A record 3,300 people attended the 2012 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference this past weekend. Faye Jones is Executive Director of MOSES, she says the fact it is a farmer-focused conference, “We believe farmers learn best from farmers.” The chance to talk to each other plus attend the numerous workshops conducted throughout the conference.
Another reason for the growth in attendance has been the creation of the Young Organic Stewards group created last year. Designed for 18-to-30 year-olds, the program brings the next generation into the industry. There was a noticeable presence of 20 and 30-somethings throughout the conference.
The growth of organic has been strong for years to the point there is a shortage of organic products. A prime example of that has been a shortage of organic milk in supermarkets in the Southeastern United States. Part of that shortage has been caused by the high price of organic feed, that prompted dairy producers who have to purchase their feed to back-off a bit which brought production down. Jones says that is a characteristic of a growth industry, if they can get more organic feed, there will be more organic milk: “The more organic product there is, the more it will sell.”
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