Biodynamic practices on large acreages through farmer-to-farmer convening. The hub will also explore supply and distribution risk sharing beyond the farm gate by convening farmers with buyers, processors, and food companies. The workshop will present lessons learned from implementing this education hub and offer ideas on how to replicate this model successfully in other production systems and geographic areas. The workshop will be a panel including farmers, buyers, processors, food companies, and educators, with audience dialog about creating an associative economy.