News

OFRF Accepting Letters of Intent for 2020 Grant Funding

July 1, 2019—OFRF is pleased to announce the Fall 2019 Request for Letters of Intent is now open for 2020 grant funding. The program is open to all applicants residing and conducting research in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The deadline to submit Letters of Intent (LOI) is Friday, August 16, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in fall 2019 and invited to submit a full proposal.

OFRF Talks Climate Change with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture at Town Hall Meeting

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with agriculture stakeholders at a Town Hall meeting in Watsonville, California on Friday, June 28th. He was joined by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Doug LaMalfa (CA-01).

Help for Delayed Planting

Late snow and lots of rain have prevented or delayed planting on many farms. USDA provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. Learn about coverage, technical and financial assistance, and more at farmers.gov.

OFRF offers several resources to help farmers and ranchers manage risk. All resources are available to download for free. Print quantities may be available upon request.

Fresh From the Fields: Beyercrest, LLC

Rory Beyer was raised on the dairy farm his parents have owned since 1973. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in Animal Science, he returned to the farm and several years later, made the transition to organic production. Today, the Beyers farm 385 acres, raising dairy, beef, corn, and small grains. Since going organic, Rory says the cows are healthier and producing more and, in seven years, they’ve seen their soil organic matter (SOM) go from 1.7% to 4.4% as a result of soil building practices such as cover cropping, managed rotational grazing, diverse rotations, and the use of organic soil amendments. 

OFRF Executive Director Testifies in DC

June 12, 2019, Washington, DC - This spring, flooding left farm fields across the Midwest under water. Meanwhile, growers across the Southeast are continuing the hard work to recover from devastating hurricanes and tropical storms. In California, farmers and ranchers are still dealing with the aftermath of last year’s record-breaking wildfires intensified by increasingly warm and dry weather. 

Applications for UCSC Organic Training Program Now Being Accepted

Applications for the 2020 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz are now being accepted. This six month, full-time, residential apprenticeship in organic gardening and farming includes 1,000 hours of formal instruction and hands-on practical skill building focused on growing vegetables, flowers, berries, and small-scale orchards. Scholarships are available.

How Do You Manage On-Farm Risk? Take the Survey.

From the uncertainty of weather and the markets, to understanding which events are most likely to impact you—risk management is an important part of decision making on the farm. As OFRF works to make programs and policies related to crop insurance, conservation, and soil health better for organic farmers and sustainable agriculture, it is vital for us to have your input on the programs and practices you use to manage risk.

Webinar Series on Soil Health Now Available On-Demand

OFRF's wildly popular webinar series on soil health and organic farming is now archived and available to view on-demand. Registration numbers for the live webinars were off the charts, causing eOrganic to have to upgrade their platform to handle the volume. Thousands of farmers, agriculture professionals, and researchers from 48 states and 14 countries attended the live webinars. The archived versions have been viewed over 7,000 times!

 

OFRF at Organic Week in DC

Last week, OFRF and the organic community were in Washington, DC in full force advocating on behalf of the organic sector. Organic Week provides a great opportunity to bring the needs of organic farmers and ranchers to Congress and USDA, discuss issues, showcase outstanding work, and thank our organic champions.

Muramoto to Lead Statewide Program Supporting Organic Growers

Congratulations to longtime research associate at UC California Santa Cruz, Dr. Joji Muramoto, who recently became the first Cooperative Extension Specialist in the UC system dedicated to organic agriculture. Leading a statewide program focused on organic production of strawberries and vegetables, Muramoto plans to focus on soil fertility and the organic management of soil-borne diseases.

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