There’s always been something romantic about a farm in New England, through colorful images of red barns, silos, and grazing cows against a quintessential autumnal landscape. Yet, over the past 50 years, the region has lost more than 10,000 dairy farms. Less than 2,000 remain; and Mayday Farm is one of the fortunate few.
The USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session on Nov 2, 2022. This session’s goal was to collect feedback from stakeholders on the challenges, needed breakthroughs, and research priorities to inform NIFA’s role in the priority setting process of the Research, Extension and Education (REE) programs of the USDA.
My grandmother was a farmer in rural Georgia long before I was born. She started as a sharecropper and was given the opportunity to buy her own farmland. She became a very successful farmer, and this is where our organic farm is located today, on that same beautiful land. We grow many of the same crops my grandmother grew, such as unique varieties of delicious colorful vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
Christiana Huss of the University of Georgia, was awarded $19,977 to research companion plants that reduce the destruction caused by invasive yellow-margined leaf beetle (Microtheca ochroloma) on leafy brassica greens across the Southeastern United States.
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) presented the National Organic Research Agenda (NORA), a comprehensive report that examines current needs and challenges of organic farmers and ranchers across the country and provides policy and research recommendations to address producer-identified issues. The national organic survey data boasts responses from over 1,100 producers and 16 listening sessions held across the U.S.
As one would expect, the fall season has certainly brought a sense of urgency to Washington! But, like a lot of things in the policy world, initial deadlines are simply goals. We have seen a variety of extensions, delays, and even a continuing resolution this season and wanted to be sure you know of these continuing opportunities to engage in the policy process!
Course participants will also find resources for deeper dives into soil health topics, descriptions of the inherent properties of soil types commonly found in the South, and snapshots of the latest soil health research being conducted in the region
This farmer-led research project, Organic For All, is a participatory capacity building agricultural research and outreach project that will help identify needs, hindrances and barriers with BIPOC farmers and work together to develop solutions and resources through relevant learning sessions that provide education, hands-on training, and technical assistance.
On August 23, OFRF hosted our partners and Representative Panetta (CA-20) on a tour of Tablas Creek’s vineyard operations with Partner and General Manager Jason Hass and Jordan Lonborg, their viticulturist. After this farm tour, we all made our way to Paso Robles for a Farm Bill listening session with Representatives Carbajal, Costa, Lofgren, and Panetta with Rep. Costa chairing the meeting. This is one of many meetings like this happening across the United States, we encourage everyone to reach out to their congressional delegation to find opportunities like this [...]
The USDA unveiled the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) Proposed Rule, with public comments on the rule open until October 11, 2022. OFRF is happy to see this significant step towards clarifying the animal welfare requirements associated with organic certification. In short, OLPS ensures that there are clear, robust standards for livestock production authorized under the Organic program. While this is an important step for animals being raised in organic systems, it is also important for consumers who want USDA organic certification to include significant animal welfare practices. Two [...]