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Nominations sought for MOSES 2011 Organic Farmer of the Year award

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is seeking nominations for the "2011 Organic Farmer of the Year" award which will be presented at the 22nd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference Feb. 24-26, 2011, in LaCrosse, Wis.

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is seeking nominations for the "2011 Organic Farmer of the Year" award which will be presented at the 22nd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference Feb. 24-26, 2011, in LaCrosse, Wis.

John, Jane and Janaki Fisher-Merritt of the Food Farm in Wrenshall received the 2010 Organic Farmer of the Year Award. The Fisher-Merritts approach their farm as a living organism, and manage their soil so it can be farmed forever. Diversity of production includes grazing poultry as part of the system to improve soil, lessen weeds and manage insect populations.

The Fisher-Merritts designed and built an innovative energy efficient "root cellar/cooler" which has enough storage to supply their CSA members and the retail stores in Duluth with root crops throughout the winter. This root cellar uses the natural cooling/heating capacity of the earth. For an entire year this large storage area uses less than $200 in electricity.

Every year, MOSES recognizes an outstanding organic farmer or farm family who are innovators; who excel in managing their farm resources like soil, water, wildlife, and biodiversity; and who serve as educators and shining examples in their communities and to the next generation of organic farmers.

"We believe it is absolutely vital to publicly recognize these impressive producers," said Faye Jones, MOSES executive director. "They are changing the way America farms and the way we eat."

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Those who wish to nominate a farmer for the award must complete and return the nomination form which is available by calling the MOSES office at 715-778-5775 or at www.mosesorganic.org/foy.html .

The Farmer of the Year award includes a cash gift, full registration to the 2011 Organic Farming Conference, lodging during the conference, and a gift certificate redeemable at the conference book sales booth.

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