Blogs | May 2017

Research Addresses Lack of Organic Strawberry Starts

Due to the unobtainability of organic starts, conventional strawberry starts are the main source of transplants for both conventional and organic farmers. Although the USDA’s National Organic Program regulations currently allow organic growers to use conventionally propagated starts, organic strawberry growers would naturally prefer to use organic.

OFRF Researcher Provides Testimony on Organic Research

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a Farm Bill field hearing in Frankenmuth, Michigan on May 6th. “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: Perspectives on the 2018 Farm Bill from Michigan” was facilitated by Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, and included testimony from 17 witnesses on issues ranging from nutrition assistance and rural development, to organic research.

Bipartisan Bill Supports Increased Funding for Organic Research

On May 16th, Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Jimmy Panneta (D-CA) introduced a bill to support increased funding for organic research. The Organic Agriculture Research Act will raise funding for USDA’s Organic Research Extension Initiative (OREI) from $20 million to $50 million annually.

OFRF drafted language and advocated for passage of the $15,000,000 OREI in the 2002 Farm Bill and is pleased to support this bill. “Since its inception, OREI has developed a substantial body of research-based information and tools to support the success of organic farmers across America,” said Brise Tencer, Executive Director at OFRF. “At a time when the demand for organic food is increasing, it is critical that we continue funding research that supports this promising opportunity for rural communities across the U.S.”

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Farmers are stewards of the land. We are all invested in their success. 

Organic farming practices conserve water and generate healthy soil. Healthy soil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and is one of the most powerful and immediate methods we have to reduce greenhouse gases. However, we won’t see the true impact of organic farming until we can scale it.

Organic Week Kicks Off with D.C. Briefing

OFRF, in partnership with the Organic Center and the House Organic Caucus, held a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. May 22nd to educate members of Congress on the importance of organic research. At the briefing, Kelliann Blazek, Legislative Assistant to Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME), discussed the bipartisan legislation Pingree introduced earlier this month. If passed, the Organic Agriculture Research Act would raise funding for USDA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), from $20 million to $50 million annually.

New Educational Guides Now Available

OFRF is excited to announce a new series of educational guides designed to help organic farmers and ranchers enhance the soil health and overall resilience of their operations. “These guides to practical organic soil health management will assist farmers in selecting the best practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way toward more sustainable agricultural systems," said Diana Jerkins, Research Program Director at OFRF.

New Tote Bags Support Organic Agriculture Research

Love organic? Then why not show it with this 100% organic cotton tote? Hand-stitched and made in the USA. This limited edition bag can be yours for a donation of $30 or more. Support OFRF today and you could be sporting this durable tote at farmers’ markets all summer long!

Limited quantities available. Offer good while supplies last!