November Resource Spotlight: MOSES
A number of FSLN members are themselves, or in some capacity involved with, farmers. In this month’s Resource Spotlight, we’re highlighting one of the leading organizations that help farmers grow organically: MOSES. Based in Wisconsin, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources, and expertise farmers need to succeed. In addition to their specific projects, and hosting the largest conference on organic and sustainable farming in the US, they’re a treasure trove of resources and publications on the topic. We spoke with Lauren Langworthy, Program Director, who told us more. Read on! Website: https://mosesorganic.org Contact person: Lauren Langworthy – Program Director Link to sign up for listserv, newsletter, etc.: https://mosesorganic.org/sign-up/ Domain/Subject Area: We focus on peer-to-peer farmer education on a wide range of subjects including: production models, farm business management, and farmer network development. The In Her Boots Program focuses on women farmers, and the New Organic Stewards Program focused on farmers in their first 10 years of operation. Mission: MOSES educates, inspires, and empowers farmers to thrive in an organic, sustainable system of agriculture. Okay now for the fun stuff… 1. How would you describe MOSES? But there’s a catch… describe MOSES in a haiku! (Refresher: a haiku consists of 3 lines, with the first and last lines having 5 syllables and the middle line having 7 syllables) Farmers seeking tools Reach their peers through MOSES To learn and grow well 2. What does MOSES bring to the (national food systems) table? The MOSES Organic Farming Conference provides an annual platform for national (and really international) information sharing and collaboration on food system change and is attended by more than 3,000 people annually. We also participate in the National Organic Coalition (NOC) who supports the integrity of the USDA’s organic standards and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) who promotes national policy in support of regenerative family farms. Beyond that, we offer new, resources, and practical expertise through our website, podcasts, webinars, and Organic Broadcaster newspaper to a national audience. All of these tools help farmers stay plugged in to national conversations about policy, promising practices, marketplaces, community, and current events. 3. Who does MOSES serve? We serve farmers of all sorts who are seeking information that they can use to make their farm more regenerative, sustainable, profitable, or certified organic. 4. What do people/orgs look to you for? We are best known for hosting the nation’s largest organic farming conference, also known as the “Great Plaid Gathering” or the MOSES Organic Farming Conference. However, we have a wide diversity of offerings from field days to the Organic Broadcaster newspaper to the In Her Boots Podcast and beyond. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with other organizations on shared projects where we can all leverage our strengths to make regenerative agriculture a more viable business for all farmers. 5. What three problems can someone find solutions for on your site? Problem 1) Farming By Topic | The Farming By Topic pages of our website pull together resources from across the organization. These resources span media types and time to help farmers quickly grasp hold of helpful information on a given topic. Problem 2) Ask A Specialist | If you’re wondering something about certified organic production, you’re probably not the first to have wondered it. In the Ask A Specialist portion of our website, you can browse hundreds of questions that farmers have asked and read real responses from our Organic Specialists. If your question isn’t answered by browsing these pages, you can send an Ask A Specialist message directly to one of our teammates who will quickly respond with an answer tailored specifically to you. Problem 3) Inside Organics Blog | If someone would like to know more about what’s happening inside the world of organic policy, trade, and coalitions, the Inside Organics Blog is the place to look. Here, a new entry is added every other month from experts working across organic industry in the policies and structural concerns that directly impact many farmers in the sector. 6. Are there certain tools or resources that you’ve found especially popular? Our most popular resource is the Guidebook for Organic Certification which is now available in both English and Spanish. This resource is a straightforward approach to the steps needed to turn an operation into a certified organic one. It offers producers and handlers an easy-to-digest framework for what to expect and how to proceed. 7. Who can access your resources? How? Anyone can access our resources – and we hope you explore them thoroughly! The quickest way is to go to our website and use the drop-down menus across the top to start learning more about the topics that interest you. On our website, you can sign up for the monthly eNews email listserv, check out upcoming events in our Community Calendar, send an Ask A Specialist email about your farming questions, read articles from a variety of experts, listen to podcasts, watch webinars, and learn more about our annual conference each February. If you want a little more support in getting started, you can also call the MOSES office and ask to speak with a specialist about your particular interests. They can help you find the right resources to solve your farm’s most stubborn questions. Or, reach out on social media. 8. What other resources or support is MOSES looking for? MOSES always appreciates the opportunity to grow our network. Whether you would like to partner on a project, recommend a presentation, or just leverage our expertise in your region, we want to hear your recommendations for creating the positive food system changes we all want to see. 9. What other “resource-full” organizations would you recommend? The list is endless! Here at MOSES, we pride ourselves in our ability to network farmers with the right people, tools, or resources to move their farm forward. That means that we must (and do!) have a large toolbox full of partner organizations, resources, and individuals that we can call on when they are just the right fit. The Upper Midwest is lucky to be filled with nonprofits, businesses, agencies, and farmers (both experienced and new) who share everything they have to offer through the MOSES community. Contact us with a specific need and we’ll gladly connect you with the right resource to keep on growing in that area. 10. How can someone get in touch with you for more information? You can call the MOSES office at 715-778-5775, email email@example.com, sign up for news on our website, or contact us through social media.