University of Minnesota to Host the 1st IFOAM International Conference on Animals in Organic Production

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From August 23-25, 2006, the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus will be the international epicenter for organic livestock producers and researchers, when the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) holds the first-ever international conference on organic livestock.

From August 23-25, 2006, the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus will be the international epicenter for organic livestock producers and researchers, when the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) holds the first-ever international conference on organic livestock.

Leading organic livestock researchers and producers from throughout the world will share state-of-science research findings and production information during the three-day event.

Complete information about the conference, including on-line registration, can be found at:

http://www.ifoam.org/events/ifoam_conferences/IFOAM_Animal_Production_Conference.html

The conference will begin on August 23 with tours of organic livestock farms in the Twin Cities area, including lunch and a tour of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/

During the evening of August 23, opening remarks will be delivered by Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Gene Hugoson, and the UMN’s Dean of Extension, Bev Durgan. The opening keynote will given by Dr. Fred Kirschenmann of Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Kirschenmann will discuss, “Animals in an Organic System – Exploring the Ecological, Social, and Economic Functions of Animals in Organic Agriculture.”

Dr. Mette Vaarst, DVM, of the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, will speak on “Sustaining Animal Health and Food Safety Through Organic Methods” during the morning keynote on August 24. Dr. Vaarst’s keynote address will be followed by workshops on organic poultry, dairy, sheep, hogs, and beef, as well as organic livestock standards. Groundbreaking research will be presented on differences between antibiotic-resistant bacteria on organic vs conventional livestock farms.

Noted author, researcher, and acclaimed speaker Dr. Temple Grandin will present the evening keynote, which will be held in the North Star Ballroom of the UMN Student Center. Dr. Grandin, an autistic woman who has developed humane livestock handling systems used worldwide, will present “Animals in Translation,” which explores how animals see the world.

The evening of August 24 will conclude with a dance party in the North Star Ballroom, with music provided by The Pheromones!

Dr. David Wallinga, MD, from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, will give the morning keynote on August 25. Dr. Wallinga will discuss “Antibiotic Resistance and the Organic Alternative.” There will be workshops on humane treatment, biosecurity, animal health, market access, milk quality, and food safety.

The closing keynote will be given by Jim Riddle, the UMN’s Coordinator for Organic Agriculture Outreach, who will discuss “Fostering Organic Livestock Research – Priorities and Preferences.” The program will conclude with reports from session moderators on key findings of the conference, along with a conference resolution, presented by Angela Caudle, IFOAM’s Executive Director.

Sponsors for the conference include Organic Valley, Newman’s Own Organics, Northland Organic Foods, Stonyfield Farm, Indian Herbs, Horizon Organic, FiBL – Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, MOSES – Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services, Organic Choice, OTA – Organic Trade Association, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the University of Minnesota.

Delicious local organic food will be served throughout the conference, with donations from Gardens of Eagan, Organic Valley, Stonyfield Farm, Nancy’s Organic Yogurt, The Wedge, French Meadow Bakery, Coop Partners Warehouse, and Cornercopia, the UMN’s Student Organic Farm on the St. Paul campus.

For more information, contact:

Jim Riddle

Organic Outreach Coordinator

University of Minnesota

31762 Wiscoy Ridge Road

Winona, MN 55987

Ph/fax: 507-454-8310

Cell: 507-429-7959

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Neil Sorensen
IFOAM
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