MOSES organic farm group names new leader
Lauren Langworthy is no stranger to organic agriculture or the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, better known as MOSES. Now, as the organization’s new executive director, she’s working to help it better serve farmers.
“We want to refocus our efforts to become more effective,” she said.
Addressing economic justice for ag producers is among the goals, said Langworthy, who is involved in grassroots organizing of farmers and represents her district on the board of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
The nonprofit Spring Valley, Wis.-based MOSES describes itself as being best known for running the country’s largest event on organic and sustainable agriculture, the annual Moses Organic Farming Conference. It also provides year-round farmer-to-farmer support through programs, publications and the Organic Answer Line (888-90-MOSES).
The organization says it wants to help both organic producers and conventional farmers who are interested in bringing organic components into their operation.
Consumer interest in organic food continues to soar. U.S. farmers planted a record 3.1 million acres certified for organic field crop production this year, while annual organic food sales climbed to $47.9 billion.
Much of the organic food eaten by American consumers is imported, a strong sign that further opportunities exist for U.S organic food producers, Langworthy said.
Langworthy joined the eight-person MOSES staff in early 2015 as program director. She was responsible for managing the annual conference and overseeing special projects.
She succeeds John Mesko, who served as executive director from September 2016 through February 2019. Langworthy served as interim executive director from March to November, when she was named executive director.
Langworthy, 34, and her husband, Caleb, own a 153-acre farm in Wheeler, Wis., with pastured sheep and cattle. Before that, they had a certified organic vegetable operation for six years
Lauren Langworthy described herself as “a nature girl” when she was young and said she’s had a long interest in organic ag.
Langworthy encouraged anyone wanting to learn more about organic ag to attend the 31st MOSES Conference Feb. 27-29 in La Crosse, Wis. The national event, expected to attract nearly 3,000 people, features 60 workshops, 10 full-day classes, a two-floor trade show, organic meals and round-table discussions.
“We’d really like to see you there,” she said.
More information: www.mosesorganic.org/conference.