Latest General News

Panetta Joins OFRF Field Day at UCSC

September 9, 2019 – On September 3rd, OFRF hosted a research field day at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden. Researchers and others from UCSC joined OFRF to talk with Congressman Jimmy Panetta about the highly innovative organic research taking place there, throughout his district, and across the U.S. Carol Shennan, Professor and Head Researcher at the Shennan Lab began the tour with an introduction to her research on anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), an alternative to using harmful fumigants such as methyl bromide. Dr. Shennan learned about ASD from colleagues in the Netherlands and Japan and [...]

September 9th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Musings from the Office of Partnership Development

September 6, 2019 – This month, I’m excited to highlight one of OFRF’s close partners, OGEE. An award-winning, 100% organic, cosmetic company, OGEE became OFRF’s first co-venture partner in 2016. Co-venture partnerships offer organic companies the opportunity to use OFRF branding on their products.

September 6th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Implications of the ERS Move to Kansas, an Update

September 5, 2019 – Despite widespread opposition from researchers and members of Congress, along with questions of the legality of the move from the USDA’s inspector general, moving the Economic Research Service out of Washington DC and into Kansas City is well underway. Compounding the controversy is the bold statement of Mick Mulvaney, who, in early August, celebrated the move as an effective way to “drain the swamp.”

September 5th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Seeking Abstracts for Organic Agriculture Research Forum

September 4, 2019 –The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Tuskegee University are pleased to announce the 2020 Organic Agriculture Research Forum (OARF) to be presented in partnership with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, as part of the 2020 SSAWG Conference. This year’s research forum will feature oral presentations, facilitated round table discussions, and a robust joint poster session with SSAWG. Presenters are invited to submit abstracts for the forum. Oral and poster presentations will be selected based on their innovative excellence, [...]

September 5th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Join OFRF at Organicology

August 20, 2019 – Heading to Organicology? Join OFRF to learn about the latest in organic research and provide input on priorities for future research funding. Organic Research for the Non-Researcher, Friday, February 15th, 10-12 am, Broadway III/IV During this interactive session led by OFRF, Organic Seed Alliance, and Oregon Tilth, participants will have the opportunity to identify and prioritize the most pressing research needs for organic farmers and ranchers. Don't miss this opportunity to share your voice! Organic Agriculture Research Forum, Saturday, February 16th, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Galleria [...]

August 20th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vitalis Celebrates 25thAnniversary Field Day

August 20. 2019 – I had the pleasure of attending the Vitalis Organic Seed Field Day in San Juan Bautista, California on Thursday, August 15th. The company was founded in The Netherlands in 1994 and is a division of Enza Zaden, the global leader in organic seed production and breeding. All Vitalis varieties are certified organic and they work closely with regional organic seed dealers to serve the needs of open field, high tunnel, and greenhouse growers. It was interesting to learn about which traits are desirable for [...]

August 20th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Confused about Cover Crops? You’re Not Alone

August 14, 2019 – Cover cropping is an important practice for building soil health, protecting the soil surface from erosion and compaction, and suppressing weeds and pests. Truly sustainable agriculture relies on maintaining effective vegetative cover of the soil, and the National Organic Standards require certified organic producers to include cover crops in their crop rotations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed four basic principles of soil health management in which cover crops play key roles. Keep the soil covered as much as possible. – Year-round living vegetation or residue [...]

August 14th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

OFRF Accepting Letters of Intent for 2020 Grant Funding

July 1, 2019—OFRF is pleased to announce the Fall 2019 Request for Letters of Intent is now open for 2020 grant funding. The program is open to all applicants residing and conducting research in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The deadline to submit Letters of Intent (LOI) is Friday, August 16, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in fall 2019 and invited to submit a full proposal. OFRF is committed to supporting innovative research that meets the current challenges of organic farming, and fosters the adoption and improvement of organic farming systems. Since 2006, [...]

