MOSES: Nominations Sought For 2006 “Organic Farmer of the Year” Award
Faye Jones, Executive Director 715-772-3153
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) has issued a call for nominations for the 2006 “Organic Farmer of the Year” award. This prestigious award has been presented annually since 2003 at the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin. More than 1800 people attended the conference this past February. Previous award winners have been vegetable producers Martin and Atina Diffley of Eagan, Minnesota, community supported agriculture pioneers Richard De Wilde and Linda Halley of Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin, and cash grain and hog producers Carmen and Sally Fernholtz of Madison, Minnesota.
Along with MOSES, the award is co-sponsored by The New Farm (www.newfarm.org), an online magazine developed by The Rodale Institute to serve, support and inspire organic and sustainable farmers worldwide. Criteria for the award are: 1) Innovations in organic farming/livestock management, including crops and crop rotations, weed, pest and disease management strategies, sustainable or renewable energy, and marketing; 2) Excellence in enhancing farm resources: soil, water, wildlife and biodiversity; 3) Inspiration and education of organic farmers, consumers and others in the organic community, and 4) Current organic certification.
According to MOSES Executive Director, Faye Jones, the award ceremony is one of the highlights of the annual conference. “This is the organic community’s opportunity to recognize those farmers who have helped lay the groundwork for the successes we’re now having in organic food production. The past winners have not only been tremendous practitioners, but they have also been mentors and teachers for many others.”
The award itself includes a $500 cash gift, free registration, food and lodging for the 2006 conference, and a $100 gift certificate redeemable at the conference book sales booth. The 2006 Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference is set for February 23rd-25th, once again in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Those that seek to nominate a farmer or farming operation for the award must complete and return the Nomination Application form, available from the MOSES office (715-772-3153) or at www. mosesorganic.org. The deadline for nominations is October 15, 2005.