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Organic Education Webinars

Join us to learn about the issues defining organic during regularly scheduled monthly webinars.

The Organic Trade Association is your source for organic industry news and information. With our expert staff, board and member communities, the Organic Trade Association and The Organic Center are uniquely positioned to keep you informed on the regulatory, scientific, and business conversations at the heart of organic. Webinars are offered free to members as a trade association benefit. 

If you have a topic for a webinar that you'd like us to consider hosting in the future, please reach out to our Director of Education & Insights, Angela Jagiello. We welcome your suggestions.

UPCOMING LIVE EDUCATION
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India Enforcement Briefing with USDA

Thursday, December 8 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Pacific

Last summer, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) hosted a listening session and conducted a member survey to identify the challenges our members were experiencing due to trade disruptions following the revocation of India’s organic recognition agreement. In response, your trade association sent a letter to the USDA, outlining our strong support for organic integrity, detailing the issues you highlighted, and identifying key next steps for the administration to best support the industry. In response to our letter, USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Deputy Administrator Jenny Tucker has agreed to meet with our members exclusively for a briefing. Join OTA’s CEO Tom Chapman and hear an update on the enforcement activities and accreditations in process in India, NOP’s goals for future visits to India, and where and how the industry can stay apprised of new actions the USDA takes to protect organic integrity.

This session should be of interest to any member who has supply chains coming from India, members looking to understand additional compliance requirements for Indian exporters, and anyone interested in learning how the USDA is working to protect organic integrity in the international marketplace. As you register to attend this OTA member-exclusive briefing, please provide us with your critical questions for USDA. We will share your questions anonymously with the NOP for a moderated Q&A with the Deputy Administrator at the conclusion of the briefing.

  • Esteemed Speakers:
  • Jennifer Tucker, PhD, Deputy Administrator | USDA Agriculture Marketing Service's National Organic Program (NOP)
  • Tom Chapman, CEO | Organic Trade Association (Host & Q&A Facilitator)

Exclusive for OTA members only 

REGISTER

This briefing will be recorded.

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Diversifying Organic: Assessing Progress & Charting Future Moves

Wednesday, December 14th at 4:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Pacific

In 2022, following the adoption of a sweeping JEDI Commitment, Organic Trade Association made several decisive steps toward cultivating a more diverse and equitable organic industry. As we close out this eventful year, we have the opportunity to reassess the landscape and identify new ways to foster a more inclusive and just organic sector. Our panel will call attention to some of the challenges that disproportionately impact farmers of color. Attendees will hear from the team of academic fellows who led the work to establish OTA’s Diversity Resource Library. We’ll also discuss finance – existing impediments and new opportunities – for diverse and underrepresented organic farmers (and other entrepreneurs).

  • Esteemed Speakers:
  • Carolina Mueller, Coalitions Manager | National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Katrina Pitts, Doctoral Student & Diversity Fellow | Morgan State University & Organic Trade Association
  • Robyn O’Brien, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Impact | rePlant Capital
  • Seanicaa Edwards Herron, Founder and Executive Director | Freedmen Heirs Foundation
  • Tracy Favre, Owner | Fig Hill Consulting (Discussion Leader)

Open to all

REGISTER

The webinar will be recorded. Register today to gain access to the recording when first made available on demand. 

ON-DEMAND WEBINARS
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The Organic Trade Association is dedicated to providing the insight you and your team need to advance organic. If you missed the opportunity to participate in one of our live webinars, you can continue your organic education by registering to view our on-demand Webinars. 

BUSINESS AND MARKETING SERIES
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Organic Opportunity Toolkit Launch - NEW

Presented Thursday, November 10 at 3:00 pm Eastern / 12:00 pm Pacific

National retailers are launching sustainability initiatives that give favorable treatment to brands that market “regenerative practices” or maintain 3rd-party sustainability certifications. In some cases, these initiatives overlook USDA Organic as a federally-enforced certification that fulfills these goals and more! Has your company had trouble getting its organic products recognized as sustainable? Are you looking for data-driven tools to help your sales or marketing teams articulate the environmental, health, social, and economic benefits of organic? Join Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs, and our speakers to learn about the organic opportunity and how we, as a trade association, can collectively educate on the benefits and contributions of organic to sustaining the health of the planet, people, and communities.

