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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.
Organic Tomato

Midwest Organic Production and Management Conference

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Mark Kastel's dynamic speaking style, combined with the Cornucopia Institute's reputation as an "organics watchdog," make him perhaps the most provocative speaker in the country on issues related to agriculture, organics, and small farms.

Kastel will be one of two keynote speakers at the Midwest Organic Production and Management Conference and Trade Show January 17 and 18 at the University of Illinois.

"This is the third year we've hosted a January conference on organics and each year we've had to move to accommodate the larger crowd," said U of I Extension's Dan Anderson.

"This year with the conference at the Illini Union, we'll have plenty of large meeting spaces and be more centrally located – making it easier for people from around the Midwest to attend." The Illini Union is at 1401 West Green Street on the University of Illinois campus.

"We are also excited to have Tim LaSalle, who is CEO of Rodale Institute, as a keynote speaker," said Anderson. "Tim has had a wide-ranging and influential career in education and research on organic farming and its effects on human and environmental health."

"We'll have a number of speakers who are University of Illinois researchers in the areas of economics and marketing, pest control and weed management, but because this year we have also partnered with Purdue University, we will have speakers from Purdue, as well as Michigan State, the USDA, and some successful organic farmers to tell their interesting stories and share what they've learned about organic farming," said Anderson.

The two-day conference will cover topics including economics, developing markets, livestock, agronomic and horticulture crops, aquaculture, and organic management.

For a complete listing of conference speakers and sessions and online registration, visit

News writer: Debra Levey Larson
phone: 217-244-2880; email:

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