Despite heavy snow across the region, over 3,300 people attended the 2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference Feb. 21-23 in La Crosse, Wis. Participants came from all over the U.S. and overseas -- the "most adventurous" award goes to the person who came all the way from Nigeria! It was great to see the complete range of ages at the conference -- if it takes a village to get things done, the organic farming community is well on its way to creating a brighter future.
Keynote speakers included filmmakers Jeremy Seifert and Joshua Kunau, and organic farming pioneer Carmen Fernholz. Seifert and Kunau, who made the award-winning film DIVE!, previewed clips from their as-yet-unreleased film GMO OMG. They called the crowd the “true heroes” of modern day farming, labeling the MOSES Conference “Organicland” – one of the few GMO-free places to eat in America. More information on their film is at www.gmofilm.com.
Carmen Fernholz, who has been farming organically for over 40 years, shared his view of the ideal food system, one which includes engaged and informed eaters. He encouraged the crowd to teach others about organic farming -- that it can feed the world, and won’t destroy the environment in the process. (Read the studies that support these comments.)
A highlight of the conference was when Charlie Johnson of Madison, S.D., was honored as the 2013 MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year. The Johnson family farm has organic roots dating back to the 1970s, long before organic farming had gained serious traction.
Next year’s MOSES Conference – the 25th anniversary – will take place Feb. 27 through March 1 at the La Crosse Center. We hope to see YOU there!
NOTE: Audio recordings of all of the workshops and keynote presentations at the MOSES Conference were recorded by Organic Voices. Download the complete list of workshop titles here.
The MOSES staff breaks in the new Photo "booth" at the conference.
Ross Conrad shares insights on organic beekeeping
during the pre-conference Organic University.
Falling snow doesn't deter the organic-minded from
traveling to the nation's largest gathering in the
organic farming community.
Volunteers and MOSES staff keep Check-In running smoothly.
MOSES Project Coordinator Jessi Padellford helps
find his way around the conference. Alamu
the conference to gather information on organic
to encourage production in his native Nigeria.
Keynote speaker Jeremy Seifert (with Josh Kunau) tells the crowd
that many, many Americans are unaware of the prevalence
of GMOs in mainstream food.
Filmmakers Jeremy Seifert and Josh Kunau are happy
to meet organic farmers!
Conference participants meet with exhibitors between
workshops. The 2013 Conference featured more than
180 booths with resources and support for farmers and
others committed to organic and sustainable ag.
Participants meet friends -- old and new -- at the
Workshops offer plenty of fodder for notetakers.
MOSES Executive Director Faye Jones congratulates
the 2013 MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year,
Charlie Johnson of Madison, S.D.
The conference crowd knows how to have fun --
Pheromones rocked the house Friday night.
Bidding begins at the Wine & Dine Benefit's
Silent Auction on Friday night.
Atina Diffley helps MOSES E.D. Faye Jones greet the
at the Saturday morning Keynote session.
Carmen Fernholz is overcome with emotion following his
introduction for the Saturday keynote, when Atina Diffley
said he was a pioneer, and the source of "organic standards before we had them."
What is the MOSES Organic Farming Conference?
The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is the largest conference in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. The MOSES Conference offers more than 70 workshops taught by experts in their fields, inspiring keynote speakers, and a trade show with more than 170 exhibitors open exclusively to conference attendees. Every February, this event draws more than 3,000 farmers, advocates, educators, students, and more to the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis. This farmer-focused conference is celebrated as the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming community.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, D.C., 02050-9410 or call 1-866-632-9992 Toll Free; or 1-800-877-8339 Federal Relay Service; or 1-800-845-6136 (In Spanish); or 1-800 795-3272 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; or (TDD) 720-2600. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)