Organic Agriculture – Not Just for Hippies AnymoreVideo Coming Soon
Grazing, Specialty Crops, Financial and Transition Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive
Madison, WI 53708
Air Date: 03/15/2017
Career Clusters / Help Topics:
- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
I have a long history in the world of organic agriculture. My degree is in horticulture, but the Dean of the Horticulture Department at WIU was a strong organic proponent, so all of our classes had an organic piece added to it. From 2004 – 2009, I owned and operated an organic vegetable/flower/small livestock CSA in Cushing, Wisconsin. During the time I was farming, my family was managing the book store at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, a non-profit organization that hosts the largest organic farming conference in the country in La Crosse every February. In fall 2009, MOSES offered me a position as an organic specialist in their organization. Then in December 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Ag offered me a position in the Farm Center as their organic, grazing and specialty crop specialist.
Organic agriculture is the fastest growing segment of agriculture in the United States. In 2015, organic sales reached $43.3 billion, up 11% over the prior year. Organics is no longer a ‘fringe’ movement of hippie farmers. Major corporations such as, General Mills, Dean Foods, Kelloggs, Kraft and Pepsi are getting into the organic marketplace. Organic product sales are consumer driven by people who want to feel like they know where their food is coming from and take comfort in knowing the food is grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic agriculture is not ‘better than’ conventional agriculture in any way. It’s another choice in the marketplace for consumers.