Highlights from the Southern Cover Crops Council Conference
Highlights from thought-provoking sessions and stimulating conversations happening in the world of cover crops, from the 2023 Southern Cover Crop Council Conference in Baton Rouge, LA.
Communicating with Legislators workshop series
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is hosting a series of workshops this spring on Communicating with Legislators. The free session will be free and held remotely. The first two sessions will be Tuesday, February 28th and Wednesday, March 15th, with more to come later in the spring!
Highlights from EcoFarm 2023
Kelsey Grimsley, OFRF Office Manager and Program Administrator, recently attended the 43rd annual EcoFarm Conference. In this blog post they share their experience at the conference and some of the highlights from thought-provoking sessions and stimulating conversations happening in the organic and regenerative agriculture world.
Guest farmer blog post: Cheetah Tchudi talks USDA farmer support services
In this guest blog post, farmer and mycologist Cheetah Tchudi shares how USDA farmer support programs have benefited TurkeyTail Farm, and offers advice on how to approach working with these national support organizations.
Catching up on the Farm Bill in Gordon’s Policy Corner
OFRF and our partners are getting a clearer picture of the Farm Bill landscape. One thing remains abundantly clear, that agricultural research continues to be a bright spot for bipartisan legislation, and we are excited to leverage that fact this Farm Bill cycle.
Farmers on the Frontlines: Climate Change and the Farm Bill
Farmers and ranchers, the people who produce our food, are often on the frontlines of challenges facing our society. Among the most pressing of those issues is the changing climate and an industrial food system that prioritizes profits over the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. Because of their place on the front lines of these challenges, farmers and ranchers represent a vibrant space of innovation and creativity to meet them. The 2023 Farm Bill cycle is a ripe opportunity to make solid advances towards a just transition to a new type of production that both mitigates and adapts to our changing climate.
OFRF and FFAR Fund Research on Increasing the Productivity and Market Value of Pulse Crops for Arid Organic Conditions
Dr. Travis Parker of University of California - Davis was awarded $19,970.00 to research dependable pulse crops for arid regions that promote the ecological and financial sustainability of organic farms.
Latino Farmer Conference & New Spanish-language course
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered to host the 8th annual Latino Farmer Conference on November 17th and 18th at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. This was a two day conference meant to bring together sustainable agriculture professionals for a special all Spanish-language event.
Senate Farm Bill Hearing on Ag Research Programs Features Former OFRF Board President Steve Ela
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing on the “Farm Bill 2023: Research Programs” on December 6th. The only farmer testifying was Steve Ela, a fourth-generation farmer who has been farming organically for nearly thirty years at Ela Family Farms, his family’s farm in Hotchkiss, Colorado. As one of five panelists invited to share their expertise, Ela spoke to the importance of organic systems research and extension programs to all farmers.
OFRF & FFAR fund On-Farm Research of Best Management Practices for Including Cover Crops in Midwestern Corn
Axel Garcia y Garcia of the University of Minnesota, was awarded $20,000 to research effective management practices to include cover crops into long-season cash crops.
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.
OFRF champions the importance of organic research at NIFA listening session
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.
Letter from Jennifer Taylor – Fall 2022
Dear friend, 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.
OFRF and FFAR Fund On-Farm Organic Research of Companion Plantings for a New Invasive Brassica Pest
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.
OFRF Gives Presents the 2022 National Organic Research Agenda to the National Organic Standards Board
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.
Gordon’s Policy Corner – October
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!
OFRF’s New Online Course Will Give Organic Producers Strategies for Building Soil Health in the South
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
OFRF & FFAR Fund Research on Organic Farming System for BIPOC and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers
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.
OFRF co-hosts farm visit and attends Farm Bill Listening Session for Rep. Panetta, other Congressional Members.
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 Unveils the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards Proposed Rule
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 [...]