Buy local: It’s a simple concept that people tend to talk about in reference to “mom and pop” shops.
But, when it comes to food, to farming, that may not be the first thing that comes to mind.
The MOSES Organic Farming Conference begins Thursday at the La Crosse Center.
Tom Manley, with MOSES, stressed on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk PM earlier this week, how we need to start thinking about “buy local” for our struggling farmers and our communities.
“That money stays right there in your local economy and doesn’t just improve situations for those farmers on the ground in your place, but it improves the economic situation for everybody who’s in business around there,” Manley said.
For those who want to learn more about this stuff,
Thursday night is the perfect opportunity.
From 5-8 p.m., MOSES has a $25 special to see all the exhibits and party afterwards at the Center. First learn a little about sustainable farming. Then enjoy it with organic food, organic drinks, and some music from Slow No Wake.
At some point in the future — possibly the near future — the way we farm may have to drastically change. Flooding, erosion and soil quality are just some of the factors in how much production comes from our producers.
“The farm economy, there are few times in our history where it’s been worse than it is right now,” Manley said. “It really doesn’t matter if they’re dairy producers or grain producers, they’re feeling it. They’re pinched from every possible angle.”
But, it doesn’t end there. Manley stressed again that we have to also think about those growers close to home.
“If we want to change the farming landscape and we want to change agriculture, we have a responsibility, as consumers, to put our money behind the kind of change that we want to see,” Manley said. “As important as the organic label is and buying organic — that’s critically important — it sort of goes beyond that. You need to be supporting the producers around you.”
It’s not all up to the consumer, however. The change has to expand.
“It needs to become a priority for us at the national level,” Manley said. “We need to actually start writing farm bills for farmers and not necessarily for the farm industry as it exists right now.”
Manley spoke highly for forward thinking farmers in the Driftless, who realize the ecosystem is highly sensitive, where one thing affects everything else. Listen to the full interview here.