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Karen Adler's picture

Putting the Earth Back in Earth Day

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” --Charles E. Kellogg /USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938

How often do you think about the earth beneath your feet?

If you are a farmer or soil scientist, it’s many times a day. Otherwise, probably not very often, since our soil is something that most of us take for granted. But did you know that half of our topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years, and we’re now losing it at rates 10 to 40 times faster than it can naturally be replenished? Currently, 40% of the soil used for agriculture throughout the world is classified as degraded or seriously degraded.

Mark Keating's picture

Where Will Vermont’s GMO-labeling Bill Leave the Organic Brand?

     Proposals to require labeling of food products containing GMO ingredients are sprouting up in state legislatures and public referendums across the country. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are GMO labeling bills currently under consideration in 29 states and after years of stalemate, the tide may be turning in their favor.  While mandatory GMO labeling would be a milestone affirmation of our right to know where our food comes from, it also has genuine limitations when measured against organic certification.

There’s still time to apply for a 2014 research grant from Organic Farming Research Foundation!

There’s still time to apply for a 2014 research grant from
Organic Farming Research Foundation!

 
 
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) invites proposals from all applicants, and particularly encourages farmers, ranchers, researchers, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding.
 
Funding is offered for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities.  Farmers and ranchers often find that working with a professional researcher helps to design and carry out a research project, and OFRF encourages applications from such partnerships.

Through our grants program, OFRF has supported innovative approaches in subjects ranging from disease, weed, and insect management, to bees and pollinators, nutrient management, and cover crops. Past grants have been awarded to projects such as Developing “Organic Ready” Maize Populations; Farmer-based Plant Breeding for Organic Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Spelt; and Grafting Vegetables for Soil-Borne Disease Resistance.  For more information about what OFRF funds and how those studies can benefit your organic farm, please click here.

 
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) grants program is open to all applicants residing in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
 
Note: Our annual grant cycle has changed. We are now only accepting proposals in the spring for one cycle of awards per year. The next application deadline will be in 2015 and a RFP will be released for that cycle later this fall.
 

Mark Keating's picture

As Budget Talks Begin, OFRF Advocates for Farmers

          The approach of April 15 typically means spending some quality time reviewing one’s finances, and it is also the season when the federal government begins budget deliberations for the coming fiscal year.  For USDA, the process begins with senior officials appearing before Congressional Agriculture and Appropriations Committees to elaborate upon and support the funding requests included in the

Mark Keating's picture

Research is Spurring Organic Innovation in Wisconsin

 
We’ve posted recently about new funding opportunities through the USDA’s two premier organic research initiatives – the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and the Organic Transitions Program (ORG). OFRF has long made the case that investing in such research is essential for deciphering and disseminating organic agriculture’s rich potential for high quality and quantity production which also sustains the environment and supports family farmers.

Organic Farming Research Foundation Names New Board Members, Chair

Press Release

For immediate release: March 28, 2014
Contact: Rachel Anne Goodman
Communications Consultant, OFRF
(831) 457-8098
Rachel@ofrf.org

Organic Farming Research Foundation Names New Board Members, Chair

 

Karen Adler's picture

Balancing Conservation and Food Safety on Organic Farms

 

The practices of conserving and fostering biodiversity and natural resources are at the heart of organic farming, and are part of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). At the same time, ensuring that the food we eat is safe is an obvious priority for farmers and consumers alike. Conflicts that have emerged between these important goals make it critical for organic farmers to understand how they can be co-managed. OFRF is gratified to fund resources that help farmers find this balance.

Mark Keating's picture

More Funding for Organic Farming Research Available from USDA

By Mark Keating, OFRF Policy Consultant

Great news from Washington, DC last week as USDA released its call for proposals for the 2014 Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) competitive grant program. Thanks to strong grassroots advocacy, the 2014 Fall Bill includes $20 million annually in OREI funding for the next five years and USDA has lost no time in making the first installment available.  The deadline for applications is May 8.

Karen Adler's picture

Home on the Organic Range

Does that title conjure up images of healthy cows grazing peacefully on green rolling hills and ranchers watching baby calves frolic in the grass for the first time? Beyond the idyllic scenes, it takes a lot of hard work and know-how to run a successful organic livestock operation, especially with ever-increasing challenges from drought, climate change, and regulations.

 

OFRF Public Comment to USDA RE: Coexistence

                                   

March 4, 2014           

Secretary Tom Vilsack

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave, SW

Washington, DC         20250

Re:       Request for Public Input, Enhancing Agricultural Coexistence

            Docket No. APHIS–2013–0047

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

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