Thursday, January 15, 2015

Organic conference in Missouri Feb. 5-7

Thinking about going organic with your goat operation? Here's the place to start!

The Missouri Organic Association’s 2015 Conference will be held February 5-7 in Springfield, Mo. Attendees will discuss and share research and experiences about organic and sustainable production.

The MOA’s mission is to provide local, organic and sustainable family farms with the tools they need to be successful farming businesses, while educating the general public about why they should support local farmers.

The conference is open to everybody — producers and consumers alike — who are concerned about independent food sources, the rising health issues in our children, supporting sustainable family farms, environmental issues and solution-based philosophies of biological and organic growing practices.

“We are definitely encouraging out-of-state attendees,” said Sue Baird, organizer and coordinator.  “Our hope is that this conference becomes one of the top regional conferences for organic and sustainable agriculture.” 

The event will include 54 workshops with varied content: grain production, livestock production, vegetable production, high-tunnel small fruits and vegetable production, sustainable living skills, culinary and medicinal plants, and more. In addition, there will be a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Plenary — a full-day panel workshop.

Early bird registration deadline in January 25

The conference price is $175 for all 3 days and a single day pass is $75. An Early Bird Special discount is available until January 25, which includes a Buy 1 registration at full price, Get the 2nd registration at ½ price. After the Early Bird deadline of January 25, the Buy 1- Get 2nd at ½ price will disappear and all ticket prices increase by $20. 

For details about the speakers, visit

Hotel reservations are available at a special MOA Conference block price at The University Plaza Hotel, Springfield, MO.  Be sure to mention the MOA conference block.

What’s included in a 3 day pass?

Thursday includes your choice of 6 educational sessions, including a full informative workshop conducted by Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange.  Thursday evening includes the MOA Expo 2015 Grand Opening as well as a “Savor the Flavor” Reception Dinner in which attendees are invited to taste the flavors of MOA Farmers, Retailers, Microbreweries and Wineries. Thursday also includes the MOA Live Benefit Auction to help fund the MOA Conference.

Friday includes choice of 6 educational sessions as well as the GMO Plenary with Robyn O’Brien and a Food Policy Workshop, including a special GMO Plenary with some of the top scientists in the field discussing the effects of GMOs and herbicide chemicals on the health of our soils, plants, livestock and human health.  Featured on Friday is a full day pastured hog production workshop.

Friday Evening attendees will enjoy the MOA Cochon15 & MOA Top Chef Challenge, featuring St. Louis Chef Josh Galliano of The Libertine and Springfield Chef Wes Johnson of the Metropolitan Farmer butchering pasture based hogs with a live auction of the pork products with the proceeds going to MOA and “Feed My Peeps”, a non-profit organization formed to feed the hungry in St. Louis. The MOA Top Chef Challenge 2015 will feature Tops Chefs from the four cities of Missouri:  Columbia — Walker Claridge of Broadway Brewery; St. Louis — Chef Rex Hale of 360 St. Louis, Chef Wil Pelly of In Good Company & Sanctuaria and Chef Jen Ryan of Gateway Garlic Urban Farm; Kansas City — Michael Foust of The Farmhouse; and Springfield — Chef Paul Trout of Chateau on the Lake. This event has generated great interest in the past from both the top chefs who are competing for the title and from the participants who get to taste the foods and judge the final MOA Top Chef 2015! 

Friday evening includes a Banquet Dinner of local organic and sustainably produced foods. Following dinner, attendees may choose between a screening of GMO OMG, or Live Music and Dancing with Dallas Jones. 

Saturday includes your choice of 6 educational sessions including one on “From Sheep to Shawl — Wool Sheep & German Angora Rabbits — Producing, Shearing, Spinning Demo” —  Vickie Eberhart.  Our Saturday Brunch features keynote speaker Joseph Simcox, “The Botanical Explorer” of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds who will be challenging us to save our local foods by saving and planting native heirloom seeds and working together to develop local food systems.

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