Organic News

Priorities for Organic Research Funding

The USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently released the 2018 Request for Applications (RFA) for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). This program provides crucial funding for research, education, and extension projects aimed at improving and advancing organic agriculture. NIFA estimates there will be a total of $17.6M available for research projects in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2018.

Protect Organic Animals, Farmers & Consumers

Use your voice to protect organic! We know that when you choose to buy organic products, you have clear expectations about what that means. USDA’s indefensible rollback of organic standards is the biggest attack on organic in almost 20 years (when it tried to allow GMOs in the original standard). We protected organic then, and we can protect organic now.

View the letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, published in the Washington Post on January 16th.

View OFRF's letter.

NIFA Announces Support for Organic Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Education

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $17.6M in grants focused on organic agriculture research, education, and extension activities. These grants are funded through a competitive process by NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

End-of-Year Wrap-up from OFRF's Policy Team

Organic Momentum in 2018
Farmer Voices on the Farm Bill
by Mark Lipson and Michael Stein

OFRF’s policy program is focused on bringing the voices of organic farmers into the legislative process. We’ve had 20+ years of success making organic research and organic farmers matter in Congress. Many gains have been made with this farmer-forward approach, but much is at stake in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. 

Kick Off Expo West with OFRF!

21st Annual Benefit Luncheon
Thursday, March 8, 2018
City National Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim, California

We are thrilled to announce our keynote speaker, Debra Eschmeyer, Vice President of Communications & Community Affairs, Danone North America.

As Executive Director of Let's Move!, Debra led First Lady Michelle Obama's work to help America raise a healthier generation of kids. During her tenure as Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, she advised the Obama Administration on food, agriculture, and nutrition issues. An organic farmer and recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2011, Debra will share her infectious vision for changing the way we eat and think about food and organic farming.

Organic Voices on the Hill

As the Farm Bill debate continues, OFRF has been working to ensure that the voices of organic farmers, and those that support organic farming, are being heard by members of Congress. With several key programs that support organic farming without permanent funding, it is vital that members of Congress hear from constituents about the importance of supporting organic agriculture in the upcoming Farm Bill.

OFRF Releases New Report on Impacts of Strawberry Research

As the demand for organic berries continues to grow, OFRF-funded research on the berry industry has had long lasting and widespread impacts—especially in California. This new report includes a review of OFRF-funded berry research, along with recommendations for future investment. Our goal is to continue to strengthen and expand investment in organic berry production.

New Videos from NRCS Focus on Organic Practices

A new series of videos is now available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on organic farming topics, ranging from healthy soil to pasture management. The first video in the series provides an overview of organic agriculture and the assistance NRCS offers to organic and transitioning farmers and ranchers.

LaMalfa Co-Sponsors Bill for Increased Organic Research

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) has joined the growing bipartisan effort to increase funding for the USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). As a co-sponsor of the Organic Agriculture Research Act (HR 2436) Rep. LaMalfa joins fellow Agriculture Committee member, Congressman John Faso (R-NY), California Congressman David Valadao (R-CA), and 50 other Members of Congress who have signed on to support the bill. 

OFRF Board Member Visits DC to Talk About Need for More Research

Dean McIlvaine of Twin Parks Organic Farm in Wayne County, Ohio, has operated an 850-acre organic grain farm since 1985. He grows organic corn, soybeans, spelt, oats, wheat, rye, clover, and has recently expanded into a rotating cow and calf grass fed beef operation to add to the farm’s diversity. Dean markets the farm’s products nationally and internationally. His father Dale purchased the farm in the mid-70’s and farmed conventionally until Dean transitioned it to an organic operation—following his college dream and his personal beliefs that organic food is healthier and better for the environment.

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