With the influx of interest in permaculture, regenerative growing, soil building, sustainable farming and gardening, there comes a growing number of conferences that are held in the U.S. and worldwide which provide up-to date information and techniques within the organic growing world. One of my favorite conferences to attend is the Mid-America Organic Association Conference which is holding its eighth annual organic and sustainable farming conference on January 25-28, 2017, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, MO.
Nationally recognized speakers include world-renowned gardener Eliot Coleman, Botanical Explorer Joseph Simcox, Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt, permaculture expert Matt Powers, NRCS Conservation Economist as well as Chef Sean Sherman (who recently launched the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date for his project, The Sioux Chef), and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Greg Kiger.
With more than 70 informative educational sessions and hands-on workshops, chefs, farmers, educators, gardeners, and consumers have a diverse array of educational tracks to choose from including Health and Regeneration of the Soil, Vegetable and Fruit Production, Native Perennial Crops, Super Foods for Healthy Land and Bodies, Sustainable Living, Tools for Success, and Sustainable Livestock Production.
The Chef Showcase will feature some of the best chefs in the Midwest. St. Louis chefs Cassy Vires of Companion Baking School and Jason Tilford of Mission Taco Joint and Milagro Modern Mexican, Ben Edison of Delta Queen. Kansas City Chefs include Brandon Winn of Webster House and Calvin Davis of Freshwater. Columbia Chefs include Walker Claridge of Broadway Bistro and Benjamin Randoloh of Eleven Eleven. Additional chefs include Joey Vaughn of Jolly Rogers in Rocky Mount, MO and Chef Robert Koeller of Culinary Concepts in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Per Executive Director Sue Baird, “The 2017 MOA Conference will be providing education and networking opportunities for our producers, retailers, brokers, and consumers about organic and ecological production methods, to our consumers about the health benefits of consuming organically and ecologically prepared foods. Over the past few years, we have grown from a small organization headquartered in Missouri to a large regional organization with members primarily centered in eight Mid-America states — MO, KS, IL, NE, IA, TN, OK and KY — but we have regular attendees at our conference from all the U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines.
"It is a great honor for us to have the support and trust of so many people across the region. As we continue providing information and resource support to those interested in organic agriculture, we are also focusing on networking and serving as a liaison between individuals and businesses with similar principles when it comes to food.”
Funds raised during the conference support the Mid-America Organic Association and its goals of educating farmers, chefs and consumers in organic and sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Stevens is the author of Grow Create Inspire (published by New Society Publishers). She is a an eco-farmer, educator, permaculture enthusiast and artist along the Mighty Mississippi River near St. Louis Missouri. Follow Crystals adventures at Grow Create Inspire and follow her on Instagram @growcreateinspire. Read all of Crystal's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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