Organic News

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.

Proceedings from 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum Now Available

Proceedings from the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum are now available. This day-long event held on February 16th in Portland Oregon, featured innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems.

Organic Research Matters

Jeremy Barker-Plotkin, 
OFRF Board President and Farmer, Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst, Massachusetts

Greetings! With just days to spare, we exited 2018 with a Farm Bill that makes long overdue investments in organic agriculture, including $395 million for organic research and education over the next ten years. 

OFRF Continues Funding for Plant Breeding Project

April 29, 2019 – Development, testing, and release of resistant varieties is essential to controlling downy mildew and bacterial wilt, diseases that pose a significant and costly production challenge for organic farmers. OFRF is pleased to announce a second-year research grant to Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seed Growers to continue his assessment of downy mildew resistant cucumber seedstocks. Frost will focus on evaluating and advancing cucumber seedstock lines that performed well in his 2018 trials.

Musings from the Office of Partnership Development

By Lola Dannehl-Schickman, Development and Partnerships Manager, OFRF

Two weeks into January, while madly preparing for our 22nd annual all organic benefit luncheon at EXPO West, I heard the perky ping of my phone’s text message app—breaking my concentration and pulling me out of the spreadsheet of budgets and tracking that so desperately needed my attention. I dove for my purse—the noise had to stop—what could be this important? 

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