OFRF Organic Farmer Survey Identifies Top Challenges

Today, OFRF released its 2016 National Organic Research Agenda. The report, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges facing today’s organic farmers and the top priorities for future research, will serve as a key tool in advocating for increased public investment in organic agriculture.

More than 1,000 organic farmers and ranchers across the U.S. participated in OFRF's online survey. Additional input was gathered through 21 listening sessions. Based on this feedback, OFRF recommends intensified research funding and attention in the areas of: soil health and fertility management, weed, insect, and disease management, and the nutritional benefits of organic food.
“Our goal with the 2016 NORA report is to ensure research funding is relevant and responsive to the current needs of organic farmers,” said OFRF’s Executive Director, Brise Tencer. “Ultimately, we expect this report to help significantly increase funding for research that assists farmers in adopting new practices that enhance both the environmental sustainability and economic viability of their operations.”
OFRF will be presenting the 2016 NORA report to land grant universities, USDA, Congress, and the research community to help increase public investment in critical challenges identified by organic farmers.
“The 2016 NORA is an update of OFRF’s landmark 2007 NORA report, which provided a comprehensive blueprint for successful organic research systems,” explained Diana Jerkins, Research Program Director at OFRF. “Together with our recently published analysis of USDA organic research investments and OFRF’s own competitive grant program, we now have an in-depth understanding of the state of organic agriculture in the U.S., and the research needed to increase both the number of organic farms and acres.”
The 2016 National Organic Research Agenda report is now available to download at ofrf.org.
Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments, 2002-2014 and Impacts of OFRF Grants: 2006-2014 are also available to download at ofrf.org.
All OFRF-funded research results are also freely available in OFRF's online searchable database at ofrf.org.
OFRF would like to thank all the organic farmers and ranchers who participated in the survey and listening sessions. 

OFRF would also like to thank the organizations whose financial support made this project possible.

For more information:

Vicki Lowell, OFRF Communications Coordinator
(831) 426-6606, vicki@ofrf.org