19th Annual Benefit Luncheon Kicks Off Expo West with Organic Feast

March 10, 2016 - More than 300 leaders in the organic industry attended OFRF’s 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon in Anaheim on Thursday, March 10th. The event, which takes place the day before Natural Products Expo West opens, is a long-standing tradition that always sells out. Celebrity chefs Chris Blobaum and Donna Prizgintas, assisted by Beth Miller, were there once again to prepare the all organic feast.

"The luncheon is a wonderful way to learn the latest thinking," said Richard Siegel, an attorney from Washington D.C. who has been coming to the lunch for ten years. "This is where all the thought leaders from the organic movement are—actually it is when the tribe gathers. It is a really special social and gustatory experience."
Brise Tencer, Executive Director for Organic Farming Research Foundation, along with Board member and organic farmer, Don Lareau, welcomed guests. “We are all here today because we share a passion for organic food and organic farming,” Tencer told the crowd. “The demand for organic products is skyrocketing, yet organic farmers are finding it hard to keep up because of the many complex challenges they face. There is a strong need for research and innovation to find solutions that will help increase organic acreage.”
“We are committed to not only helping farmers succeed, but also ensuring the next generation of producers can and will transition to organic,” added Tencer, thanking everyone for their support.

Fred Kirschenmann, a longtime leader in sustainable agriculture and OFRF Board member, gave the keynote address. Kirschenmann shares an appointment as Distinguished Fello for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. He also continues to manage his family's 1,800-acre certified organic farm in sounth central North Dakota.

Kirschenmann spoke about the need to make a shift from maximizing returns to a new set of guiding factors: a regerative and resilient agriculture for long term reliable returns based on relationships. "We are caretakers," said Kirschenmann. "We are at a point now where it is not going to work anymore to put unlimited amounts of waste into nature."

OFRF would like to thank all of our guests and everyone who worked so hard to make the luncheon a success. Special thanks to all the sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible. With your support, we will continue to expand critical research, education, and advocacy to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming throughout the United States.

Albert’s Organics, Belcampo Meat Co., Big Tree Farms, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Bonterra Organic Wine, Café Mam, Christopher Ranch Heirloom Garlic, Driscoll’s, Earthbound Farm Organic, Eden Foods, Food for Life, Frey Vineyards, Frontier Co-Op, GloryBee, Jacobs Farm / Del Cabo, Lundberg Family Farms, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Mother’s Market, Muir Glen Organic, Mountain Rose Herbs, Organic Valley, Purity Organics, Santa Cruz Organics, Smart Chicken, Straus Family Creamery, Succulent Gardens, Tierra Farm, Tradin Organic Agriculture, Woods Beer Co.


New Hope Media


Albert’s Organics, Ardent Mills, Cascadian Farm, Clif Bar & Company, Driscoll’s, KeHe Distributors, Marrone Bio Innovations, Sheppard Mullin

Albert Lea Seed, Dr. Bronner’s, Honest Tea, Kamut International, Newman’s Own Organics, Santa Cruz Organic, Straus Family Creamery

Big Tree Farms, Clover Stornetta Farms, Elohi Strategic Advisors, Nature’s Path, Uncle Matt’s Organic

Amy’s Kitchen, Earthbound Farm Organic, Horizon Organic, Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Valley


Brise Tencer, OFRF Executive Director
Doreen Luke, OFRF Development Director
(831) 426-6606 

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.