OFRF Grantee to Examine Barriers to Adoption

Photo of a grain of wheat in a wheat fieldMay 21, 2019 – OFRF has awarded a grant to Aysha Peterson at UC Santa Cruz to examine barriers to adoption of plant-based nutrient management strategies among organic, socially disadvantaged farmers in Salinas, California. Peterson hopes to bridge the gap between research and implementation by using qualitative data to answer questions about adoption and decision-making processes.

Collaborating with Nathan Harkleroad, Program Director with the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), Petersen will recruit 30 organic Latina/o farmers to participate in five in-depth, semi-structured focus groups at ALBA’s Rural Development Center to examine (1) farmers’ current knowledge and utilization of plant-based nutrient management practices, (2) field-level challenges to implementation and strategies for overcoming these challenges, and (3) economic, educational, and infrastructure barriers to implementation.

The transcripts will be qualitatively analyzed to examine emergent themes and explore how responses vary as a function of farmers’ structural arrangements and social stratication. The findings will directly inform educational programming via ALBA’s Farmer Education Course and will be incorporated into economic and infrastructure assistance available through ALBA’s Organic Farm Incubator. Empirically based conclusions will provide for comparative analysis with other agricultural regions of the U.S. and will allow for the widespread improvement of organic farmer assistance services.

“This project is exciting because we are sorely in need of more social-science research aimed at alleviating socio-economic and cultural barriers to organic production,” said Brise Tencer, OFRF’s Executive Director. “The outcomes of this project have the potential to influence education and outreach programs for socially-disadvantaged farmers across the U.S.”

Overall, OFRF grant funding has advanced scientific knowledge and improved the practices, ecological sustainability, and economic prosperity of organic farming. These successes support their goal of researchers and farmers working collaboratively to support the improvement and widespread adoption of organic agriculture. Project results are shared freely at ofrf.org. OFRF also provides free access to all of its educational materials and resources.

Thank you to our Research Program Partners:

Graphic of OFRF partners grant on barriers to adoption of plant-based nutrient management strategies

(OFRF) is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.