Missouri Organic Association: Meeting Missouri’s Growing Needs

By Nancy Smith, secretary,

Farm to Family Naturally


I’ve been growing organically since 1974, when I “inherited” a backyard garden that was completely organic.  With the garden, came piles of “Organic Gardening and Farming” magazine.  The joy of growing in balance with nature, and without harmful chemicals combined with the learning experience of reading all those magazines combined to make me a dedicated proponent of the organic movement.


But it wasn’t until last year that I discovered an organization of like-minded people right here in Missouri.   Under the passionate and inspiring leadership of its president, Sue Baird, Missouri Organic Association seeks to meet the needs of farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers and food safety advocates.  And it is succeeding.


Last year, I attended my first Missouri Organic Convention and was impressed with the high quality of the workshops that were presented.  I came away with new knowledge about cover crops and organic pest control, and a better understanding of the challenges of being a certified organic farmer.

The next MOA Convention will take place in Springfield, MO. on Feb. 10, 11 and 12, 2011.  This year the lineup will include such popular speakers as Tina Marie Wilcox from the Ozark Folk Center, who will be teaching about compost, organic mulches and making your own apothecary products at home from your fresh herb harvest.  There are more than enough workshops to entertain and inform the urban gardener. For more info, see the MOA website at missouriorganics.org

Missouri Organic Association is also the catalyst of a new organization of Southern farmers called S.O.R.C.E.   Farmers and consumer advocates from fifteen Southern states have come together to form an educational and marketing organization. Some of the founding members include representatives from Rodale and Oregon Tilth.  Organic advocates who have devoted their whole lives to promoting thriving ecosystems and vibrant rural economies are among the core group.  I am honored to be included. The goals of the organization include an educational center for Southern growers and a distribution system for organically grown Southern products.

St. Louisans can get a taste of the Missouri Organic Association by attending the Food and Farms Expo presented by The Healthy Planet,  Farm to Family Naturally and Sappington Farmers Market.  Speakers and demonstrators will include many of the MOA’s members, including Sue Baird, speaking on “Why Organic Food?”, Nancy Smith, speaking on “Putting Food By-Preserving Your Harvest So You Can Eat Well All Winter”, and Randy Wood, speaking on “The Challenges of Building a Local Food Distribution System.”


To learn more about the Food and Farm Expo, see the ad on page 8. Sappington Farmers Market is located at 8400 Watson Road, between Elm and Laclede Station Road.