Organic Advisory & Education Council

Organic Advisory & Education Council

OAEC Updates & News

Call for letters of support

To All Organic Producers --

As you know, Perennial Field Bindweed and Canada Thistle are the most detrimental weeds that we, either vegetable growers, grain producers, or ranchers, are faced with.

Over the last several years, Montana State University (MSU) has sent in large grant applications to the USDA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) applying for money to research and help organic producers find solutions to combat these weeds. Each year the committee that looks at these grant applications has responded with suggestions and comments to make future applications better.

This year, Dr. Pat Carr, of the Central Ag Research Center in Moccasin, is pulling together an expanded application that incorporates these suggestions, comments, and ideas, as well as expands the research to neighboring states, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Washington. Objectives of this proposal can be downloaded here.

Dr. Carr is in need of letters of support for this project and this is where your help is of great importance.  The letters need to say in your own words some or all of the following:

  • That this research is needed and is a response to your needs (not something some university folks dreamed up that Montana farmers really don’t want).
  • That either you personally, or someone you know, either has been driven out of organic production or is considering it because of the problem thistle and/or bindweed creates.
  • That the information which this project will provide would be something in some way, shape, or form that you could apply to your operation.
  • That you support this project.

The government is all about outcomes, so it is vital that stakeholders (farmers) indicate they really are interested in the results of this research project because it would provide information that they could incorporate directly into their operation.

We are asking everyone to take the time and, in your own words, write a letter of support. Pat Carr is in need of these letters no later than February 20, 2018. We (OAEC) have created a template that you are welcome to use. The template can be accessed above. It will download as a Word document. Make the necessary changes, revisions, or additions, print and mail to Dr. Carr.

OAEC and Dr. Carr thanks you in advance for your help with getting this vital research funded for Montana.