OFRF Workshop at Sustainable Agriculture Conference

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On July 31, Joanna Ory, a Research Associate at OFRF, ran a workshop at the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference on the education and research needs of organic farmers. The conference, hosted by University of California, Santa Cruz, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, was a dynamic convergence of educators, activists, students, farmers, and other leaders working to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. The theme this year was, “The Ecology of Food Systems: Engaging Interdisciplinary and Applied Education for a Just and Sustainable Agriculture.” Several powerful speakers and presenters led the effort to discuss issues such as the importance of learning from indigenous knowledge regarding food production and healthy diets.

Drawing on results from the OFRF 2015 Survey of Organic Farmers, Ory presented information explaining what types of research are of highest priority to organic farmers, as well as the preferred types of learning. For example, Joanna explained that the survey found that most farmers felt the best way to learn about new production techniques was from other farmers during field days and conferences. Audience members at the conference provided useful insights into the importance of farmer-to-farmer networks and meetings, as well as online resources such as eOrganic. The full report that goes into more detail on this topic is the upcoming National Organic Research Agenda, which will be published by OFRF later this summer.

The conference also provided a place to put ideas into action, and embrace efforts such as Sariwa! and the People’s Kitchen Collective, who produced a special dinner on decolonizing foodways. OFRF was so pleased to be part of this exciting effort!