Minnesota's recent Organic Conference set an attendance record in St. Cloud with close to 500 people turning out for the two-day event.
Participants were also enthusiastic about the industry's future, said George Siemon, a keynote speaker at the event.
Siemon is a founding member of the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools, which sells products through its brands Organic Valley and Organic Prairie.
Yesterday, we put up a post discussing allegations from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) that Stonyfield Farm, Organic Valley, and Whole Foods broke away from the organic community to support "co-existence" with Monsanto's genetically modified alfalfa, a toxic pesticide-resistant crop used as hay for cattle. Now Stonyfield and Organic Valley have responded to explain their point of view on what really happened in the battle against GE alfalfa.
Late last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the deregulation of "Roundup Ready" Alfalfa, a controversial genetically engineered product that is used as hay for cattle. The move has the potential to challenge the integrity of what can be considered an "organic food"—as well as those who are in the business of producing and selling it.
We stand united in opposition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to once again allow unlimited, nationwide commercial planting of Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa, despite the many risks to organic and conventional farmers.
My colleagues and I will continue to fight to protect the organic farmers who grow healthy food and the consumers who have every right to choose organic. We will continue to push for unbiased scientific findings about the harmful effects of GE crops. And we will work hard to give our consumers the assurances they need that organic remains free of anything genetically engineered. The battle will now move from the government agencies back to the courts, but we also need new and stronger legislation that addresses toxic herbicides, and threats to biodiversity, seed protection and other ecological costs.
Stonyfield and Organic Valley, the organic farming cooperative that produces milk for all Stonyfield products, selected six finalists from a pool of 72 farmer submissions representing 17 states from California to Maine. Farmers' submissions were judged on their projects' environmental impact, ability to sustain organic farming practices, and innovation.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday that he would authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of genetically modified alfalfa, setting aside a controversial compromise that had generated stiff opposition.
In making the decision, Mr. Vilsack pulled back from a novel proposal that would have restricted the growing of genetically engineered alfalfa to protect organic farmers from so-called biotech contamination. That proposal drew criticism at a recent Congressional hearing and in public forums where Mr. Vilsack outlined the option.
A Bricelyn couple was recently recognized as one of the top 10 young farmers in the United States.
Andy and Kirsten Lorenz own and operate a dairy farm north of Bricelyn, called ‘Lorenz Land Dairy.
They sell it to Organic Valley Co-op from La Farge, Wis. The co-op sends a truck to pick up the milk every other day.
Practical Farmers of Iowa announces its 2011 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award winners Tom and Irene Frantzen of New Hampton, Iowa. Practical Farmers of Iowa grants this award annually to someone who has been most influential in creating vibrant communities, healthful food and diverse farms.
James Frantzen wants to farm. He knows it won't be easy, but he and his parents are doing what it takes to make it happen.
On a recent morning Frantzen was in his home office near Elma fielding telephone calls and e-mails in between questions from a reporter. Frantzen, 22, is the Organic Prairie pork pool coordinator with CROPP Cooperative, and he knows how to multi-task.