Bipartisan Interest in Research Positive Sign for Organic Sector

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I was honored to be invited to testify at a Congressional roundtable discussion on organic agriculture hosted by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research on June 15th. The briefing was well attended by majority and minority members of the committee and it was gratifying to see such a high level of interest in the organic sector.

OFRF received a kind introduction from Congressman Panetta, highlighting our many years of working to ensure organic farmers have the tools and support they need to be successful. I shared the production challenges and research needs of organic farmers as identified in our recent survey and listening sessions with organic farmers across the U.S. Members from both sides of the aisle were highly engaged and asked thoughtful questions.

The market for organic goods continues to experience double-digit growth, yet we are not seeing proportional growth in organic acreage or the number of organic operations in the U.S. As a result, a significant portion of the demand is being met with imports. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to discuss what is needed to bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.

We know that strong investment in research underpins growth in any sector, and all farmers need cutting-edge research that is relevant to their farming systems. Because of the work OFRF has put into talking with organic farmers to identify organic research priorities, we are in a strong position to to ensure continued support for organic research programs in the upcoming Farm Bill.

Brise Tencer, Excutive Director, OFRF

Both the 2016 National Organic Research Agenda and Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments, 2002-2014 are available to download at ofrf.org.