LA CROSSE — A record 3,600 participants attended the MOSES Organic Farming Conference held here Feb. 25-27.
That turnout included over two dozen participants who traveled from the Bayfield area. The three-day program included 65 workshops and inspiring and knowledgeable speakers.
While the organic approach was well represented, small family farming, transitional farming from non-organic to organic, non-chemical methods for both weed control and fertilization, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs were also presented. Financial skills, land acquisition, and getting started with a family and small farm were very popular.
There was no shortage of farmers in all classes, and the turnout from the local area reflected the potential for small farmers in the region.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin spoke before an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday. She stressed that she will continue to push for broader funding for research in the fields of organic and sustainable agriculture. She used the phrase a "grown-in-Wisconsin economy," and the importance of "keeping families on the farm."
Wisconsin's tally of nearly 1,500 certified organic farms is second in the nation only to California.