Can Agriculture and Conservation Co-Exist? What the term “Organic” Actually Protects

We all hear that we should buy organic food to protect the environment.  But as the organic sector grows with larger farms, what is really required to be organic? Organic farmer Monica Pless will discuss what is required of farms to be certified organic, and what that means for native plants, pollinators and soil health. Monica managed farms in New England and Missouri, one known for having the greatest diversity of native pollinators in the state, and used many techniques to reduce runoff, reseed native prairie plants, include perennial buffers, and incorporate livestock and cover cropping into her soil health program. She will discuss what some of the buzzwords mean, what questions to pose to a producer to understand their practices, and will describe some techniques used by farmers and ranchers to grow in concert with the land.