April 29, 2020 – When I was eight years old my grandmother introduced me to the seeming magic of being able to push a corn seed into the ground, and three months later getting to eat a whole ear of corn. She showed me that while it was awe-inspiring, it was not magic. How a plant grows is something we can understand and nurture. My grandmother believed fervently in the power of science and learning to improve our lives.
I think you believe in the power of science and learning too and that is why I am asking you to support the work of the Organic Farming Research Foundation today.
I became an organic grower in my teens due to a personal experience of pesticide blowing back into my face when the wind shifted. I coughed and felt awful for several hours. The next day I went into the school library to research the pesticide and found a copy of Rachel Carson’s “A Silent Spring”. I learned how much damage conventional farming was doing to our environment and decided to change how I gardened. I became a voracious consumer of information on how to grow with nature, a process of learning that continues to this day.
Love of learning is why I was intrigued when I got a call to discuss joining the Board of OFRF. My intrigue turned to excitement because I realized OFRF was promoting research on the type of farming I believe in, the type of farming that will make this world a better place. When I started farming full time, I quickly learned that I needed good science-based information that I could trust, and OFRF was the place I could get that information. I also quickly learned research that builds a resilient future doesn’t happen overnight and requires our collective investment. Will you join me in helping OFRF continue this important work?
After three years on the Board of OFRF, I am more excited than ever about what we are doing, which is why I agreed to become President of the Board of Directors. The record number of research grant proposals we funded this year highlights the exploding interest in growing organically to regenerate our environment and society. The policy and education work by our staff ensures science-based information not only reaches farmers and ranchers but also tackles their priority issues. Our Soil Health Guides are being used by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to promote soil conservation practices, and our new Climate Toolkit shows how best organic farming practices help mitigate climate change and build climate resilience. These are just a few examples of how OFRF is working to make the world a better place, a healthier place.
Our current struggle with COVID-19 highlights the need to have good information when we make decisions. Now, more than ever, we need OFRF working to help farmers grow food that is healthy for people and our environment. But we can’t do it without your support. I strongly encourage you to join me today by making a donation to keep this vital organization up and running.
Bryan Hager, Crager Hager Farm
President of the OFRF Board of Directors