July 1st, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

OFRF Talks Climate Change with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture at Town Hall Meeting

June 28, 2019 – United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with agriculture stakeholders at a Town Hall meeting in Watsonville, California on Friday, June 28th. He was joined by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). While technology innovations in agriculture were top of mind following Perdue's attendance at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas earlier in the week, the question and answer session focused on some of the more pressing issues facing growers—the need for increased investment in research, more support for small growers, the relocation of [...]

June 28th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Help for Delayed Planting

June 27, 2019 – Late snow and lots of rain have prevented or delayed planting on many farms. USDA provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. Learn about coverage, technical and financial assistance, and more at OFRF offers several resources to help farmers and ranchers manage risk. All resources are available to download for free. Print quantities may be available upon request. Downloads A Guide to the USDA Noninsured Crop Disaster [...]

June 27th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Beyercrest, LLC

June 19, 2019 – Rory Beyer was raised on the dairy farm his parents have owned since 1973. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in Animal Science, he returned to the farm and several years later, made the transition to organic production. Today, the Beyers farm 385 acres, raising dairy, beef, corn, and small grains. Since going organic, Rory says the cows are healthier and producing more and, in seven years, they’ve seen their soil organic matter (SOM) go from 1.7% to 4.4% as [...]

June 19th, 2019|Categories: Farmer Stories, News|

How Do You Manage On-Farm Risk? Take the Survey

June 6, 2019 – From the uncertainty of weather and the markets, to understanding which events are most likely to impact you—risk management is an important part of decision making on the farm. As OFRF works to make programs and policies related to crop insurance, conservation, and soil health better for organic farmers and sustainable agriculture, it is vital for us to have your input on the programs and practices you use to manage risk. Having risk management systems that provide support for farmers, such as crop insurance, can [...]

June 6th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Webinar Series on Soil Health Now Available On-Demand

May 30, 2019 – OFRF's wildly popular webinar series on soil health and organic farming is now archived and available to view on-demand. Registration numbers for the live webinars were off the charts, causing eOrganic to have to upgrade their platform to handle the volume. Thousands of farmers, agriculture professionals, and researchers from 48 states and 14 countries attended the live webinars. The archived versions have been viewed over 7,000 times! The webinars align with topics covered in OFRF's Soil Health and Organic Farming Guidebooks to explore the most recent [...]

May 30th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , |

OFRF at Organic Week in DC

May 28, 2019 – Last week, OFRF and the organic community were in Washington, DC in full force advocating on behalf of the organic sector. Organic Week provides a great opportunity to bring the needs of organic farmers and ranchers to Congress and USDA, discuss issues, showcase outstanding work, and thank our organic champions. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) named Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) the 2019 Organic Champions. Working in a strong bipartisan fashion, Newhouse and Pingree introduced and advanced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of [...]

May 28th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Muramoto to Lead Statewide Program Supporting Organic Growers

May 15, 2019 – Congratulations to longtime research associate at UC California Santa Cruz, Dr. Joji Muramoto, who recently became the first Cooperative Extension Specialist in the UC system dedicated to organic agriculture. Leading a statewide program focused on organic production of strawberries and vegetables, Muramoto plans to focus on soil fertility and the organic management of soil-borne diseases. Some of the most significant scientific advancements in strawberry research have been made by Muramoto and Dr. Carol Shennan at UC Santa Cruz, where they have pioneered alternatives to methyl bromide [...]

May 15th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Organic Research Matters

Jeremy Barker-Plotkin, OFRF Board President and Farmer, Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst, Massachusetts May 8, 2019 – Greetings! With just days to spare, we exited 2018 with a Farm Bill that makes long overdue investments in organic agriculture, including $395 million for organic research and education over the next ten years. Thanks to the hard work of OFRF and a broad coalition of organic champions, we achieved historic permanent baseline funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). For nearly 30 years, OFRF has played a critical [...]

May 8th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Interviews with some of our favorite organic farmers