Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Webinar

This webinar was recorded on March 24, 2015.

Watch it on YouTube at

About the Webinar

The Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project is a breeding effort to addresses the critical needs of organic carrot farmers by developing orange and novel colored carrots with improved nematode and disease resistance, improved weed competitiveness, and improved nutritional value and flavor. The project is also comparing the relative performance of varieties in organic versus conventional farming systems through replicated trials in four states and exploring the response of various genotypes to soil microbial environments. Join us to hear project results from the first three years, learn about advancements in breeding for nematode resistance, and gain insights into the genetic component of plant response to beneficial microbiota and implications for organic farming systems.


About the Presenters

Philipp Simon, USDA, Agricultural Research Service and Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Phil Simon holds a B.S. in Biology from Carroll College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin. He is a USDA, ARS Research Geneticist and faculty member of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Phil's research includes vegetable genetics and breeding with a focus on carrot improvement. His carrot breeding targets nematode and disease resistance, and improved flavor and nutritional quality. He has developed carrot germplasm with high carotene content, mild fresh carrot flavor, purple color, and root-knot nematode resistance.

Micaela Colley, Executive Director, Organic Seed Alliance

In addition to being the Executive Director, Micaela Colley manages participatory plant breeding, research and education projects with farmers, university researchers and other seed professionals. She has authored several educational publications covering topics on organic seed production, on-farm crop improvement and variety trailing, and teaches workshops on seed related topics.

 Jared Zystro, Research and Education Assistant Director, Organic Seed Alliance

Jared Zystro has a master’s degree in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin and has worked in the organic seed industry for over 10 years, managing seed production at two farms and conducting research and education projects with OSA. In his work at OSA, he manages OSA's regional development in California, conducts participatory breeding projects and variety trials, and teaches farmers about seed production and plant breeding at workshops, conferences and field days.

 Philip Roberts, Professor and nematologist, University of California - Riverside

Philip Robert's research focuses on genetics of resistance and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses of vegetables and agronomic crops, and the deployment of resistance through plant breeding and integrated pest management strategies. In particular, resistance to nematodes and fungal pathogens of carrots, cowpea and other grain legumes, cotton, and tomato has been a major focus.

Lori Hoagland, Assistant Professor, Specialty Crop Production Systems, Purdue University

Dr. Hoagland’s research focuses on soil microbes and their interactions with plants to increase crop productivity and reduce negative impacts of farming systems on the environment. Current projects include efforts to identify management practices that stimulate the activity of microbes that efficiently cycle nutrients, suppress soil-borne pathogens, and/or help plants tolerate drought stress, and select carrot and tomato varieties that actively recruit and host beneficial microbes that help plants resist pathogen infection.

Cathleen McCluskey, Communications and Outreach Associate, Organic Seed Alliance

Cathleen McCluskey supports OSA's communications, leads the organization’s design work, and organizes the biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference. She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where she studied Agricultural Systems Analysis, coordinated food sovereignty campaigns, and organized for federal-level public engagement regarding issues of market concentration in the agriculture sector.


Published January 22, 2015

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.