News

Check Out our New Landing Page

We may not have all the answers but we think we’re off to a good start with our new landing page called Why Organic?. The page is designed to streamline access to the latest organic news, research, farmer stories, resources, and more.

Ferd Hoefner Honored by James Beard Foundation

OFRF is thrilled to share the news that Ferd Hoefner, Senior Strategic Advisor at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), was honored with a 2018 Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation. Ferd, a long-time member of OFRF’s Advisory Board, was recognized for his dedication to ensuring the voices of family farmers and the sustainable agriculture movement are heard on Capitol Hill.

Observations from Spring NOSB Meeting

At the end of April, the organic community descended on Tucson, Arizona for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) spring public meeting. These meetings allow organic stakeholders from across the sector to give input on the shape and direction of organics.  OFRF’s Policy Associate attended to engage in discussions around organic research needs, as well as ensure that OFRF stays plugged in to the continuous development and discussions of organic policy.

OFRF Announces First Research Grant of 2018

OFRF’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce a research grant award to Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seed Growers. The project will assess resistance to both Bacterial Wilt and Cucurbit Downy Mildew among selected cucumber and muskmelon seedstocks, continuing with the development of a pickling cucumber that is resistant to both diseases.

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.

Register Now for Free Webinar Series on Soil Health

OFRF and eOrganic invite you to attend a series of free webinars exploring the most recent research on soil health practices and how organic growers can build healthy soils on their operations.

The webinars provide practical guidelines for growers, in-depth analysis of research outcomes, and an opportunity to get your questions answered. Response to the first two in the series has been overwhemingly positive. 

“I am new to farming and have struggled to grasp some of the concepts of building and maintaining good soil. The 'light' went on while watching this webinar. Thanks so much! I am looking forward to the next webinars on this subject.”

“The seminar was great! I plan to share it with organic vegetable demo garden staff as well as general public at our farmer’s market plant clinics.”

“I have been working with cover crops, composting, and other soil health practices for years. I felt the webinar was very informative and well paced.”

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.

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