Wisconsin Leads the Nation in Organic Farming
Monday, June 20, 2016
SPRING VALLEY, Wis. - In addition to leading the nation in the number of organic dairy and beef farms, Wisconsin is second in total number of organic farms, and ranks first in number of farms raising organic hogs, pigs, layer chickens, and turkeys.
The Badger state is also first in organic corn, oats, and several other crops, and third in number of organic vegetable and melon farms.
Harriet Behar, senior organic specialist of Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service in Spring Valley, says organic is well-suited to Wisconsin because of the state's tradition of family-owned farms.
"They have livestock, they grow the feed, they take care of the young stock, they take care of the older stock," she says. "And that's the perfect type of organic farm, where you have someone who is integrally involved in all aspects of the farm."
Behar also credits Wisconsin's long-standing tradition of cooperatives as being part of the reason organic agriculture is flourishing in the state.
She also points out that Organic Valley, the largest organic co-op in the world, began and is still headquartered in the tiny village of La Farge, just outside La Crosse.
According to Behar, the future is bright for the continued growth of organic farming in Wisconsin, partly because consumer demand is up. She says people want to know where their food comes from.
"Consumers understand that protection of their own health, as well as the health of the environment, is only good for themselves and for future generations - their children, their grandchildren," she says. "And as organic becomes more widespread, the prices are coming down."
Behar says only California has more farms than Wisconsin transitioning to organic, in part because of the strength of the local food movement.
"The local food movement has also highlighted knowing your farmer, knowing what they do, how they raised the food, and any kind of awareness that we have in the consumer world of food production and agriculture only works to favor organic," Behar says.
get more stories like this via email
Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…
Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …
A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…
In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…
By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …
A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…