  • Esteemed Speakers: 
  • Matthew Dillon, OTA Board of Directors member & Chief Sustainability Office | Farmer Focus
  • Britt Lundgren, OTA Board of Directors Secretary & Senior Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs | Stonyfield Organic
  • Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs | Organic Trade Association

Our speakers worked with an Organic Trade Association (OTA) member task force over the past year to develop a Resource Guide and Data-Driven Communications Toolkit to help your business position USDA Organic as the original climate-smart label – and the gold standard within sustainability initiatives. 

  • During the webinar you’ll:
  • Gain an exclusive first look at the contents of the toolkit;
  • Learn how the toolkit can be used by each business to collectively help ensure that USDA Organic is recognized within retailer sustainability programs; and,
  • Find out about future training opportunities on the toolkit and how to implement it within your business.

    Open to OTA members only 

    REGISTER

    The webinar was recorded. Register today to view the toolkit and webinar as OTA member-exclusive offerings. If you are not sure about your membership status, please reach out to Danielle Cote, Membership Manager.

    Benchmarking Trust in Organic

    Benchmarking Trust in Organic

    Presented Friday, May 13 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

    Global Communications leader Edelman has published its respected annual Trust Barometer for more than 20 years. The project surveys 30,000+ consumers in 28 countries, tracking trust and credibility of government, businesses, NGOs and media. Everett Eissenstat, Edelman Global Advisory’s North America Chair will share highlights of the firm’s most recent findings on trust. We will also dive into the results of recently completed work on trust specific to the organic sector. What are the drivers and potential risks to trust in the USDA organic? What sources of information are important to these individuals? And, what assumptions and expectations do shoppers have about the meaning of organic?

    • Presenters:
    • Everett Eisenstatt, North America Chair | Edelman Global Advisory
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education & Insights | Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary for OTA members
    $149 for non-members

    WATCH ON DEMAND

    The webinar was recorded. For access to the data pack from this webinar, please contact Danielle Cote (dcote@ota.com). 

    Introducing: Organic Market Basket

    Introducing: Organic Market Basket

    Presented Tuesday, June 22, 2021

    The Organic Market Basket – a new data tool from Organic Trade Association (powered by SPINS) provides a quarterly look at a basket of twenty organic food items. The snapshot reports average price and volume changes for the range of items which, taken together, are broadly representative of U.S. organic retail food sales. By tracking a set of typical organic food purchases over time, we can gain a glimpse into what’s happening in the U.S. retail organic food market. As we pass one year since the dramatic market upheaval of the pandemic, join us for a peek into the basket. Our experts will discuss the tool and answer your questions about the data. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Jeff Crumpton, Retail Business Consultant | SPINS
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education & Insights | Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    This webinar is now available as a recording on demand.

    REGISTER NOW

    2019 Organic Agriculture Survey Results

    2019 Organic Agriculture Survey Results

    Presented Friday, October 23 

    Wondering what happened with organic at the farm level in the past few years? Join us to hear a presentation of results from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) 2019 Organic Survey. You’ll hear about changes in acreage, production, and sales data for a variety of organic crop and livestock commodities as well as organic marketing and agricultural practices. NASS released the results from the 2017 Census of Agriculture in April 2019. The results include national and state level organic farm count and value of production data. In early 2020, NASS began data collection for the 2019 Organic Survey, a follow-on special study to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. This will be the sixth comprehensive organic survey NASS has conducted and the first since the 2016 Organic Survey. Join NASS researchers Daphne Schauber and Virginia Harris for a presentation, accompanied by a discussion and Q&A session led by Kellee James, CEO of Mercaris and member of Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Kellee James, CEO | Mercaris & member of the Organic Trade Association's Board of Directors (Discussion Leader)
    • Daphne Schauber, Statistician | USDA's Research, Education, and Economics Resources (REE)'s National Agricultural Statistics Services
    • Virginia Harris, Senior Statistician | USDA's Research, Education, and Economics Resources (REE)'s National Agricultural Statistics Services

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Alternate Finance Models for Organic Businesses

