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Down on the farm: Conference looks at future of farming in state

What do Minnesota farmers do in the wintertime? Aside from livestock chores, machinery repair, record analysis, next-season planning, and a little more family time, they can improve their knowledge and networks by attending conferences. When meat and poultry farmer Mark Thell, chair of the Carlton County Chapter of the Minnesota Farmers Union, fell ill last week, I was asked to attend the 21st annual Minnesota Organic Conference Jan. 11-12 in St. Cloud.

The event drew over 300 hundred participants from across the state and beyond for two days of meetings and a sold-out 80-booth trade show of m...