After spending the last 4 days or so in LaCrosse, WI at the largest organic farming conference in the world, I learned a few things...
10. It is very helpful to have a tall assistant that you can find in a crowd of over 3300 people. (And the ability to text "Where are you?" doesn't hurt either.)
9. When you are bidding on and win a milk cow, complete strangers celebrate with you. Because they understand the joy, passion and empowerment that as-of-yet-unborn heifer brings to your family farm.
8. Not all sustainable farmers are certified organic. And not all organic farmers are sustainable.
7. My love affair with cheese continues. Aged cheese, fresh cheese, cheese curds, sheep cheese, goat cheese, cow cheese. Thank you, Wisconsin, for all the cheese!
6. Speaking of Wisconsin, did you know every other storefront is a bar? It is. There were some pretty creative names out there, I guess there'd have to be with 423 of them in a 10 block radius.
5. I ate my first kumquat. It was sweet, bitter, juicy and refreshing...all at once! Apparently others thought so as well because I was going to bring a couple home for Hubby and they were all gone.
4. In ND, Hubby and I are considered complete lunatics for wanting to pasture pork. At the MOSES conference, the seminar on Pastured Pork was packed! People lining the walls, sitting in the aisle and in front just to hear the details. Ahhhhhh, it feels good to be among fellow lunatics...
3. I did a webinar from my hotel room Thursday night for Purdue University Extension on pastured poultry and then went to a "Business of Pastured Poultry" seminar and realized we need to keep better financial records. That guy has a spreadsheet for his spreadsheets!
2. Traveling by train is awesome. I hadn't ridden the train since college (a geology fieldtrip to the Channeled Scablands of WA), but the experience hadn't changed. If you have the time, go by train!
1. I bought a LOT of farming books (like 8!). I piled them in front of Hubby and he said, "It's almost March! How are we going to get them all read?" We each pulled one out of the stack and started in, reporting to each other what we're learning. Hubby: DirtHog - a book on pasturing pork Me: Fearless Farm Finances - not my favorite topic, I'd rather be reading DirtHog...but I'm taking one for the team on this one.