Online Courses

Basics of Organic Farming: Beginner Course

OFRF’s free beginning farmer training program for organic specialty crop farmers in California is now available. This online training program is for beginning farmers, existing organic farmers, and farmers in transition to organic production. While it was developed for California specialty crop farmers, the content is based on foundational principles that are relevant to all organic farmers and our hope is that growers across the U.S. find it to be a useful resource. The self-guided nature of the training program allows you to move through the readings and resources, visual and written content, and demonstration videos at your own pace.

The online training program contains six learning modules: 1) soil health, 2) weed management, 3) irrigation and water management, 4) insect and mite pest management, 5) disease management, and 6) business management and marketing.

Please help us get the word out on this new resource. We are looking for feedback and ask that anyone who takes the program also completes the brief surveys at the end.

This open educational resource is a joint effort between OFRF, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP), and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, with funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The self-paced program combines descriptive essays, video lectures from university faculty, and virtual field trips to demonstrate organic principles and practices.

Soil Health Strategies for the Southern Region

Based on our Guidebook: Building Healthy Living Soils for Successful Organic Farming in the Southern Region, this self-directed course dives into the application of organic soil health principles through a series of practical modules with concepts and strategies, illustrated by innovative farmer stories. Course participants will also find resources for deeper dives into soil health topics, descriptions of the inherent properties of soil types commonly found in the South, and snapshots of the latest soil health research being conducted in the region.

Healthy, living soils provide the foundation for successful and profitable organic farming and ranching. The goal of this new course is to help the region’s current and aspiring organic producers develop effective, site-specific soil health management strategies that support successful, resilient enterprises. Soil Health Strategies for the Southern Region builds on OFRF’s popular series of guidebooks and webinars focused on organic farming and soil health.



Educational Guidebooks

Soil Health and Organic Farming Guidebooks

Infographics & Factsheets

Field Bindweed


Canada Thistle

General Reports

National Organic Research
Agenda 2022

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms

A Guide to the USDA Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms

Avoiding Pesticide Drift Impacts on Organic Farms

Organic Farming
for Bees Report

Organic Farming for Bees Report

Managing On-farm Risk

Photo of 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium report cover

OFRF offers several resources to help farmers and ranchers manage risk and understand crop insurance options.

With increases in climate-related stresses and natural disasters, it is important to know that 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



Instructional Videos

Furrow Cover Crops for ‘Greener’ Strawberries & other Plastic Mulched Crops
Produced and narrated by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA-ARS

Cover Cropping on Beds: Novel Equipment and Ideas
Produced and narrated by Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA-ARS

NRCS: Assistance for Organic Farmers
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Healthy Soil
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Weed Management
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Habitat
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Irrigation
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS: Pasture Management
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Soil Health & Organic Farming Webinars

Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview
The attributes of healthy soil, the central role of organic matter, and how to monitor and enhance soil health in organic production. Watch now

Weed Management: An Ecological Approach
Integrated organic weed management tools and practices that give crops the edge over weeds, build soil health, and reduce the need for soil disturbance. Watch now

Practical Conservation Tillage
The impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems. Watch now

Cover Crops: Selection and Management
Selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity. Watch now

Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection
Plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota. Watch now

Water Management and Water Quality
The role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality. Watch now

Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil, and the Environment
The role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for optimizing crop nutrition, minimizing adverse environmental impacts of organic fertility inputs, and adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems. Watch now

Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration
Practical guidelines for optimizing the organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adaptability to climate disruptions already underway. Watch now

Understanding and Managing Soil Biology for Soil Health and Crop Production
The functions of the soil food web and key components in promoting soil health and fertility and sustainable organic crop production, with research-based guidance on organic practices and NOP-approved inputs for improved soil food web function. Watch now

Versions of these webinars adapted for organic production in the Western region are also available.
Watch now

Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive information about organic farming

Go to Top