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Thousands Will Be "Down on the Organic Farm" at Conference in La Crosse

February 21, 2008

La Crosse, WI – They're "Down on the Organic Farm" in La Crosse, with the "Organic Farming Conference," which kicks off today and runs through this weekend. Thousands of farmers, researchers and consumers are gathering for a look at the latest innovations in sustainable agriculture. The line-up includes classes and workshops on crops, dairy production, marketing, pest management, and other topics key to organic farming.

Faye Jones, with the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, says the conference also will focus on what is necessary to train the next generation of organic farmers and researchers, and to meet some of the unmet demand for organic products.

"Some of the challenges right now include lacking a supply of feed for livestock. There continues to be a need for this commodity, and for farmers who are interested in meeting that need, this conference is a great opportunity to learn more."

A new feature of this year's conference is an Organic Research Symposium. Jones believes there is a need for more organic research and she's hopeful that the new Farm Bill being debated in Congress will help boost funding.

"As a community, organic farmers just want our fair share of the research dollars, and I think things like the Organic Research Symposium during the conference is one way to help push that, too."

Jones describes Wisconsin as a national leader in organic production, and says the conference will highlight the growth and popularity of organics in the state. Jones says pre-registration is not necessary; walk-ins are welcome. Learn more about the event online, at www.mosesorganic.org.

Rob Ferrett/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - WI