Policy

OFRF Brings Farmers’ Needs and Research Priorities to Washington DC

This blog was written by OFRF Research Associate, Joanna Ory, who recently traveled to Washington, DC to present OFRF’s research findings on the needs of organic farmers.

I gave presentations to USDA researchers and policymakers to let them know about the importance of organic research and the priorities for organic farmers, based on findings in our recently released 2016 National Organic Research Agenda (NORA). Although organic farmers and ranchers face unique challenges, research in organic systems can benefit everyone, as both organic and non-organic farms can use organic techniques to increase sustainability and solve production challenges.

Organic Certification Cost Share Applications Due October 31st

OFRF strongly encourages farmers to apply for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Organic cost share reimburses individual organic operators up to 75% of their organic certification costs, with a maximum of $750 for each NOP scope of organic certification.

FFAR Holds Second Annual Public Board Meeting

The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) held its second annual Public Board Meeting Session in Washington, D.C. on October 5th. Michael Stein, Policy Associate for OFRF and Dr. Dianna Jerkins, OFRF’s Research Program Director, attended the meeting and submitted comments regarding the role of organic agricultural research in FFAR’s overall mission and vision. 

Your Input Can Help Shape the 2018 Farm Bill

In preparation for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is seeking input from organic producers and handlers regarding future organic policy priorities. This information is vital to support and advance organic agriculture and we strongly enourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to weigh in.

2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

OFRF, in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University, presents the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), taking place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (SAWG).

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.

New Survey Shows Growth in Organic

After compiling and analyzing data from 12,818 certified organic producers, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2015 Certified Organic Survey. This survey collected information from certified organic producers to assess the amount of land under organic certification, the marketing practices of certified organic producers, and the sales of certified organic products.

Event Celebrates Farr’s Organic Legacy

The organic community came together on August 31st to celebrate the achievements of Representative Sam Farr, who will retire in January 2017 at the end of his current term. Farr is the Central Coast’s 20th district’s longest serving member of Congress and is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.

We gathered to celebrate his tireless leaderiship in the organic farming sector, especially as a steadfast leader in creating and securing funding for organic programsDuring his 23 years in Congress, Representative Farr was a champion of many causes including affordable housing, the oceans, the Peace Corps. At the event he inspired guests at the event to keep working hard at the local level to effect change, recalling the grassroots efforts in Santa Cruz in the early 70’s that helped establish standards for organic agriculture and more support for organic farmers.

OFRF Releases Analysis of USDA Research

OFRF released its analysis of organic research funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions (ORG) competitive research grant programs. This in depth analysis of programs funded from 2002-2014 offers an unprecedented assessment of the progress these programs have made in addressing critical research needs, and also provides recommendations for future research investments by USDA.

New Report Highlights Need for Organic Seed Breeding

This blog was written by Caitlin Joseph, who is currently serving as a joint researcher for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and OFRF. 

The fresh produce from your local grocery store or farmers’ market may be certified organic, but anywhere from 25-80 percent of it might not have started out that way. A recent report from the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) reveals that the organic seed industry is far from keeping pace with the growth in demand for organic products. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), organic’s market share grew by eleven percent (or $43 billion) between 2014 and 2015.

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