    Alternate Finance Models for Organic Businesses

    Presented Thursday, October 8

    Among the areas where organic businesses are innovating is how they finance their operations and growth. From employee and family ownership, to novel legal structures, and working with socially-minded investors, organic companies are rethinking standard models to the benefit of their operations and their larger communities. Join us for insight and inspiration from business leaders and investors who have brought new thinking to the old challenge of how to best structure and capitalize organic organizations.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Sara Eckhouse, Executive Director | Foodshot
    • Matt McLean, Founder | Uncle Matt's Organic
    • Natalie Reitman-White, Mission Advocacy | Organically Grown Company & Alternative Ownership Advisors
    • Robyn O'Brien, Co-Founder | rePlant Capital (Discussion Leader)

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Best Practices in Social Marketing

    Best Practices in Social Marketing

    Presented July 24, 2019

    Social marketing strategy is an important part of any company's overall marketing mix. Organic Trade Association and Edelman have new findings to share about the best ways to design and implement meaningful social media campaigns for organic products. We'll also spend some time discussing the intricacies of designing social media campaigns for international audiences. You won't want to miss a moment of this helpful presentation.

    • Presenters:
    • Alexis Carey, International Trade Manager, Organic Trade Association
    • Kelly Taveras, Digital Specialist, Organic Trade Association
    • Matt Streit, Senior Vice President, Edelman

    Open to all

    This webinar is not available on demand any longer.

    Breakthrough Messaging for Organic Shoppers

    Breakthrough Messaging for Organic Shoppers

    Presented February 13, 2020 

    Through the GRO Organic industry funded initiative, OTA has recently completed a groundbreaking consumer messaging research project. The research, conducted through NMI, yielded a new level of understanding about today’s shoppers and the messaging they need to create or strengthen their commitment to organic. Those findings have been converted into a Consumer Messaging Toolkit available to the full membership community. Join us to hear the topline demographic findings, and learn about the most compelling ways to reach current and potential organic shoppers with your brand’s messaging. OTA members can register for the recording and slides by emailing Libby Mucciarone

    • Presenter:
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education & Insights, Organic Trade Association

    Available on demand to OTA members only

    REGISTER NOW

    Organic & Climate - Consumer Messaging for Maximum Impact

    Organic & Climate – Consumer Messaging for Maximum Impact

    Presented Thursday, September 17, 2020

    Climate change is one of the most difficult challenges facing us today. It is overwhelming to consider, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news on progress. Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change – but not all agriculture. Shoppers care about organic’s proven climate benefit. We’ll discuss the most effective way to communicate with shoppers about organic’s ability to mitigate climate change, and hear from an iconic brand about how and why they are taking their climate mission directly to consumers. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Alex Heath, Executive Vice President of Social Purpose | Edelman
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education & Insights | Organic Trade Association
    • Geoff Showers, Sr. Customer Manager | Clif Bar & Company

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Organic Newsbreaker Panel

    Organic Newsbreaker Panel

    Presented Wednesday, January 27, 2021

    2020 was a year of unprecedented turmoil. It featured a global pandemic, resultant spikes in unemployment, climate related natural disasters, and widespread outcry for racial justice, and was capped off by a historic and bitterly contested election. As it pertained to organic, shopping patterns were upended, workforces were stretched, legislative and regulatory progress were halted, and organic products experienced unprecedented sales. What will the coming year hold for organic, and for the overall agricultural landscape? Join Organic Trade Association for a conversation with leading reporters on the issues and stories they will be tracking in 2021.   

    • Esteemed Panelists:

    • Laura Batcha, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director | Organic Trade Association

    • Spencer Chase, Managing Editor | Agri-Pulse

    • Elizabeth Crawford, Deputy Editor | FoodNavigator-USA

    • Gregg Hillyer, Editor In Chief | Progressive Farmer

    • Naomi Starkman, Founder & Editor-in-Chief | Civil Eats

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    This webinar is now available as a recording on demand.

    REGISTER NOW

    Board of Directors Election Preview: Meet the Candidates

    Board of Directors Election Preview: Meet the Candidates

    Presented April 5, 2022

    Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members – representing more than 9,500 organic businesses throughout all portions of the supply chain. Board elections are a unique opportunity for our members to decide – one vote per member organization – the future leaders of the organization. Download a recording of this interactive Webinar to learn more about the process, and meet the candidates vying for the five open seats.  

