Blogs | December 2013

Mark Keating's picture

Flood of Comments First Step Towards Correcting Proposed FSMA Food Safety Rules

By Mark Keating, OFRF Policy Advisor

              We knew the stakes were high and apparently lots of other folks agreed. By last week’s close of the public comment period on the FDA’s proposed regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), more than 20,000 farmers, concerned consumers and grassroots organizations had weighed in.  A big THANK YOU to everyone for making your voices heard as this monumental process moves forward – you are making a major difference.

Mark Keating's picture

New Film “Seed: The Untold Story” Sounds an Alarm About Our Food Future

By Mark Keating, OFRF Policy Advisor

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today”   

We don’t know precisely who originated this saying, but its wisdom speaks to us all.  The story of human civilization is inseparable from our heritage as seed breeders.  Most of our food, medicine, clothing and yes, the beautiful flowers which inspire us resulted from thousands of years of skillful selection and breeding practices drawing upon the abundant genetic diversity of plants.

Klaas Martens's picture

Some of the Most Vital Research Needs Time and Money to Bear Fruit

By Klaas Martens, OFRF Board Member

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
- Naturalist, John Muir

Imagine what more than a century of studying soil in one place might tell us?

The Morrow plots were established in 1876 and are the second oldest long-term systems trials (LTST) in the world.  Data from the Morrow plots has shown that: "soil quality is a vital component of agricultural productivity." The oldest continuously operating system trial is at Rothamsted Manor in England.  It started in 1843 just as synthetic fertilizer manufacturing was beginning to study its effect on soil and wheat production.

Karen Adler's picture

Feeding the Future with Ancient Grains

By Karen Adler

You may have noticed grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt skyrocketing into high demand in recent years in the U.S. You may have even wondered who is meeting that demand. As it turns out, little is known about growing these and other delicious, nutritious, and potentially lucrative crops outside of their native regions, where they have been grown for thousands of years. With funding from OFRF, Kevin Murphy at Washington State University and his team of farmer and university collaborators set out to change that by identifying varieties of quinoa, buckwheat and spelt optimally adapted to organic farming systems in Washington State. From the onset, this project was requested and initiated by organic farmers and continues to rely on farmer participation.