Faye Jones

MOSES Executive Director 1999-2016

Flanked by mentor Roger Blobaum and her husband, Mark Plunkett, Faye shows her awards from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Faye was at the helm of MOSES since its inception in 1999. Prior to that, she helped organize the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, which started in 1990 to help farmers learn best practices from each other. After a couple of years, she became the lead organizer of the conference. As interest in organic production grew, the conference founders created MOSES as a nonprofit focused on ongoing education and support for organic farmers, and tapped Faye to lead it.

The conference, now known as the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, has grown to be the country’s largest educational event about organic and sustainable farming; more than 3,600 people attended the 2016 MOSES Conference, coming from all over the U.S. and around the globe. The conference has been in La Crosse, Wis. since 2000.

At the 2016 MOSES Conference, La Crosse Councilman Fran Formanek presents Faye with a proclamation naming Feb. 27 “Faye Jones Day” in the city.

At the 2016 MOSES Conference, La Crosse Councilman Fran Formanek presents Faye with a proclamation naming Feb. 27 “Faye Jones Day” in the city.

Under Faye’s guidance, MOSES has helped thousands of farmers learn organic production methods. In recognition of her inspirational leadership and significant contributions to agriculture, the University of Wisconsin-Madison selected her for a 2015 Honorary Recognition Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The mayor of La Crosse acknowledged Faye’s impact on organic farming by proclaiming Feb. 27, 2016 “Faye Jones Day.”

“Faye’s vision is why MOSES is the influential organization it is today,” said Jody Padgham, who has worked with Jones for the past 15 years. “Her enthusiasm and passion for improving agriculture has laid a great foundation for our future path.”

Faye rallies the crowd at the 2010 MOSES Conference (with co-host Chris Blanchard)

Faye rallies the crowd at the 2010 MOSES Conference (with co-host Chris Blanchard).

Faye continues to have influence in the organic community after leaving MOSES. She currently works part time with the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, a Wisconsin-based program with a national expansion underway, on farm policy work. She continues to work with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

She also has more time to focus on her farm near Spring Valley, where she and her husband, Mark Plunkett, raise Highland cattle, chickens, hogs, and grow garlic and vegetables.

 

 

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