Blogs | December 2015

World Leaders Look to Curb Climate Change with Carbon Farming

At the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this week, carbon farming became a major component of the global response to the climate crisis. Commenting on the decision, André Leu, President of IFOAM - Organics International, an organization that promotes organic agriculture and carbon farming worldwide, said, “This is a game changer because soil carbon is now central to how the world manages climate change.”

USDA Announces Funding for Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Programs

On December 10, 2015, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $17.6 million in funding to support research and outreach activities that will help growers, producers and processors find innovative ways to improve organic agriculture. The grants are being funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), a program that is administered by USDA’s National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Soil Health Institute Announced in Washington

To ensure that soil continues to be a vital natural resource for generations to come, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Farm Foundation announced the formation of the Soil Health Institute at an event on December 3, 2015.

Organic Seed Key to Healthy Productive Crops

An article in Modern Farmer discussing the importance of organic seed to the future of agriculture, featured several organic researchers and farmers whose work provided the ingredients for a dinner in St. Helena, California benefitting Seed Matters. 

Seed Matters, an initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, is working to improve the viability and availability of organic seed to ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Their goal is to take the whole farm-to-table movement one layer deeper—from seed-to-farm-to-table. Matthew Dillon, who oversees the Seed Matters initiative, emphasized the importance of organic methods, “Seeds created in a conventional, chemically dependent environment yield far less resilient plants.”