January 9, 2020 - OFRF will lead a panel discussion and listening session on organic farming at the 2020 Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) Annual Conference. The conference takes place January 16-18 in Temple, Texas. Soil Health for Crop Producers, led by OFRF's Senior Science Advisor, Dr. Diana Jerkins, takes place on Friday, January 17th from 9:45 - 11:00 a.m. The session will feature research and practical examples from the Southern region to provide guidance on integrating cover crops, rotations, organic amendments, soil friendly tillage, and other practices to build soil [...]
January 7, 2020 - Soil solarization is an organic method that has been shown to control weeds, pathogens, and nematodes in areas with hot summer temperatures. Biosolarization, a relatively new technique, combines the use of soil solarization and organic soil amendments to enhance the results of solarization. While biosolarization has proven effective in a number of studies, its efficacy varies across study regions, cropping systems, and pathogen communities. In 2018, OFRF provided a grant to Dr. Ashraf Tubeileh at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo to study the effect [...]
December 9, 2019 - Haley Baron, Education and Research Program Associate, OFRF, describes her workshop at the Organic Growers Summit in Monterey, CA on December 4, 2019.
December 4, 2019 - Now through December 31st, all donations made to OFRF will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Patgonia Works! This match will double your support! For the last three decades, OFRF has responded directly to the critical needs of organic farmers and ranchers through targeted scientific research, free educational resources, and advocacy on both the local and federal level. Don't miss this opportunity to double your impact. Thank you for helping us ensure organic farmers and ranchers have the information and resources they need to be successful! Click here to make your [...]
November 14, 2019 – OFRF has been using research-based analysis to inform public policy for nearly three decades. Recently, we contributed to a new report from the National Sustainable Organic Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) titled Moving American Agriculture to “Net Zero”. One of the principal authors of that report, Dr. Mark Schonbeck, OFRF Research Associate, is the lead author of our wildly popular educational series on organic farming and soil health, which includes nine guidebooks and webinars covering topics ranging from cover cropping and nutrient management to weed and pest management. [...]
November 8, 2019 - Organic farmer and OFRF board member, April Thatcher, talks about why she chose to become an organic farmer and why it is important to support research, education, and advocacy that improves and advances organic farming.
October 25, 2019 – In 2018, OFRF provided a grant to Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seed Growers to assess resistance to both Bacterial Wilt and Cucurbit Downy Mildew among selected cucumber and muskmelon seedstocks. The project is aimed at helping organic farmers throughout the Eastern U.S., where those diseases pose a particular challenge.In his recently submitted final project report, Frost says the four trials he completed yielded useful and actionable results. The trials were done on certified organic land at Twin Oaks Farm in Virginia. Read all about the methods, [...]
October 23, 2019 – Crager Hager Farm is located in Northern Carroll County, Georgia, a community on the periphery of metro Atlanta. Bryan and his wife Wendy grow over 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables on the 123-year old farm that Wendy originally purchased as a rural retreat in the 1980’s. They soon expanded their large organic garden into a small diversified organic farm to help serve a community that had lost many of its farmers in the 1960’s. “We [...]
October 23, 2019 – Research shows that building soil health through sustainable organic management practices can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the impacts of climate change on production. OFRF's series of guidebooks and webinars for building soil health help farmers and ranchers select the best management practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way to more sustainable agricultural systems. In the guidebook titled, "Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration," lead author Mark Schonbeck offers ten tips to enhance carbon sequestration. Implement conservation practices such as diversified crop [...]
October 18, 2019 – The House Agriculture Committee’s Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee held a hearing on October 17th to review the implementation of USDA Farm Bill research programs. The hearing centered on discussion of the agency’s move to Kansas City and the deep loss of expertise and experience that is resulting from the relocation. For organizations like OFRF, a 2019 recipient of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grants awarded through NIFA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative, a particular concern is the reimbursement process for work already [...]
October 15, 2019 – OFRF and Tuskegee University are pleased to announce the 2020 Organic Agriculture Research Forum (OARF) to be presented in partnership with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG). The Forum takes place on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, as part of the 2020 SSAWG Conference. Farmers, students, and researchers who would like to apply for a scholarship of up to $600 to attend the forum should fill out the scholarship application no later than November 22nd, 2019. The day-long forum will bring together scientists, organic farmers and ranchers, [...]
October 9, 2019 – We're celebrating a very significant milestone at our annual benefit luncheon at Expo West and we want you to join us! This must-attend event for organic industry leaders, market innovators, and brand-conscious consumers is the ideal place to network before the big show, and the all-organic lunch is always amazing! Sponsorships are available now. Individual tickets go on sale December 1, 2019. BUY OFRF 2020 Benefit Luncheon at EXPO West TICKETS
October 7, 2019 - The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) are pleased to be among the recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awards announced last week. The grant was awarded through NIFA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Through the competitive grant process, the organizations have been jointly awarded funding for their proposal titled A National Agenda for Organic and Transitioning Research. This funding will allow OFRF and OSA to combine their considerable expertise in conducting national surveys of [...]
