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Helping farmers grow organic successfully
December 2013
Sweet Land enews
The Organic Link         

25thMOSESconference   Registration is open for the 25th MOSES Organic Farming Conference. New this year: the MOSES Conference App! Download it today to browse the workshop schedule, learn about presenters, and preview the Exhibit Hall.
   We're doing everything we can to make this special anniversary conference an event to remember. We hope you plan to join us Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2014 in La Crosse, Wis.

FDA receives thousands of comments on FSMA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received 17,926 comments about the proposed produce rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The processing rule had 7,056 comments. MOSES submitted multi-page documents expressing concerns about the impact the rules would have on organic and sustainable farming, along with recommendations to improve the regulations. You can access these documents and see a summary of highlights on the Policy section of the MOSES website.

The comment periods for both proposed rules closed last month. The FDA is now reviewing these comments before crafting final rules.

"While some concerns may be addressed through more precise language, others may need more changes, and a few may require substantial changes in what we’ve proposed," said Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine in the FDAVoice blog. "Rest assured that we will carefully consider these concerns and do whatever is possible to get these rules right."

Conservation program opens enrollment

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has opened the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments. This program rewards farmers and ranchers for current conservation practices and for putting in place additional new conservation practices and enhancements over a 5-year contract period. It provides funding for the environmentally beneficial activities typical on organic farms to improve soil, water and wildlife habitat. Deadline to apply is Jan 17, 2014.

USDA seeks comments to enhance agricultural coexistence

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting public comment on how how various forms of agriculture can coexist in the U.S. The USDA supports all forms of agriculture, including conventional, organic, and genetically engineered, to meet the country’s needs for food security and energy, and to sustain rural communities. The deadline for comments is Jan. 3, 2014.

So far, the coexistence suggestions have very few safeguards for organic producers. The USDA needs to know that stronger controls on GMO crops are imperative to promote a landscape where organic agriculture can thrive. Public comments should focus on solutions that address the realities of crop production and the marketplace, as well as suggestions on how the USDA could facilitate collaboration and coexistence. The National Organic Coalition will have suggestions for talking points on their website after the holidays.

Farmers connect online through forum

ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, offers a new forum on the ATTRA website: “Farmer Knows Best.” The forum allows farmers, researchers, educators, and anyone else interested in sustainable agriculture to start or contribute to an online conversation about sustainable farming issues. There are currently 21 conversations on the forum.

December webinars cover variety of topics

Several webinars of interest to organic and sustainable farmers take place this month. See full descriptions and links on our Community Calendar.
Dec. 12   Economics of Organic Dairy Farming
Dec. 17   CSA Legal Issues
Dec. 17   Connecting Sustainable Farmers to Health Care Markets

Online 'college' geared to market farmers

The University of Minnesota Extension’s 2014 Local Foods College is a free, online program for market farmers to learn about food safety, production, marketing, and food processing. The 8-session webinars begin Jan. 21, 2014 and run Tuesday evenings through mid-March.

Seed conference occurs next month

The biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference takes place Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, 2014 in Corvallis, Ore. Registration deadline is Jan. 19, 2014. The agenda includes 24 workshops with experts in the fields of organic plant breeding, seed research, enterprise development, seed economics, policy, and more.


Education, resources,
and expertise
to help farmers
grow organic.


Every dollar matters to MOSES and our mission to help farmers succeed in sustainable, organic production.
Your gift helps fund:
 On-farm field days
Our farmer-focused newspaper
Our targeted programs
Organic Answer Line
Ask a Specialist

And all the free resources on our newly updated website

Research Forum

Call for Posters for
MOSES Conference Research Forum

Due by Jan. 10, 2014

MOSES online
include Job Postings!

Find internships and positions with farms, certification agencies, and other farming-related organizations.


Is a free ticket to the MOSES Conference lurking in your laundry? Your old conference T-shirt could net you the Grand Prize in our
25th Anniversary Photo Contest
—free registration + one night's lodging and 25th T-shirt and mug.

Enter today!

PO Box 339
Spring Valley, WI 54767

MOSES is a non-profit organization providing resources and training 
to enable farmers to grow organic successfully.

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Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service
PO Box 339
Spring Valley, WI 54767

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