La Crosse is hosting the nation's largest organic farming conference. The 20th annual Organic Farming Conference, organized by Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services, or MOSES, is taking place through Saturday at the La Crosse Center. Harriet Beehar of MOSES is an organic farmer in Gays Mills, and has been an organic inspector for 19 years.
Beehar says the conference will have two keynote speakers. Dr. Vandanna Shiva, a food, environmental and community activist from India, is perhaps best known for arguing against agricultural company Monsanto's attempt to patent an Indian tree. Also speaking is Dr. Alan Greene, a California pediatrician and chair of The Organic Ccenter, an advocate of organic foods nutritional aspects and how agriculture relates to world politics. There are also 147 exhibits and 10 workshops on the specifics of organic farming, from organic certification to allowable machinery and inputs.