General

Register Now for Free Webinar Series on Soil Health

Please join OFRF and eOrganic for a series of webinars focused on the topics covered in OFRF's new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides. This series is recommended for farmers, ranchers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.

OFRF Publishes Soil Educational Guide

OFRF is pleased to announce the publication of its new educational guide titled, Soil Microbial Interactions and Organic Farming. This resource explores the role of microorganisms, like bacteria, in creating healthy soil ecosystems that benefit organic farms. Microorganisms help create healthy soil, remove soil contaminants through bioremediation, and improve plant health by controlling weeds and plant disease.
 
In 2015, OFRF surveyed organic farmers to find out about their most pressing challenges and research needs. They rated research and information on soil health as the highest priority. The guide addresses this need and provides information for organic farmers on how to build healthy soils through incorporating the benefits of a diverse soil microbiome. 
 
Download the guide here.

The Rise of Organic and Its Impact on People and the Planet

Klaas Martens began his farming career as a conventional grower in the 1970s. He and his partner, Mary-Howell, began to transition their farm in the early 1990s. Klaas and Mary-Howell now farm 1,400 acres of certified organic crops and operate Lakeview Organic Grain, a certified organic feed and seed business. Organic research is a strong component of their farming operation. They have conducted on-farm research independently and in cooperation with university researchers.

It is a mistake to view organic farming as if it just began with the ‘Back to Land Movement’ of the 1970’s or a return to 1930’s-style agriculture. Both these characterizations are overly simplistic and miss the deep historic and scientific roots behind the internationally-recognized certified organic production standards of today.

House Agriculture Committee Passes Partisan Farm Bill

On April 18th, OFRF Policy Associate Michael Stein attended the House Agriculture Committee’s hearing on the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill passed (26-20) along straight party lines and is on its way to the floor of the House of Representatives. 

Initial Draft of Legislation to Reauthorize the Farm Bill Released

Working closely with both Republicans and Democrats, OFRF has been advocating strongly for the inclusion of important organic provisions in the Farm Bill. We are very pleased the House Agriculture Committee has included increased support for organic research, data collection, and organic enforcement in the initial draft (House mark).

Collins Speaks Up, Perdue Applauds Efforts of Organic Farmers

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was on Capitol Hill today testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Facing questions from the Senators on our food and farm economy, Secretary Perdue addressed a variety of issues ranging from trade between the U.S. and China and farm commodity prices to organic agriculture research.

New Guides Help Organic Producers Access Federal Programs

OFRF has developed two new guides to help organic producers navigate the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) offered through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA).

The guides provide an overview of the programs, information on applying, contact information, and a glossary of terms. Both guides are available to download from OFRF’s website. A limited number of printed copies are available upon request.

Government Spending Bill has Wins for Organic Research and NOP

On March 23rd, the fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill was signed into law just hours before the federal government would have shut down, and almost six full months since the current fiscal year began. This government spending package funds federal programs through the end of September 2018.

The bill appropriates $20.4 billion for USDA; roughly $2.1 billion above FY 2017 levels. The majority of the increase is directed toward improving rural infrastructure and fighting the opioid epidemic.

21st Annual Benefit Luncheon Celebrates Organic Research

March 8, 2018—Hundreds of guests enjoyed a delicious all-organic lunch at the City Grove in Anaheim, the first stop for many before attending Natural Products Expo West. The luncheon is a much-loved tradition not only for the delicious food but also for the opportunity to see old friends, make new connections, and celebrate the growth of the organic market.

Congressman Davis Visits Central Coast

Congressman Jimmy Panetta brought a group of organic growers and researchers to his office in Salinas on February 22nd to discuss organic production on the Central Coast with Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL). Davis serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and is chair of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research. The discussion focused on the needs of the industry going into the 2018 Farm Bill.

Pages

Subscribe to General