La Crosse, WI – The Marbleseed Organic Farming Conference successfully concluded its 34th annual event this past weekend in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The conference, held from February 23 to February 25, 2023, attracted organic farmers, researchers, and agriculture professionals from across the Midwest and beyond.
Marbleseed, formerly known as MOSES, organized the conference, which featured over 80 speakers, 40 workshops, full and half-day Organic University classes, and a two-floor trade show. Attendees were treated to organic meals, live music, and opportunities for networking, with the event bringing together a supportive community of resilient organic, sustainable, and regenerative farms.
Despite the challenges posed by a historic snowstorm, the three-day conference was attended by 1,800 participants, highlighting the growing interest in organic farming practices. This year’s Marbleseed Conference focused on business management, soil health, and diverse farm operations, providing attendees with the latest organic production practices.
The conference opened on Thursday, February 23, with in-depth Organic University classes running from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and half-day classes from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The classes covered various topics such as developing a marketable rotation, farm business basics, and post-harvest handling.
The trade show, which featured more than 150 vendors, opened on the evening of February 23 and ran through February 25. Buyers, suppliers, and organizations offering services that support farmers participated in the show. Admission to the trade show was included with conference registration, and the organizers also offered $20 Exhibit Hall only passes.
Keynote speakers, Austin Frerick, Doug Crabtree, and Anna Jones-Crabtree addressed critical issues that are essential for the organic movement, including building resiliency on organic farms and in our food system. The conference also honored 2023 Organic Farmers of the Year, Ross and Harold Wilken of Janie’s Farm Organics and Janie’s Mill, and 2023 Changemaker Marcia L. Eiynck of Beargrease Botanicals.
Marbleseed’s annual conference provides a platform for organic farmers and researchers to learn and exchange knowledge, building a supportive and robust organic farming community. The conference’s success this year is a testament to the growing interest in organic farming practices and the increasing demand for sustainable and regenerative farming methods.