General

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? 

OFRF Awards First Soil Health Research Grant of 2019

April 16, 2019 – OFRF announced the first of five grants the organization will award this year focused on the most pressing challenges facing organic farmers and ranchers today. The grant is funded in part by a match from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) aimed at funding research related to improving soil health and reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.

OARF Scholarship Recipients Share Experiences

We were thrilled to offer scholarships to attend our Organic Agriculture Research Forum in February and wanted share feedback we received from some of the recipients. Thanks once again to Ceres Trust for funding the scholarship program. As you will see from the comments below, their investment yields a strong return in the continuing education of both farmers and researchers.

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.

 

 

New Climate Guide Evaluates Best Organic Practices in Curbing Climate Change

December 4, 2018—Today the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway. 

Register Now for Free Webinar Series on Soil Health

OFRF and eOrganic invite you to attend a series of free webinars exploring the most recent research on soil health practices and how organic growers can build healthy soils on their operations.

The webinars provide practical guidelines for growers, in-depth analysis of research outcomes, and an opportunity to get your questions answered. Response to the first two in the series has been overwhemingly positive. 

“I am new to farming and have struggled to grasp some of the concepts of building and maintaining good soil. The 'light' went on while watching this webinar. Thanks so much! I am looking forward to the next webinars on this subject.”

“The seminar was great! I plan to share it with organic vegetable demo garden staff as well as general public at our farmer’s market plant clinics.”

“I have been working with cover crops, composting, and other soil health practices for years. I felt the webinar was very informative and well paced.”

OFRF Publishes Soil Educational Guide

OFRF is pleased to announce the publication of its new educational guide titled, Soil Microbial Interactions and Organic Farming. This resource explores the role of microorganisms, like bacteria, in creating healthy soil ecosystems that benefit organic farms. Microorganisms help create healthy soil, remove soil contaminants through bioremediation, and improve plant health by controlling weeds and plant disease.
 
In 2015, OFRF surveyed organic farmers to find out about their most pressing challenges and research needs. They rated research and information on soil health as the highest priority. The guide addresses this need and provides information for organic farmers on how to build healthy soils through incorporating the benefits of a diverse soil microbiome. 
 
Download the guide here.

OARF Presentations Now Available Online

Recordings from the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum held in February are now posted. There are 15 sessions covering a wide range of topics available to view here.

Thanks to eOrganic for recording the sessions and making them available!

 

Insects are Vanishing. Help Them by Eating Organic.

By Lauren Snyder, Research & Education Associate, OFRF

As I was eating my breakfast this morning, I looked out the window and caught a glimpse of a bobcat passing through our field. It was such an incredible way to start the day; feeling inspired by nature and grateful to live in such a beautiful environment. However, my cheery mood quickly evaporated when I got to the office and skimmed the latest headlines. These days, it seems every time we open our devices, we are confronted with another bleak article explaining that “we’re going to hell in a handbasket,” as one of my mentors likes to put it.

22nd Annual Luncheon at Expo West Raises Over $100,000

March 7, 2019 – Despite the rain and wind that blew through Southern California yesterday, hundreds of organic supporters made their way to the National Grove of Anaheim for OFRF's all-organic luncheon. The meal, the people, and the atmosphere make this traditional kick-off to Expo West a much-loved tradition. The event raised over $100,000 for OFRF's research, education, and advocacy programs. We are deeply grateful to everyone who attended and to all of the supporters that made this event a success.

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