General

New Educational Guides Now Available

OFRF is excited to announce a new series of educational guides designed to help organic farmers and ranchers enhance the soil health and overall resilience of their operations. “These guides to practical organic soil health management will assist farmers in selecting the best practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way toward more sustainable agricultural systems," said Diana Jerkins, Research Program Director at OFRF.

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.

Ohio State Research Team Working on New Soil Health Tests

Predicting the capacity of soil to supply nitrogen is an ongoing challenge in organic farming. Organic farmers rely on the breakdown of organic matter through a microbially-driven process for crop nutrition instead of the application of synthetic fertilizers. One of the most frequent requests of organic farmers is to have access to better information about what is happening in their soil.

Research Looks at the Effect of Diverse Soil Life on Vegetable Production

Healthy soil is the basis for thriving agriculture. In our survey for the 2016 National Organic Research Agenda, we found soil health research was the top priority of farmers in all regions of the U.S. To meet the need for more research in this area, three of the new research projects OFRF funded in 2016 focus on organic soil health.

These two-year projects have just completed their first year of research, and the preliminary results are already proving useful for organic farmers.

Bipartisan Interest in Research Positive Sign for Organic Sector

I was honored to be invited to testify at a Congressional roundtable discussion on organic agriculture hosted by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research on June 15th. The briefing was well attended by majority and minority members of the committee and it was gratifying to see such a high level of interest in the organic sector.

OFRF received a kind introduction from Congressman Panetta, highlighting our many years of working to ensure organic farmers have the tools and support they need to be successful. I shared the production challenges and research needs of organic farmers as identified in our recent survey and listening sessions with organic farmers across the U.S. Members from both sides of the aisle were highly engaged and asked thoughtful questions.

Research Aims to Give Organic Feed Producers a Helping Hand

The growing demand for organically produced meat is providing opportunities for a new generation of organic feed grain farmers. To help these new farmers be successful, OFRF recently awarded a grant to a team of researchers and Extension Educators at Michigan State University.

Their goal is to develop a framework of research and knowledge of organic grain systems in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the lack of organic grain production for animal feed is limiting the growth potential of organic livestock operations.

New Tote Bags Support Organic Agriculture Research

Love organic? Then why not show it with this 100% organic cotton tote? Hand-stitched and made in the USA. This limited edition bag can be yours for a donation of $30 or more. Support OFRF today and you could be sporting this durable tote at farmers’ markets all summer long!

Limited quantities available. Offer good while supplies last!

Organic Week Kicks Off with D.C. Briefing

OFRF, in partnership with the Organic Center and the House Organic Caucus, held a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. May 22nd to educate members of Congress on the importance of organic research. At the briefing, Kelliann Blazek, Legislative Assistant to Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME), discussed the bipartisan legislation Pingree introduced earlier this month. If passed, the Organic Agriculture Research Act would raise funding for USDA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), from $20 million to $50 million annually.

Support OFRF Today

Farmers are stewards of the land. We are all invested in their success. 

Organic farming practices conserve water and generate healthy soil. Healthy soil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and is one of the most powerful and immediate methods we have to reduce greenhouse gases. However, we won’t see the true impact of organic farming until we can scale it.

OFRF Researcher Provides Testimony on Organic Research

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a Farm Bill field hearing in Frankenmuth, Michigan on May 6th. “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: Perspectives on the 2018 Farm Bill from Michigan” was facilitated by Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, and included testimony from 17 witnesses on issues ranging from nutrition assistance and rural development, to organic research.

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