Drought Management Workshop Audio Now Available

The majority of California is in extreme drought. Even with the winter rain, it will take years of wet winters in order to recover.  The drought situation has implications for food production throughout the state and for consumers nationwide. It is estimated that the average person in the US consumes around 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food grown in California (Buchanan et al., 2016). 

Four Season Gardening in Maine

In a recent article in Wicked Local Brewster, organic farmer Eliot Coleman explains how he grows fresh produce twelve months a year on his Maine farm. With just an acre and a half of land, Coleman grosses over $150,000 without charging outrageous prices.

The author of “The Four Season Harvest,” and several other books, Coleman says his success is the result of a lot of hard work, paying attention over the years, and using all the information that is freely available in books and on the web. 

19th Annual Benefit Luncheon Kicks Off Expo West with Organic Feast

March 10, 2016 - More than 300 leaders in the organic industry attended OFRF’s 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon in Anaheim on Thursday, March 10th. The event, which takes place the day before Natural Products Expo West opens, is a long-standing tradition that always sells out. Celebrity chefs Chris Blobaum and Donna Prizgintas, assisted by Beth Miller, were there once again to prepare the all organic feast.

New Report Cites Deficiency in Measuring Toxicity of Pesticide Interactions

The University of California, Los Angeles published a new report that reveals a major flaw in California’s approach to evaluating pesticide use. The problem is that regulators continue to assess pesticide safety one product at a time, even though growers often apply pesticide mixtures that contain multiple products.

USDA Makes Payments Available for Organic Field Border Buffers

Conservation or ‘field border’ buffers provide multiple conservation and environmental benefits, and also help farmers meet USDA organic certification requirements, including protecting soil and water quality and enhancing biodiversity and habitat. In some circumstances, the buffers can also protect organic farms against pesticide or genetic drift from neighboring operations.

Tipi Produce Named Farmers of the Year at MOSES

The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) kicked off their 27th annual Organic Farming Conference on February 25th. The conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, with over 3,600 people attending this year. Jane Shey, OFRF's Policy Associate, and Board Member, Klaas Martens, were there.

Steve Pincus and Beth Kazmar of Tipi Produce were named Farmers of the Year. They have been certified organic farmers since 1994.On their farm, located outside of Evansville, Wisconsin, they use cover crops extensively to increase organic matter and strengthen fertility and soil biology on their farm. Some of their crops include carrots, melons, pepper and zucchini. They sell 45% of their products through a CSA and 55% to wholesale markets.

Scholarship Recipients Soak Up Knowledge and Make New Contacts at Research Symposium

OFRF was pleased to offer scholarships to qualifying applicants wishing to attend the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium in Pacific Grove, California. We awarded 20 scholarships in all.

Presented by OFRF and University of California Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension (KARE) Center, the symposium featured current and ongoing organic research findings on topics ranging from soil health, seeds, and plant breeding, to biodiversity and organic livestock systems.

USDA Expands Insurance Options for Farmers Transitioning to Certified Organic Agriculture

In an effort to support farmers transitioning to certified organic production, USDA is expanding a crop insurance option that will allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product’s actual value. Certified organic products often return higher profits for farmers; however, it can take producers three years to transition from conventional to certified organic production.

New Study: Organic Agriculture Key to Helping Feed the World Sustainably

Washington State University researchers, John Reganold and Jonathan Wachter reviewed 40 years of science comparing the long-term prospects of organic and conventional farming. Hundreds of scientific studies later, their review provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment, and be safer for farm workers.

Learn How to Calculate Your Farm's Biodiversity

The Organic Center and Furman University are presenting a webinar about measuring on-farm biodiversity using a simple, free public tool called the Healthy Farm Index. The Healthy Farm Index is a biodiversity and ecosystem service planning and monitoring tool for farmers to better understand the direct connection to actions taken and responses at the farm scale. 


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