No, this isn’t a holy relic. The staff at the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) awaits your attendance at the 29th annual MOSES conference. The deadline to register online is today February 8th, so if you don’t want to get left in the wilderness, sign up to attend today!
I am proud that UNFI is an annual sponsor of the MOSES Conference which is the largest organic farming conference in North America. Boasting nearly 3500 organic pilgrims, it’s only hindered by the occasional act of god like blizzards or ice-storms.
The conference itself is the very keynote of the organization’s work. The staff builds the entire event around opportunities to be inspired, encouraged and educated. It’s a place to exchange ideas and network with old and new connections and expand the farming community.
If you are anywhere near La Crosse, Wisconsin, this is the place to get the tools and information on organic techniques or practices. It’s a place to make connections with service providers, non-profits and even the USDA. It provides the opportunity to share what you do and know with other disciples on the organic path.
There are always many opportunities focused on networking. From round-table discussions that you can join on the fly to the bountiful organic meals or after-conference dancing, you can rub shoulders, boogie and break bread with your organic brethren.
The kick-off event on Thursday evening is where you get charged up, figure out what you want to accomplish and hear the story from the MOSES Organic Farmer of The Year.
The conference itself features 66 workshops spanning all farming topics for beginning to experienced farmers. Eleven in-depth courses take place the Thursday prior to the conference in the trademark Organic University.
The event boasts a two-floor exhibit hall filled with all manner of things to boost your organic knowledge and insight. Over 170 vendors will be displaying their wares from seeds and harvesters to soil amendments and farm implements. This is a farmer’s heaven.
If it’s information you’re looking for, check out your well known acronyms; OMRI, OTA, OFRF, Oregon Tilth, Xerces, MOSA or the Farmers Veterans Coalition. If you need to connect with a government agency, you can find USDA-FSA, NRCS, NOP, NASS and RMA in attendance. The list is exhaustive and comprehensive!
There are three keynote sessions designed specifically to light your fire:
Melinda Hemmelgarn, Registered Dietitian and Host of the nationally syndicated “Food Sleuth Radio” show, will speak on “The Boiling Frog Syndrome: How Farmer-Consumer Connections can Transform our Food System and Save our Species.”
John Mesko, Executive Director of MOSES, will address “The Organic Movement: Shaping the Future of Farming.”
And finally on Saturday, don’t miss Chris Blanchard from Purple Pitchfork farm-business consulting and
Host of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast who will reflect on “Farm Life Balance: Reflections & Ideas from the Farmer to Farmer Podcast.”
John Mesko, Executive Director of MOSES, asks everyone to “Call a friend and bring them along. Show up early and make full use of the networking opportunities; come prepared to meet new folks and see old friends.
The organic farming community is changing—folks who haven’t been to the conference in a while should check back and be in touch with the organic farming community. We are looking to grow the community and having a diverse audience is the key!”
The deadline for online registration is Thursday, February 8th, and they welcome onsite registration up until the date of the conference which is February 23rd.