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The 16th Annual Upper Midwest Organic Farming
Every year, more and more people are saying “Make Mine Organic!” because they care about the health of their families, rural communities, and the environment—and because organic food tastes great! As consumers consider the implications of their food choices and demand more sustainable farming practices, a growing number of producers in the Midwest are seeking to transition to organic production. This year, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) will once again help organic farmers and transitioning farmers, as well as others involved in organic and sustainable agriculture, respond to consumer demand by hosting the 16th annual Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, February 25th and 26th in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The UMOFC is a unique, farmer-centered conference, bringing together a diverse group of over 1500 participants from across the region and around the nation. Last year, attendees traveled to La Crosse from 30 different states, with the largest number coming from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The conference has become renowned as the premier educational event in the organic farming community in the United States. Because the broad range of participants, the conference has increasingly broadened and diversified its scope: workshops and keynotes address everything from soil health to marketing to agriculture policy.
At the 2005 UMOFC, the opening keynote speakers on Thursday evening will be documentary photographer and video producer, Cynthia Vagnetti, and farmer and cultural organizer, Audrey Arner, who will facilitate an interactive media experience featuring stories of farmers from the Upper Midwest. The other keynote speakers scheduled to present at the conference are Dana Jackson from The Land Stewardship Fund, who will speak on “Organic Farming and Wild Nature: Setting a Higher Standard,” and Organic Policy Specialist, Jim Riddle, who will discuss the “Values, Virtues and Visions” of organic agriculture.
Some of the more than 45 workshop topics will include: specialty crops, marketing issues, crop production, animal husbandry, soil management, organic certification... and much more. The expanded exhibit hall will feature over 130 exhibitors, which represent every aspect of sustainable and organic agriculture, including resource groups, certification agencies, buyers, processors, cooperatives, suppliers of organic inputs, equipment, pest control, feed and seed and more. Food and drink at the conference will again be organic, and locally produced whenever possible. Friday night, the 4th annual Folk Music Contest, which is open to anyone willing to go public with his or her musical talent, will precede a night of live music and dance. Registration is $160 for the conference, which includes activities on Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday, as well as breakfast, lunches and breaks.
To receive a pre-conference flyer, with complete information on the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, email: email@example.com, call 715-772-3153 or write UMOFC P.O. Box 339, Spring Valley, WI 54767. (Flyers will be mailed in early December.) For updates on the conference and for an electronic version of this press release, visit our website at: www.mosesorganic.org.