    • Co-Hosts
    • Kellee James, Founder and CEO | Mercaris Corporation
    • Tracy Favre, Owner, Fig Hill Farm Consulting

    Available to OTA members only

    WATCH RECORDING

    CLIMATE SERIES
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    Climate Action Planning for Organic Brands with the CAMP Tool

    Climate Action Planning for Organic Brands with the CAMP Tool

    Presented Thursday, April 1, 2021 

    Beyond following the regulations for organic, there are countless ways organic operations can innovate to advance both their environmental and social missions. OTA has a full suite of tools to assist you, including a module that helps companies fast track climate action, the new Sustainable Food Trade Action Council’s Climate Action Management Primer (CAMP). 

    This accessible tool helps companies understand their value chain climate hotspots and the key actions to mitigate those impacts. This webinar will review CAMP offerings, including a climate action plan tutorial, hotspot analysis, climate materiality assessment, and clear action priorities. Attendees will also learn about the takeaways and improvements past CAMP participants have experienced after working with the tool. Join us for an introduction and an invitation to discover more.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Lisa Braun, Sustainability Technical Services Manager | Organic Trade Association (Discussion Leader)
    • Lia Colabello, Nuun Clean Planet Ambassador | Nuun Hydration
    • Justin Overdevest, Senior Associate | Good Company
    • Joshua Proudfoot, Principal | Good Company
    • Nicole Rakobitsch, Director of Sustainability | Organic Valley

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    This webinar was recorded and is now available on demand

    US Climate Policy & Organic Agriculture

    U.S. Climate Policy & Organic Agriculture

    Presented Thursday, August 27, 2020

    The second in Organic Trade Association’s summer Webinar series on climate change will begin with a scientific grounding in the connections between organic practices and associated increases in soil carbon, and reductions in nitrogen pollution. From there, members of the trade association’s Board of Directors will share news about the Board’s recent work on policy principles to support organic as a key to mitigating climate change. Panelists will discuss legislation introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that prioritizes agricultural solutions, as well as a new report from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Megan DeBates, Organic Trade Association (discussion leader)
    • Avi Garbow, Patagonia Works
    • Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield Organic
    • Jessica Shade, Ph.D., The Organic Center

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Organic & Climate - Consumer Messaging for Maximum Impact

    Organic & Climate – Consumer Messaging for Maximum Impact

    Presented Thursday, September 17, 2020

    Climate change is one of the most difficult challenges facing us today. It is overwhelming to consider, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news on progress. Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change – but not all agriculture. Shoppers care about organic’s proven climate benefit. We’ll discuss the most effective way to communicate with shoppers about organic’s ability to mitigate climate change, and hear from an iconic brand about how and why they are taking their climate mission directly to consumers. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Alex Heath, Executive Vice President of Social Purpose | Edelman
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education & Insights | Organic Trade Association
    • Geoff Showers, Sr. Customer Manager | Clif Bar & Company

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

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    2020 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

    2020 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

    Presented Friday, November 13, 2020

    2020 has been an eventful year for the organic industry. This is true from an agricultural and market perspective, but also in the realms of regulatory and legislative affairs – where progress is not always a linear process. Join Organic Trade Association’s Government Affairs team for a live webinar that clarifies the processes and entities that govern organic and provides updates on actions taken in 2020 as well as potential developments and trade association priorities for 2021. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Laura Batcha, CEO / Executive Director | Organic Trade Association
    • Megan DeBates, Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions | Organic Trade Association
    • Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director | Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    US Climate Policy & Organic Agriculture

    U.S. Climate Policy & Organic Agriculture

    Presented Thursday, August 27, 2020

    The second in Organic Trade Association’s summer Webinar series on climate change will begin with a scientific grounding in the connections between organic practices and associated increases in soil carbon, and reductions in nitrogen pollution. From there, members of the trade association’s Board of Directors will share news about the Board’s recent work on policy principles to support organic as a key to mitigating climate change. Panelists will discuss legislation introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that prioritizes agricultural solutions, as well as a new report from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Megan DeBates, Organic Trade Association (discussion leader)
    • Avi Garbow, Patagonia Works
    • Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield Organic
    • Jessica Shade, Ph.D., The Organic Center

