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Senate Holds Hearing for the Chief Scientist at USDA

Even in the midst of a tense Farm Bill negotiation, the Senate Agriculture Committee convened to hear from the nominees for key positions at USDA. The nominees are, Mindy Brashears for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, Naomi C. Earp for Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights, and Scott Hutchins, for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics also known as the “Chief Scientist” at USDA.

How Can You Help Organic Farmers?

Submitted by Lola Dannehl-Schickman, Development Associate, OFRF

It's hard to believe fall is in full swing! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like they blinked in June and suddenly found themselves in November. That being said, it’s a critically busy time here at OFRF as we continue to rollout our webinars on building soil health and prepare to go to press with several new publications we'll be sharing this winter conference season. Throw in preparations for our organic luncheon at Expo West in March, an Organic Agriculture Research Forum at Organicology in February, and . . . well, you get the idea.

OFRF Board Member Heather Darby Receives USDA OREI Grant

Until recently, organic milk was one of the fastest growing sectors in organic agriculture. However; with prices declining, interest in transitioning to grass-fed production methods is increasing. Expansion in this market has been particularly significant in the Northeast where farmers face challenging climate conditions that complicate cropping of traditional feed crops such as corn silage and therefore encourage more grass-based systems.

Fresh From the Fields: Elmwood Stock Farm

Elmwood Stock Farm is a 6th-generation family farm in Lexington, Kentucky that began as a producer of Black Angus breeding-stock cattle. The cattle are still an important part of the farm ecosystem and farm business, though over the past decade the family has branched out to produce a variety of organic vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, and cornmeal. Organic certification and close family involvement ensure that safe and sustainable farming practices are followed, livestock are well cared for, and land and water conservation remain a priority. 

USDA Organic Research Program Stalled Until New Farm Bill Passes

With the expiration of the 2014 Farm Bill on September 30, 2018, Congress allowed a wide range of important food and farm programs to also expire. These programs lost their authority to operate, and in some cases their funding. Among the programs thrown into limbo by this delayed Farm Bill is the main competitive organic research grant program at USDA, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). 

OFRF at SupplySide West

SupplySide West is coming up in Las Vegas November 6th through the 10th. OFRF's Executive Director, Brise Tencer, will be speaking on "The State of Organic" on Friday, November 9th at 11:30 as part of Esca Bona at SupplySide West Education, a platform to engage and serve companies working to create a better food system.

New Study Associates Organic Diet with Reduced Risk of Cancer

A new study reported in the New York Times on October 22nd examines the relationship between an organic food-based diet and cancer risk. Funded entirely by public and government funds at the Center of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cite, researchers collected data for five years on the consumption frequency and dietary intake of 68,946 French adults, primarily women.

New Webinar Series on Soil Health in the Western U.S.

Please join OFRF and eOrganic for a series of eight free webinar trainings on organic farming and soil health in the Western U.S. The webinars will target agricultural professionals including Extension personnel, other agency personnel, and agricultural consultants in an effort to increase expertise in organic practices that promote soil health.

Tickets on Sale for the Best Meal at Expo West!

 
 

OFRF’s 22nd Annual Benefit Luncheon at Expo West 2019
Wednesday, March 6 at 11:30 a.m.
The City National Grove of Anaheim

More than 1,100 Scientists Oppose USDA Agency Moves

(October 1, 2018)—More than 1,100 scientists and economists from across the country sent a letter to congressional leaders today, opposing the Trump administration’s proposal to reorganize and relocate key research branches at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The proposed changes threaten scientific integrity at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and could further marginalize their critical research from policymaking, according to the letter. If Secretary Perdue’s plans are realized, the ERS and NIFA will be relocated from their current offices in Washington, DC, and the ERS will be transferred to the aegis of the Office of the Chief Economist, which reports to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

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