By Dominica Navarro, OFRF Deputy Director

As farms bustle with midsummer abundance, OFRF is also excited to celebrate growth. In the month of July, we welcomed three new members to our organization! We are elated to see the team grow and with added capacity, OFRF looks forward to continuing to serve organic and transitioning farmers across the nation. Meet our newest members:

Policy and Communications Intern – Adam Bagul

Why is organic important to you?  “Organic agriculture is incredibly important to me because I don’t want to eat poison and I do not want my fellow Americans eating poison either. I firmly believe that agricultural standards (as well as overall food standards) are in desperate need of reform, which makes me very proud to contribute to OFRF’s work.” 

One upcoming work-related thing you are excited about: “As a part of this work, I have had the pleasure and privilege of writing this month’s policy corner blogs and I am very excited to see it posted on the website.” 

Favorite thing to grow in the garden: “While I haven’t had the chance to grow fruits or vegetables myself, I always thoroughly enjoyed eating the tomatoes grown in my dad’s box garden, back when he lived in Tennessee.”

Read more about Adam here

Senior Scientist – Heather Estrada

Why is organic important to you? “At its heart, organic farming exemplifies a holistic or systems-approach to farming, which intrigues me as an agronomist and self-confessed soil biology nerd. I’m also really grateful for the continued efforts to preserve the integrity of the organic label and for the freedom of choice that brings to our food system.”

One upcoming work-related thing you are excited about: “OFRF’s soon-to-be-released Crop-Livestock Integration materials. The farmer interviews are super inspiring and informative for aspiring growers—everyone did an awesome job on these! Also, I am excited to be working with such a great team at OFRF and beyond.”

Favorite thing to grow in the garden: “Berries, no contest. Strawberries, raspberries, and honeyberries (haskaps) are favorites.”

Read more about Heather here.

Research and Education Engagement Coordinator – Jose Perez Orozco

Why is organic important to you? “One of the fundamental organic farming principles is to care for a living soil and the entire farming ecosystem. To do that, organic farmers nurture their soil, and protect their water, biodiversity and other natural resources. Today, more than ever, we need this type of holistic resource management to care for ourselves and our earth.”

One upcoming work-related thing you are excited about: “I’m really excited about connecting with farmers, learning from them, and also providing all the technical support I can. I will be leading OFRF’s Farmer Learning Trials. In this role, I’m looking forward to seeing how farmers’ ideas become on-farm trials that can help them improve their farming operation.”

Favorite thing to grow in the garden: “Mint, basil, and creating a native landscape in my non-food garden.”

Read more about Jose here.