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Promising Lineup Set for WI Organic Farming Conference

January 12, 2012

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. - It's considered the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming industry. Last year, nearly 3,000 farmers and agriculture professionals gathered for the Annual Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse. MOSES (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service) organizes it. MOSES Executive Director Faye Jones says this year the emphasis is on the younger generation of farmers.

"We have a whole track of workshops, special activities and mentoring opportunities for the younger generation interested in getting into or improving their farming operation."

The huge gathering takes place Feb. 23-25 at the La Crosse Center. In addition to more than 65 workshops and multiple research forums, the event is known for serving fabulous spreads of organic foods at mealtimes. Jones says the dining events are great for networking, too.

"I often have farmers come up throughout the year and say, 'You know, I was at your conference, but the coolest thing for me was at the lunchroom. I sat down next to some person I didn't know, we made a great connection and I learned a whole bunch.'"

More than 160 exhibitors also have been lined up for the event this year, Jones adds. The conference brochure and registration form are online at www.MOSESorganic.org. Those who register by Monday, Jan. 16, can save $15.

This year's keynote speakers are Curt Ellis and Margaret Krome. Ellis made the film "King Corn" and will focus his remarks on the new generation of farmers and ag leaders. Krome, with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, will talk about harnessing the energy of the organic and sustainable agriculture movement.

This is the 23rd annual conference, and Jones says every year she gets more energized.

"Working with the presenters and the sponsors and the people who help put it together - and of course, the people at the conference - there is a shared vision and a shared passion for this food revolution taking place."

More information is available at www.mosesorganic.org.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI