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Interest in organic farming swells, state Ag Dept. seeks more inspectors to keep up

February 9, 2016

Interest in organic farming is ballooning in Idaho, to the point that the state Department of Agriculture is seeking to up its staffing from three inspectors to five, with one of them coming on board right away. “We don’t have much choice – we had to get going on it,” said state Ag Director Celia Gould. “It’s a big deal.”

40 years of science: Organic ag key to feeding the world

February 8, 2016

Washington State University researchers have concluded that feeding a growing global population with sustainability goals in mind is possible. Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers.

Upper Midwest farmers transitioning to organic can get aid

January 29, 2016

North Dakota and Minnesota are helping farmers with the three-year transition from traditional crops to organic production, an effort that the industry's main trade group says could boost the acreage of organically grown crops in the U.S. if it takes root beyond the upper Midwest.

Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange partner to advance organic fiber

January 29, 2016

The two groups have formalized a partnership to advance advocacy initiatives as well as educate consumers and manufacturers on the environmental, health, and social justice benefits of organic fiber.

Danforth organic farmer wins sustainable ag award

January 28, 2016

Harold Wilken, of Danforth, began farming 33 years ago and credits his first landlady, 82-year-old Ivadelle Dubois, with trying to get him to "just say no" to synthetic chemical herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers...On Thursday, the pioneering organic farmer was awarded the R.J. Vollmer Award for Sustainable Agriculture by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Organic tackles the scale issue

January 26, 2016

With sales of organic commodities rising even as their share of U.S. acreage remains less than 1%, it’s natural to ask how much success the organic sector can expect in meeting demand. Panelists at a Jan. 22 EcoFarm Conference workshop on “Scaling Up Organic” sketched answers to that question, even as they acknowledged obstacles their industry faces.

GRO Organic check-off program would benefit growers

January 19, 2016

By Jesse Laflamme: My family’s egg business was saved by going organic. We were rescued again when we joined forces with the Organic Trade Association to fight a regulation that threatened the continuation of our operation. Now the organic sector has a chance to band together for a common cause that could benefit the entire organic industry and better all of our futures.

USDA Announces $3.8 Million Available to Help Producers Transition to Organic Farming

January 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $3.8 million to support research, education, and extension projects that will assist current organic producers and those transitioning into organic farming. The funding is available through the Organic Transitions Program, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The real risk to organic is lack of production

January 8, 2016
Laura Batcha: I was disappointed to read The Packer editorial board’s “Dump transitional organic program” on Dec. 28, and to see this distinguished publication’s lack of awareness of the pressures the organic sector is currently facing.

Organic Trade Association Wants Transitional Designation

January 4, 2016

The Organic Trade Association intends to ask USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to establish a transitional organic designation for farmers converting their land to organic production.   This would allow these farmers to utilize the services of the NRCS.  South Dakota organic grower Charlie Johnson says it’s a reasonable request because it takes time to convert to organic production.