News

OFRF at MOSES

By Michael Stein, Policy Associate, OFRF

 

Going to the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference is an eye-opening experience every year and an opportunity to interact with Midwest organic farmers, beginning farmers, and those interested in transitioning to organic production. MOSES also brings together people from across the organic community, from lobbyists to activists, to billion-dollar organic companies.

Current Research and Future Priorities Focus of OFRF Forum and Listening Session

OFRF would like to thank the researchers, farmers, and educators who participated in our sessions at Organicology in Portland last week. We couldn’t have done it without you! All of the presentations were first-rate—from improving the ability of growers to produce organic seed, to the wonders of barley—a plethora of new information and thoughtful discussion was shared at our Organic Agriculture Research Forum on Saturday.

Brise Tencer Joins ASI Board

Newly appointed to the External Advisory Board of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), OFRF Executive Director Brise Tencer was introduced at the annual meeting in January in Davis, California.

 

“As a member of the ASI Board, I am honored to have this opportunity to represent the needs of the organic community,” said Tencer, adding that she looks forward to seeing organic initiatives and education grow within the UC system.

FFAR Awards Matching Funds for OFRF’s 2019 Research Grants

OFRF’s research program got a big boost thanks to a matching grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). The $66,000 match will be used to support OFRF’s 2019 organic research grant awards related to soil health, including carbon sequestration, reduced tillage systems, and fertility management focused on reducing environmental impacts and improving soil health.

New Tools to Manage On-Farm Risk Available

Responding to the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country, OFRF in cooperation with USDA-Risk Management Agency, has developed two informative new guidebooks and webinars on how organic and transitioning growers can manage on-farm risk through crop insurance programs and sound soil health management.

 

Introduction to Crop Insurance for Organic and Transitioning Producers
How crop insurance works for organic and transitioning farmers, including coverage types and record-keeping, as well as what to know when working with crop insurance agents.

 

 

Join OFRF at Organicology

Heading to Organicology? Join OFRF to learn about the latest in organic research and provide input on priorities for future research funding.

Organic Research for the Non-Researcher, Friday, February 15th, 10-12 am, Broadway III/IV

During this interactive session led by OFRF, Organic Seed Alliance, and Oregon Tilth, participants will have the opportunity to identify and prioritize the most pressing research needs for organic farmers and ranchers. Don't miss this opportunity to share your voice!

Organic Agriculture Research Forum, Saturday, February 16th, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Galleria North/Poster Session 5:00 - 7:00 pm, Galleria South

This day-long forum and poster session will feature innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems. Oral and poster presentations will cover topics ranging from assessing the impact of organic agriculture on climate change to organic farmer economics, marketing, and consumer behavior.

View the agenda

Register now

Fresh From the Fields: April Joy Farm

April Joy Farm is located near Ridgefield, Washington on 24 acres above the Columbia River Slough. The farm was purchased on contract from Annie Peterson in 2003. Coming “home” to this farm was the realization of a dream for April Thatcher née Jones, who spent many happy childhood days helping the previous owners with farm chores. Today, April and her husband Brad provide healthy food to over sixty families in Clark County through their CSA, as well as top local restaurants. Photo: David L. Reamer

Legislation Introduced to Preserve and Protect the Scientific Integrity of USDA

Earlier this year, the Administration proposed to reorganize and relocate key research branches at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). There has been widespread concern within the research and farming communities about how the proposal could disrupt the scientific integrity of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and further marginalize critical research. In an effort to address these concerns, OFRF and the Union of Concerned Scientists sent a letter to Congressional leaders from over 1,100 scientists and economists, urging Congress to take action to protect the scientific integrity at USDA.  

On December 20, 2019, action was taken.

Farm Bill Signed into Law

After years of work and months of back and forth negotiations, the 2018 Farm Bill has been signed by the President.

This bipartisan bill makes long-overdue investments in organics and the future of American agriculture. The bill provides historic permanent baseline funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), continues to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, provides increased funding and enforcement authority for the National Organic Program, and supports the vital Organic Market and Production Data Initiative.

Historic Permanent Funding for Organic Research Secured in Farm Bill

December 11, 2018—Thanks to the hard work of OFRF and a broad coalition of organic champions, we have secured historic wins for organic agricultural research in the 2018 Farm Bill, which will provide $395 million for organic agriculture research and education over the next 10 years. This milestone is the biggest win for organic farming in the Farm Bill in decades, securing permanent funding for organic research at USDA.

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