SPRING VALLEY, Wis. — Registration is open for the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, which takes place Feb. 25-27, 2016 at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis. This annual event, organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), is the country’s largest conference about organic and sustainable agriculture.
The conference features 65 workshops with something for every type of farmer — row crops, livestock, dairy, market and specialty crops — plus workshops for beginners, farmers new to growing organically and experienced organic growers.
“The high demand for organic food means we need more organic farmers,” said Faye Jones, MOSES executive director. “The MOSES Conference gives farmers the chance to see what it would take to put an organic system in place on their farms. The conference also includes ideas and research results that experienced organic farmers can implement.”
The conference’s Organic Research Forum highlights current research through a special track of research — focused workshops and a juried poster gallery with researchers on hand to discuss process and results.
In addition to attending the conference, farmers can dive more deeply into a topic by taking an all-day Organic University course Feb. 25. There are courses on productivity, high tunnel growing, transitioning to organic crops or dairy, medicinal herbs, soil health and more. The complete list and descriptions of each course are online at mosesorganic.org/organic-university.
Keynote speakers for the 2016 MOSES Conference are Eric Lee-Mäder and Mary Jo Forbord. Lee-Mäder is an author and co-director of the Xerces Society’s pollinator conservation program. He’ll talk about the latest science behind the declining numbers of pollinators and how organic farming supports pollinators. Forbord is a registered dietitian and a certified organic farmer. She’ll look at the changing landscape of farming and the challenge of coexistence of organic farms and GMOs. Keynotes are at 1:30 p.m. on each full day of the conference.
The conference also features a two-floor exhibit hall with more than 170 exhibitors. Vendors include organic buyers, sellers, certification agencies, seed and tool suppliers and other organizations and companies that offer information and services to help farms flourish. Admission to the hall is included with registration for Organic University or the conference.
Conference admission includes organic meals and a slate of great entertainment, including the Up Up film festival with a range of films about farming issues. Early bird discounted rates are in effect through Jan. 18. Registration is available online at mosesorganic.org/conference. To request a conference guide with a mail-in registration form, call 715-778-5775.
MOSES is a nonprofit organization that promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing farmers with education, resources and practical advice.