Dave Engel

March 14, 2017


Scholarship Fund

Dave served the organic community in many ways, and poured his heart and soul into every endeavor, whether it was as an organic farmer, an organic inspector, or as executive director of four organic certification agencies. As founder of MOSA and Nature’s International Certification Services, he worked to create an organic certification system that was practical and farmer-friendly.

He was known for expressing his opinion in a “folksy” way, many times using parables to convince others of  his point of view. He won people over by sharing his opinions in ways that people could relate to in their own lives.

He was not afraid of hard work, and if he saw something that needed to be done, he would get involved. He helped start the organic farming conference in the 1990s to encourage the fledgling organic farming community to share what was working in the field and on the collective front. He was instrumental in forming MOSES to organize the annual conference and ensure ongoing farmer education.

He was one of the original seven Organic Valley farmers, and served on its board of directors, as well as several other influential boards in the organic community.

Memorial Scholarship Fund:

The Engel family has worked with MOSES to establish a scholarship fund in Dave’s name to send farmers to the annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference, which Dave helped establish. You may contribute to this fund here.

Dave addresses the group at the first organic farming conference in 1990.

Dave’s Obituary

David James Engel, age 65, died on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care in Viroqua.

Dave Engel is survived by his wife, Marta W. Engel (Nee Weinfeld) of Soldiers Grove; his mother, Mary Roessel Engel, of Bismarck, N.D.; his children, Joshua (Teresa) Engel, Soldiers Grove; Noah (Ximena) Engel, Viroqua; Tobiah Engel, Baltimore, Md. and Lilly Engel; Minneapolis, Minn.; and grandsons, Otto, Yasmani and Rafael.

He is preceded in death by his father, Austin George Engel Jr. of Bismarck, N.D.

Dave Engel was born on August 9, 1951 in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Bismarck High School and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dave was a dairy farmer for 30 years and will be remembered for his work as a pioneer and champion of organic and family farmers. Dave was a founding farmer for Organic Valley where he sold milk for 23 years. Dave helped found and was the executive director of MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association). He also founded Nature’s International Certification Services.

Dave’s sons, Josh and Noah, currently run Driftless Organics, an organic vegetable operation, on the home farm.

Dave Engel was well known for his independent spirit and his generosity.


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