Long-time leader announces plans to leave organic farming organization
Contact: Audrey Alwell, Communications Director
Nov. 10, 2015
SPRING VALLEY, WIS – Faye Jones, head of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), announced today she will resign from the organization next spring. The Board of Directors is conducting a national search for a new executive director.
“The organization is stronger than it has ever been,” Jones said. “I’ve been in this amazing job for 25 years—it feels like the right time to consider other ways I might contribute to the organic farming sector.”
Jones is the long-time director of MOSES, a nonprofit organization based in Spring Valley, Wis., that provides education, resources, and guidance to help farmers grow organically. Under Jones’s leadership, 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.
“Faye is a nationally recognized leader among growers, policymakers and academics,” said Carmen Fernholz, president of the MOSES Board of Directors. “She has built and nourished what has become an effective and highly respected organization.”
Jones has been at the helm of MOSES since its inception in 1999. Prior to that, she was one of the organizers of the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference, which started in 1990 to help farmers learn about the newly passed national organic standards. As interest in organic production grew, conference organizers created MOSES as a nonprofit focused on ongoing education and support for organic farmers, and tapped Jones to lead it.
“Farmers learn best from other farmers,” explained Jones, who started her career as a market farmer. “From the beginning at MOSES, we designed workshops, projects and resources with farmers’ involvement.”
Through Jones’s visionary leadership, 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, drawing more than 3,400 participants from all over the U.S. as well as other countries. It has been in La Crosse, Wis. since 2000; the 2016 conference runs Feb. 25 through 27 at the La Crosse Center.
In addition to the conference, MOSES organizes on-farm field days and offers a mentoring program and other services to help beginning and experienced organic farmers. The staff of 10 includes three organic specialists—all farmers themselves—who lead trainings and field questions about organic practices and certification.
“I’m glad that I’ve been able to work with such a talented team,” Jones added.
“This is a major change for MOSES,” Fernholz said. “However, we are confident that the organization, staff, and all the farmers it serves, will continue to benefit from, and build upon, Faye’s great work.”
Information about the executive director position at MOSES is online at mosesorganic.org/farming/job-postings.