Nation’s largest organic farming conference in La Crosse, Wis., Feb. 23-25

Staff Report

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. — The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) hosts its 23rd Annual Organic Farming Conference Feb. 23-25 at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis.

The annual Organic Farming Conference (OFC) is the nation’s largest and foremost educational and networking event for the organic farming community.

The farmer-centered OFC will feature more than 65 informative workshops, 160-plus exhibitors, nationally-known keynote speakers, and locally-sourced food and live entertainment. MOSES expects attendance to be about 3,000 farmers and agricultural professionals.

Held Thursday, Feb. 22, prior to the OFC, the Organic University will offer 10 full-day courses about various organic agriculture topics for novices and experts alike.

We’re really focused on farmer-to-farmer education and networking at our conference,” said Conference Co-Director Chris Blanchard.

Keynote speakers

Two nationally-recognized authorities are featured presenters at the OFC.

Friday, Feb. 23, Margaret Krome, policy program director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, will present “Growing Food, Health and Democracy: How Farmers, Activists and Consumers are Finding Our Power and Transforming the Food System.”

Saturday, Feb. 24, Heinz Award-winning filmmaker Curt Ellis will present a rich multi-media presentation titled “Growing Forward: The New Faces of Food and Farming.” King Corn filmmaker Ellis is co-founder of FoodCorps.

Organic Farmer of the Year

MOSES also will announce and feature the 2012 Organic Farmer of the Year Award recipient. The award is granted annually to an outstanding organic farmer or farm family who are innovators; who excel in managing farm resources; and who serve as educators and examples in their communities and to the next generation of organic farmers.

Young Organic Stewards

Young people have always been at the heart of the OFC. The Young Organic Stewards program recognizes, honors and supports the next generation of organic farmers through targeted workshops and social activities.

Attendance details

Cost to attend the conference is $195, which includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, workshops, general sessions, admission to the exhibit hall and evening entertainment. Supper is available at the conference for $15 for adults.

The fee for the in-depth Organic University sessions Thursday, Feb. 22, is $170.

The deadline for OFC and Organic University advance registration is Monday, Feb. 13. Walk-ins will be accepted after that for an added fee.

Numerous events will be offered for children and teens throughout the conference, including childcare as well as discounted meals and attendance fees.

For more information, call MOSES at (715) 778-5775 or visit

From the Feb. 1-7, 2012, issue

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