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Sign up for MN Organic Conference & Trade Show

The Minnesota Organic Conference and Trade Show will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16-17, in St. Cloud.

The annual event offers learning and networking opportunities for those new to organic production as well as for those who are more experienced.

Keynote speakers include Eliot Coleman, a commercial organic vegetable grower from Maine who is nationally renowned for developing techniques to extend the growing season in northern climates and Fred Kirschenmann, whose family farms a 3,500 organic acres in North Dakota. Kirschenmann has written extensively about ethics and agriculture and has served on the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.

The conference is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and will include 36 sessions that will appeal to any attendee, according to organizer Mary Hanks.

"We work very hard to make this conference useful for all growers, whether they're just thinking about making the transition to organic or have farmed this way for thirty years," said Hanks. "Many of our presenters are organic farmers who offer practical knowledge and experience."

Some of the session topics include Vegetables A-Z: Deciding What to Grow, Health Insurance Options for the Farm Family, Organic Poultry Production and The ABCs of Becoming an Organic Seed Producer.

Attendees can also make business contacts at the concurrent trade show, featuring more than 60 grain, oilseed, and dairy buyers, seed companies, fertilizer dealers, equipment suppliers, public agencies, and nonprofit educational organizations.

The registration rate of $85 per single day or $120 for both days includes admission to all conference events, as well breaks and lunches made with organic and locally-sourced. The conference program, registration forms, and a list of trade show exhibitors are available online at organic, or you can call 651-201-6012 to request information by mail.