Latest OFRF News
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.
Lola’s Organic Farm
Dr. Jennifer Taylor and her husband started Lola’s Organic Farm in 2009, but Taylor’s family has been working the land there for much longer. Her grandmother, Lola, who the farm is named after, was a sharecropper in rural Georgia who was given the opportunity to buy her own farmland. She became a successful independent farmer, on the land where Lola’s Organic Farm (LOF) is located today.
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.
Ole Brook Organics
Jesse Buie is one of those farmers who has been farming most of his life. “People always say ‘all their life’,” he jokes, “but yeah, that’s basically it.” Jesse grew up exposed to farming, with a father and grandfather who farmed. He explains that his interest in organic farming stemmed from his family’s history with farming, because “organic farming today is so similar to the farming practices they used back then. It was a continuation of the way I farmed my entire life,” he says.
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.