USDA Organic Research Tackles Vital Issues, Report Says

February 18, 2015 - The US Department of Agriculture, which has invested in agricultural research since the late 1800s, only began including organic-specific projects in its massive research portfolio in 2002. But since that date, the agency has plowed more than $142 million into 188 organic farming studies, successfully targeting issues of vital concern to organic farmers, according to a preliminary analysis conducted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

Since 2002, USDA funding has produced “a substantial body of research into priority production constraints and other vital issues for organic, transitioning-organic, and sustainable farmers and ranchers,” according to OFRF analyst Mark Schonbeck, who said he was inspired by the “extent, ingenuity and level of farmer involvement” in the agency-funded research.

OFRF Hosts Organic Research Listening Session at OARS Symposium

February 18, 2015 - The staff at OFRF is hard at work updating the National Organic Research Agenda for 2015, and will host its fourth listening session of the winter farming conference season Feb. 26, at the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Organic farmers, ranchers and researchers are encouraged to contribute information about their needs and challenges, and their thoughts about priority areas of future organic research. OFRF has conducted productive listening sessions this year at the EcoFarm, Organicology and Virginia Biological Farming Association conferences. OFRF will continue to gather input from the organic community with future sessions, and an online survey to be distributed this spring to every certified organic farm in the U.S.

OFRF at Expo West – Helping Farmers Meet the Demand for Organic

February 18, 2015 – The demand for organic food in the U.S. has outstripped our domestic supply for at least a decade – what are the factors preventing American farmers from tapping into this fast-growing market?

Join OFRF Executive Director Brise Tencer and a panel of industry experts to discuss the barriers to growing organic, and what can be done to increase the numbers and success of organic farmers. Tencer will be joined by organic farmer Doug Crabtree, of Vilicus Farms; Dag Falk, organic program manager at Nature’s Path; Beth Robertson-Martin, sourcing lead for organic, natural and non-GMO ingredients at General Mills; and Washington State University grain researcher Kevin Murphy, for a panel discussion “Helping Farmers Meet Demand for the Growing Organic Market,” March 5, 3 p.m., immediately following OFRF’s 18th annual luncheon at the Natural Products Expo West trade show.

USDA Announces $30 Million to Fight Citrus Greening

February 13, 2015 – The US Department of Agriculture took aim at Citrus Greening this week with $30 million in funding for 22 projects to help citrus growers battling the devastating bacterial disease, spread by the invasive Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP).

Food Security Grants Target Regionally-Adapted Seeds and Breeds, Sustainable Agriculture

February 5, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced more than $16 million in Food Security grant funding, with an emphasis on sustainability and regionally-adapted seeds and breeds – areas of particular interest to the organic farming research community.

Flowers Replace Insecticides in Lettuce Production

January 21, 2015 - Research generated by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in the heart of America’s Salad Bowl is showing how lettuce growers can control pests without the use of insecticides, by allowing a few flowering plants to grow among the salad greens.

Survey Season for Organic Farmers

January 21, 2015 - Important questionnaires will be landing in rural mailboxes and inboxes in the coming weeks, aimed at helping the organic community take stock of the past year, and strategize for the future. Surveys distributed by Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are designed to capture very different types of data, from every organic farmer in the U.S.

Congressional Organic Caucus Sees Promise in New Year

January 6, 2015 - As the US House of Representatives kicks off our nation’s 114th Congress today, OFRF welcomes back 32 members of the House Organic Caucus, and sends our thanks and appreciation to the eight caucus members who will not return in 2015, due to a combination of planned retirements and the 2014 mid-term elections.

Founded in 2003 at the instigation of Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), and sponsored by Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Ron Kind (D-WI), the bi-partisan House Organic Caucus boasted 40 members in 2014. The eight departing caucus members include retiring congressional heavyweights George Miller (D-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA), along with friends of organic ag Doc Hastings (R-Wash), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Tom Latham (R-IA), James Moran (D-VA), Bill Owens (D-NY), and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH).

Reserve Your Seat - Tickets Now Available for OFRF's 18th Annual Luncheon at Expo West


Join us on Thursday, March 5, 2015, from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm on the sunny Grand Plaza of the Anaheim Convention Center, as we celebrate a quarter-century of organic community, hard work, and innovation.

Network with the movers and shakers of the natural and organic industry, and enjoy a spectacular seasonal organic feast prepared by guest chefs Chris Blobaum and Donna Prizgintas.

Click here to order tickets!

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Researchers Develop Organic Disease Controls for Strawberry Growers

Fungi love strawberries for the same reasons humans do: they are sweet, juicy and delicious fruits. Verticillium wilt fungus is particularly fond of strawberries, and a persistent threat to California’s $2.6 billion strawberry industry. But a team of Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) research partners at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) have developed an effective, organic system for fighting this soil-borne threat.


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