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Organic Farming Conference Comes to Springfield


You are what you eat. It’s a common phrase, but is there any truth to it? KSMU’s Chasity Mayes tells us how a conference headed for Springfield is hoping to change the way people in the Ozarks look at food.

The Missouri Organic Association says that hundreds of farmers from across the state will gather for this year’s conference. However, the association is hoping to see just as many consumers.

“The theme this year is that our food is our pharmacy, and we are what we eat.”

That’s Sue Baird. She’s the president of the Missouri Organic Association. She says this conference is for everyone.

“Anyone can profit from this. Whether you’re growing a 30 square foot heirloom tomato or you’re growing three acres of vegetables or things for sale. So yes, definitely it’s for everybody we think.”

The event, which will include plenty of hands-on workshops, will also discuss how eating organically can improve your overall health.

It will also give people a better understanding of what “organic” really means. Baird says the explanation is simple, for the most part.

“Organic food by law is produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or without the use of GMO’s. That probably is the most significant difference between conventionally produced food and organic food,” says Baird.

GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms”. Although the use of pesticides is the biggest difference when comparing run of the mill produce to organic fruits and veggies, it’s not quite as simple for farmers looking to grow organically. Baird says land must be transitioned for 3 full years, allowing it to cleanse itself from pesticides before anything can be planted.

Baird also says helping to educate farmers is a primary focus for this year’s conference.

“But our main focus is to assist farmers who really are interested in producing organically. Either they’re already starting in their transition, they’re already producing organically, or they’ve just heard about it and would like to know how to do it,” says Baird.

The Missouri Organic Association Conference will be held February 10th -12th at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center in Springfield.

For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.