National Organic Program Update from Eco-Farm Conference

The National Organic Program Update at the Eco-Farm Conference in Pacific Grove on January 22nd, provided a wealth of information for organic and transitioning farmers. The session featured Amy Lamendella, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in California, Miles McEvoy National Organic Program (NOP) in Washington, D.C., and Jean Richardson, National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), Vermont.

Grant Programs Help Ease Transition to Organic

North Dakota and Minnesota are providing grants to help ease the financial burden on farmers transitioning from conventional to organic farming. Hopefully, this will serve as a model to help other states create programs.

CSP Boosts Minimum Contract Payment: Signups Open Now

Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have until March 31st to submit their initial applications to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). USDA will enroll 10 million acres of farm and ranch land in the program in 2016, with payments to farmers and ranchers of over three-quarters of a billion dollars over the next five years.

Kathleen Merrigan on List of Influential Women in Agriculture

OFRF Advisory Committee member, Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, was included on Food Tank’s list of 27 influential women in food and agriculture. The announcement was made on January 28th.

Merrigan currently serves as Executive Director of Sustainability at George Washington University, where she leads the GWU Sustainability Collaborative and GWU Food Institute, and serves as Professor of Public Policy.

USDA Announces $18.9 Million for Future Agriculture Scientists and Educators

On January 27, 2016, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced the availability of $18.9 million in competitive grants to support fellowships addressing challenges in nutrition, food security, climate change and other agricultural areas.