General

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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