Organic Agriculture (AG 315)        Spring 2006

Topic & Guest Speaker List                             

Coordinators:  Dr. Thomas Ruehr (ERSS) and Hunter Francis (SARC)

Cal Poly State University,  Bldg. 08, Room 123

MWF at 1-2 p.m.

3/27:  Introduction & John Phillips:  CP Professor, HCS Department.  Defining sustainability in agriculture

3/29:  Tom Ruehr:  ERSS Dept.  20th century food politics: The impact of public policy on US agriculture


4/3:    Hunter Francis:  SARC Program Coordinator.  The early history of organic agriculture

4/5:    Tom Ruehr:  Organic certification / USDA National standards

4/7:    Tom Ruehr:  Discussion – Political and certification issues in organic agriculture

4/10:  Jake Lewin:  CCOF Director of Marketing.  Food processor certification

4/12:  Tom Ruehr:  Labor and social considerations in organic agriculture

4/14:  Tom Neuhaus:  Professor, Food Science & Nutrition Department.  Fair Trade certification

4/17:  Tom Ruehr:  Introduction to soils and natural resources conservation / Externalities in ag

4/19:  Tom Ruehr:  Soil biology and its importance in organic agriculture

4/21:  James Parker:  Retail Produce Coordinator, Whole Foods.  Retailing trends in organic agriculture

4/24:  Tom Ruehr:  Soil fertility in organic systems

4/26:  Hunter Francis:  Systems thinking and related agricultural movements

4/28:  Gena Nonini:  Owner, Marian Farms.  Biodynamic agriculture

5/1:    Tim Stemwedel:  President, CA Organic Fertilizers.  Trends in the organic fertilizer industry

5/3:    Tom Ruehr:  Discussion and review for midterm


5/8:    Jennifer Ryder Fox:  Professor & HCS Department Head.  OMRI & organic product development

5/10:  Ed Himelblau:  Professor, Biology Dept.  What is ‘biotechnology’ & how can it be used in organics?

5/12:  Ramon Leon:  Asst. Professor, HCS Department.  Weed considerations in organic systems

5/15:  Jeff Wong:  CP Professor, HCS Department.  Organic seeds: production, certification and use

5/17:  David Headrick:  CP Professor, HCS Department.  Insect ecology in organic systems

5/19:  Liz Koutsos:  CP Professor, ASCI Department.  Organic egg and poultry production

5/22:  Eric Brennan:  USDA/ARS Research Horticulturist.  Research in organic systems

5/24:  Tom Ruehr:  Management practices & research - open discussion

5/26:  Deb Garrison:  Central Coast Ag Network.  Place-based labels / ‘Beyond Organic’ video


5/31:   Michael Ableman:  Founder, Fairview Gardens.  Traditional methods & modern urban agriculture

6/2:    Tom Ruehr:  Conclusion & final discussion

6/8:    FINAL EXAM