Research Aims to Give Organic Feed Producers a Helping Hand

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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.

This will be achieved through both variety and crop management research, identification of need and marketing opportunities, and finally, dissemination of findings through field days and outreach materials. Co-Investigators, Ashley McFarland, Collin Thompson, and Monica Jean, are conducting their research at Guindon Farms in Cornell, Michigan and the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center North Farm, a farm incubator focusing on sustainable farm development in the region.

Potential outcomes include a broader understanding of organic grain systems in the Upper Peninsula, successful adoption of systems at existing farms with the potential for new start-up operations, and a more stable organic grain market to fuel the burgeoning organic meat industry.

This grant was made possible through a grant to OFRF from the UNFI Foundation.

Read more about the project here.

On another note, we'd like to thank Collin Thompson for testifying in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee at a recent Farm Bill field hearing in Frankenmuth, Michigan. As part of his testimony, Thompson outlined the important role of federal investment in agriculture research. You can read more about it here.

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