October 4, 2019 – Every once in a while, you’ve got to get out from behind the computer and stick your feet in the dirt to remember why you do what you do and how that beautiful organic salad got on your plate. The team at OFRF had a chance to visit Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville this week and talk with owner Dick Peixoto and his team. Even working in the organic sector, it is still awe inspiring to see the hard work and dedication that it takes [...]
September 24, 2019 – On September 18th and 19th, I had the privilege of joining CCOF staff and 13 other stakeholders at Paicines Ranch in Paicines, CA to discuss policy recommendations that will help build an organic California. Through facilitated discussion over the two days, we shared our perspectives on CCOF’s proposed policy initiatives and learned about one another across sectors.
September 9, 2019 – On September 3rd, OFRF hosted a research field day at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden. Researchers and others from UCSC joined OFRF to talk with Congressman Jimmy Panetta about the highly innovative organic research taking place there, throughout his district, and across the U.S. Carol Shennan, Professor and Head Researcher at the Shennan Lab began the tour with an introduction to her research on anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), an alternative to using harmful fumigants such as methyl bromide. Dr. Shennan learned about ASD from colleagues in the Netherlands and Japan and [...]
September 6, 2019 – This month, I’m excited to highlight one of OFRF’s close partners, OGEE. An award-winning, 100% organic, cosmetic company, OGEE became OFRF’s first co-venture partner in 2016. Co-venture partnerships offer organic companies the opportunity to use OFRF branding on their products.
August 27, 2019—It is now widely understood that living healthy soil provides the foundation for successful farming, and supports plant, animal, and human life. However, while the concept of “feeding the soil” has been around for a long time, for many it is still uncharted territory. To support farmers and ranchers in selecting the best management practices for building soil life and soil health, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has released the ninth topic in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series of guidebooks and webinars, Understanding and [...]
September 5, 2019 – Despite widespread opposition from researchers and members of Congress, along with questions of the legality of the move from the USDA’s inspector general, moving the Economic Research Service out of Washington DC and into Kansas City is well underway. Compounding the controversy is the bold statement of Mick Mulvaney, who, in early August, celebrated the move as an effective way to “drain the swamp.”
September 4, 2019 –The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Tuskegee University are pleased to announce the 2020 Organic Agriculture Research Forum (OARF) to be presented in partnership with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, as part of the 2020 SSAWG Conference. This year’s research forum will feature oral presentations, facilitated round table discussions, and a robust joint poster session with SSAWG. Presenters are invited to submit abstracts for the forum. Oral and poster presentations will be selected based on their innovative excellence, [...]
August 20, 2019 – Heading to Organicology? Join OFRF to learn about the latest in organic research and provide input on priorities for future research funding. Organic Research for the Non-Researcher, Friday, February 15th, 10-12 am, Broadway III/IV During this interactive session led by OFRF, Organic Seed Alliance, and Oregon Tilth, participants will have the opportunity to identify and prioritize the most pressing research needs for organic farmers and ranchers. Don't miss this opportunity to share your voice! Organic Agriculture Research Forum, Saturday, February 16th, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Galleria [...]
August 20. 2019 – I had the pleasure of attending the Vitalis Organic Seed Field Day in San Juan Bautista, California on Thursday, August 15th. The company was founded in The Netherlands in 1994 and is a division of Enza Zaden, the global leader in organic seed production and breeding. All Vitalis varieties are certified organic and they work closely with regional organic seed dealers to serve the needs of open field, high tunnel, and greenhouse growers. It was interesting to learn about which traits are desirable for [...]
August 14, 2019 – Cover cropping is an important practice for building soil health, protecting the soil surface from erosion and compaction, and suppressing weeds and pests. Truly sustainable agriculture relies on maintaining effective vegetative cover of the soil, and the National Organic Standards require certified organic producers to include cover crops in their crop rotations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed four basic principles of soil health management in which cover crops play key roles. Keep the soil covered as much as possible. – Year-round living vegetation or residue [...]
August 13, 2019 - OFRF is excited to introduce the first learning module, Organic Soil Health Management, in its free online training program for beginning farmers, existing organic farmers, and farmers in transition to organic production. The content throughout the training program focuses on organic specialty crop production in California. “Healthy soils are the foundation of a successful organic farm, but determining which soil building practices will work best in a particular farming system can be challenging,” explains OFRF’s Education and Research Program Manager, Lauren Snyder. “The goal of this training program is [...]
SANTA CRUZ AND WASHINGTON D.C. (August 1, 2019) - Soil health is a critical component of organic farm management. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) are funding two soil health research projects that examine how diversification practices control weeds and increase yields. OFRF and FFAR funded these two projects as part of a larger initiative to support soil health research and promote environmental sustainability. A grant to Dr. Jed Eberly at Montana State University was announced earlier this year. Implementing diversification practices, such as crop rotations and [...]
Sign-up for the OFRF Monthly Newsletter
Receive organic monthly policy and research updates