GM-PP-5-MOSES 1by William and Mary Weaver
More than 3,300 participants, drawn together by a common interest and purpose, quietly networked among themselves in the dining hall while feasting on delicious organic food. They listened attentively to their choices among the 71 different workshop topics available in the six workshop sessions. Attendees were energized and inspired by the Keynote speakers, especially the 2013 Organic Farmer of the Year, Charlie Johnson, whose humor inspired many chuckles in the midst of his very serious talk about how he and his brother have successfully farmed a very large acreage organically since the early 1980s.
Between workshops, participants also crowded the aisles of the trade show to explore the many products and services the 170 exhibitors offered. But underlying everything was that quiet presence of enthusiasm and common purpose.
Attendees ranged widely in age. There were infants in carriers, toddlers in strollers, and older children. Teenagers and young farmers had roundtable discussions on how to work out problems connected to the nearly prohibitive cost of buying land and equipment so that they, too, could farm. Established younger, middle-aged, and older farmers also joined the ranks, all hoping to learn and to network and to find new products to benefit their operations.
Folks registered for the conference came from 42 and four foreign countries.
The Radisson staff outdid themselves in serving delicious, healthy organic snacks and meals. Attendees left the conference well fed, and much better informed on many interesting and useful topics.