General

USDA Announces $18.9 Million for Future Agriculture Scientists and Educators

On January 27, 2016, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced the availability of $18.9 million in competitive grants to support fellowships addressing challenges in nutrition, food security, climate change and other agricultural areas.

Fred Kirschenmann to Speak at OFRF's Annual Benefit Luncheon

We are delighted to announce that Fred Kirschenmann, a world-renowned leader in sustainable agriculture, will be the keynote speaker at OFRF's 19thAnnual Benefit Luncheon, kicking off the 2016 Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California.

Kirschenmann shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York.

Kirschenmann converted his family’s farm in North Dakota to a certified organic operation in 1976 and continues to manage the farm. He developed a diverse crop rotation that has enabled him to farm productively without synthetic inputs, while simultaneously improving the health of the soil.

2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Recap

The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium, presented by OFRF and University of California, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extensnion (KARE) Center, brought together researchers, students, farmers and others from across the US for an informative and interactive day in Pacific Grove, California on January 20th. A pre-conference to the annual Eco-Farm Conference, the symposium featured sessions ranging from soil health and biodiversity to farming and livestock systems, including current and ongoing organic agriculture research findings.

Several themes emerged throughout the day including the need for more a holistic approach to advancing organic agriculture, better dissemination and sharing of research; and, of course, greater investment in research in critical areas such as soil, water, pest and weed management.

The symposium began with a plenary session featuring Andre Leu, IFOAM/Organics International President (shown in the photo with OFRF Executive Director, Brise Tencer) and Mathieu Ngouajio, USDA/NIFA National Program Leader in Cropping Systems.

2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Re-Cap

The Organic Agriculture Research Symposium brought together researchers, students, farmers and others from across the US for an informative and interactive day in Pacific Grove, California this week.

Free Webinars from USDA and eOrganics

USDA is hosting a webinar to discuss the request for application to two NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) organic grant programs: Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions. The webinar will include a brief description of the two programs followed by a Q & A session. 

2016 OREI and ORG Request for Applications Webinars

USDA will host a webinar on Thursday February 11, 2016, from 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern Time, to discuss the request for application to two NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) organic grant programs:

Making Farms Safer with Conservation Practices

Co-Managing Farm Stewardship with Food Safety GAPs and Conservation Practices: A Grower’s and Conservationist’s Handbook is now available. The handbook was co-written by Jo Ann Baumgartner, Executive Director of the Wild Farm Alliance, and partially funded through a research grant from OFRF.

A valuable resource for growers and conservationists, the handbook describes many opportunities for making farms safer by reducing pathogen presence with conservation practices and food safety Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium 2016 Live Broadcast

Plenary and key workshop sessions from the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) will be broadcast as webinars. The conference takes place at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. 

New Ruling Provides Exemption from Commodity Checkoff Programs

A new ruling, published by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service on December 31, 2015, exempts organic farmers and handlers from paying into commodity checkoff programs. USDA has estimated that the expanded exemption would save the organic industry $13.6 million.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Scholarships

The Organic Farming Research Foundation is pleased to announce the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium, a pre-conference on January 20, 2016 at the EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, CA. Students, farmers and researchers who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $350 should submit a letter of interest to grants@ofrf.org by January 10th.

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