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Country's largest organic farming event sees record-breaking attendance
by Audrey Alwell
03/01/16 MOSES

Country's largest organic farming event sees record-breaking attendance

Audrey Alwell

February 29, 2016 (La Crosse, WI) --  More than 3,600 people attended the 27th MOSES Organic Farming Conference last weekend in La Crosse, Wis., setting an attendance record and mirroring the country’s growing interest in organic food and sustainable farming practices. Participants from every state and around the globe took part in the three-day event, which was organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) addressed the gathering Saturday, pledging she will continue to push for broader funding for research in the fields of organic and sustainable agriculture.

La Crosse City Councilman Fran Formanek was also on stage Saturday, delivering a proclamation from the mayor naming Feb. 27 “Faye Jones Day” in honor of the founding director of MOSES who retires from the organization this month. The proclamation noted Jones’s visionary leadership and pioneering spirit behind the growth of the conference, which has helped thousands of farmers learn organic and sustainable farming practices.

Keynote speakers Mary Jo Forbord and Eric Lee-Mäder both spoke about environmental concerns and called for farm policies that support organic practices to protect people’s health and the planet’s water resources, soil and wildlife.

The annual event began with an award ceremony for the 2016 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year: Steve Pincus and Beth Kazmar from Evansville, Wis. These certified organic farmers, owners of Tipi Produce, are known for growing sweet carrots and other produce sold at food co-ops in Madison and Milwaukee. They also pack 500 boxes a week for members of their farm’s CSA. The couple is committed to nurturing both the land they farm and the farmhands who help them – three of their employees have been working with them for more than 10 years, and one has been employed with Tipi Produce for 20 years.

In addition to 65 workshops and 10 all-day courses, the conference featured a two-floor exhibit hall with more than 180 vendors offering products and services to support organic farming.

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference will return to La Crosse Feb. 23-25, 2017.


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