Missouri Organic Association is delighted to be hosting the 15th annual Mid-America Organic Conference, happening February 3-4, 2023. This year is extra special as we are celebrating 30-years of service educating growers on the benefits of organic methods to the land, the environment, and all manner of living creatures!
We are also excited because for the first time ever, the annual organic conference will be held at MOA Headquarters in Hartsburg, Missouri—30 S Second Street, Hartsburg, MO. Each year we hold the annual conference in a different part of the state to make it accessible for farmers and growers all over Missouri!
The 2023 conference features two tracks that overlap, one highlighting topics of most interest to row- crop and livestock farmers, and the other with an emphasis on horticulture and specialty crops. But the foundation in all presentations is soil – because healthy soil raises the most nutritious crops, and works to sequester the over-abundance of carbon we create in the acts of daily living.
The conference includes 20+ sessions over the two-day period, two lunches, a tradeshow and information sharing area, and loads of time for growers and grazers to network and share. Participants are encouraged to join MOA as members, which keeps growers in the loop for all annual programming, up to eight workshops and field tours per year. As members, you can vote at the Annual Meeting for board members, or even run for board membership. Don’t forget members, the annual membership meeting will be held Friday, February 3rd at 5:00pm!
Featured speakers this year include: nationally known presenters Rick Clark and Gary McDonald. Rick Clark Rick is a 5th generation farmer whose main goal on the farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with Mother Nature. Rick will be discussing his journey with regenerative organic as well as talking about weed suppression, crop rotations, understanding the principles of soil health, and making the connection between healthy soil and healthy humans. Gary McDonald is a long time organic farmer and currently an organic farming consultant. He will be providing insights into organic and regenerative weed management.
There are endless ways that the value of farm products can be increased! Curtis Millsap of Millsap Farms will be addressing the question – “What is the “Right Size” for your farm?” while sharing his experience growing his operation to the success it is today. Tom Ruggieri & Rebecca Graff of Fair Share Farm will be discussing their immersive renewable energy farming venture and value-added productions! Dr. Leo Sharashkin of Horizontal Hive is a well known natural beekeeper who will be leading a session on how to get started with keeping bees that are resilient and productive. Also worth noting, Matt Arthur, who raises certified organic mushrooms on a diversified family farm, will be discussing mushroom byproducts and processing for use in a vegetable/flower farm.
Missouri researcher Patrick Byers of will be discussing three native plant species well-suited to Missouri agroforestry practices – American Persimmon, Pawpaw and American Elderberry. Byers is a Commercial Horticulture Field Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Plus, Brandt Schisler of Hickory Ridge Orchard will be sharing about organic apple growing. Wil Crombie will also be touching on the topic of including hazelnuts in your operation. Finally, if you’re interested in getting into raising certified organic mushrooms, don’t miss Matt Arthur’s presentation on mushroom byproducts either.
Farm diversity is key to improving farming systems’ sustainability and resilience. Paul Webber & Emily Wright of Three Creeks Farm + Forest will describe their wholesale vegetable and flower operation and host a Q & A session focused on small scale wholesale opportunities. Brandt Schisler of Hickory Ridge Orchard will be sharing about adding organic orchards to your operation.
This year Dr. Babu Valliyodan will be joining us from Lincoln University to share about the future of hemp in Missouri.
Did you know that grazing multiple animals together can improve pasture quality and increase biodiversity while increasing ranch or farm production and profitability? Don’t miss Noah Earle’s presentation on Multi-Species Grazing and how his land and livestock has benefited from this practice at Brush & Trouble Farm. Wil Crombie, co-owner of the Tree-Range Chicken® brand, will be sharing about how to create a plan to restore your land, livelihood and community with Regenerative Poultry Production.
Along with the featured speakers, Rick Clark and Gary McDonald addressing these topics in their presentations, Caitlin Tucker of Rodale Institute will also be addressing the subject. Caitlin will be speaking about “natural enemies” and how they are essential for managing pests on the farm and in the garden.
After these past few years of turbulence, we know many of us are looking for more ways to be sustainable and create greater self-sufficiency. Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall is an Associate Professor at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in charge of the Specialty Crops/Native Plants Program and will be sharing about how you get started in growing and harvesting native edible perennials. Tim Bartin of Regenerate Life Acres will discuss some of the basics of saving popular garden seeds and some methods used for saving these seeds. Then last but certainly not least, Crystal Stevens with Flourish will discuss a variety of interesting fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that will transform your yard / farm into an edible oasis.
In short, a fantastic lineup that you won’t want to miss! So join us at the MOA Headquarters on Friday, February 3rd & Saturday, February 4th for two days of education and networking with those who share your same values to grow and protect our soil while building a more sustainable food system.
The Missouri Organic Association (MOA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization founded in 1993 by the organic farming community of Missouri. From its beginning, MOA has dedicated itself to holding an annual organic conference for its members and the farmers/producers of all organic agriculture-related production. If you aren’t able to join us for this year’s conference, be sure to subscribe to our email list to receive updates about our future events!
We are a membership based organization meaning that we rely on memberships (along with some wonderful grants that we work each year to secure) to bring in the funds needed to make our organization run. To learn more about the benefits of becoming a MOA member, visit our Membership page at: www.moaorganic.org/membership