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    REGULATORY & TECHNICAL AFFAIRS SERIES
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    2020 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

    2020 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

    Presented Friday, November 13, 2020

    2020 has been an eventful year for the organic industry. This is true from an agricultural and market perspective, but also in the realms of regulatory and legislative affairs – where progress is not always a linear process. Join Organic Trade Association’s Government Affairs team for a live webinar that clarifies the processes and entities that govern organic and provides updates on actions taken in 2020 as well as potential developments and trade association priorities for 2021. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Laura Batcha, CEO / Executive Director | Organic Trade Association
    • Megan DeBates, Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions | Organic Trade Association
    • Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director | Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    The Benefits of Technical Assistance for the Organic Industry

    The Benefits of Technical Assistance for the Organic Industry

    Presented Friday, March 19, 2021

    One of the main barriers for farmers transitioning to and staying in organic production is a lack of organic-specific farmer-focused technical assistance, putting technical assistance at the nexus of the organic industry’s biggest opportunities. Investments in technical assistance are important for all organic stakeholders who want to grow domestic organic acreage and maximize the benefits of organic for people and the planet. At this webinar, hear from Mallory Krieger of Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) and Ben Bowell of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Oregon Tilth (OTCO), who are at the forefront of the mission to expand access to technical assistance for organic and transitioning farmers across production systems, scales, and geographic regions.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Mallory Krieger, National Program Director | Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) 
    • Benjamin Bowell, Organic Education Specialist | Oregon Tilth, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service & OATS Steering Committee
    • Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director | Organic Trade Association & OATS Steering Committee (Discussion Leader)

    Open to all

    REGISTER NOW

    This Webinar was recorded on March 19, 2021.

    GOTS Version 6.0 and the U.S. Market

    GOTS Version 6.0 and the U.S. Market

    Presented Wednesday, April 22, 2020 

    Join the Organic Trade Association for a discussion on the recent release of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Version 6.0. In this 90-minute webinar, we’ll discuss an overview of organic labeling of fiber and textiles in the U.S., review the current market of GOTS in the United States, and provide an overview of GOTS including an update on the changes to the new version. Our panel of experts will help your organization prepare for the implementation of changes and answer your questions. This webinar is now available on demand. 

    • Esteemed Panelists
    • Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Organic Trade Association
    • Rahul Bhajekar, Managing Director, Global Organic Textile Standard
    • Lori Wyman, North American Representative, Global Organic Textile Standard

    Open to all 

    REGISTER NOW 

    Organic 101 for the Produce Community 

    Organic 101 for the Produce Community 

    Presented March 18, 2020

    New to the organic industry? Join us to learn the basics of what the organic label does (and doesn't) mean for the produce sector, how it is enforced, and why it is the gold standard for food around the world. This session will examine the full supply chain – from farming, to post-harvest handling and transportation to retail receiving and merchandising for produce. We will discuss organic regulations, as well as best practices that have been proven most successful with retailers and shoppers.

    • Presenters
    • Brian Dey, Sr. Merchandiser & Natural Stores Coordinator, Four Seasons Produce
    • Mike Dill, Food Safety & Compliance Manager, Organically Grown Company
    • Logan Petrey, Grower, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic
    • Johanna Mirenda, Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary to OTA members
    Not-yet member registration: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Retail Intel: Best Labeling Practices for Organic Non-Food Products

    Retail Intel: Best Labeling Practices for Organic Non-Food Products

    Presented August 29, 2019

    Shoppers trust retailers to offer high quality products with strong organic integrity. Labeling requirements are very different when it comes to non-food organic products such as fiber, personal care and household cleaners. Don’t get lost in the gray area!  Gwendolyn Wyard and Angela Jagiello will help break down the labeling landscape and help you to know what to look for to assure you are providing a full complement of trusted of organic products throughout your shop. This webinar is now available on demand. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs | Organic Trade Association
    • Angela Jagiello, Director of Education and Insights | Organic Trade Association

    Complimentary to OTA members
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    ORGANIC CENTER'S SCIENCE & RESEARCH SERIES
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    Tools Organic Farmers Need to Meet Food Safety Requirements: Learnings from a National Needs Assessment

    Tools Organic Farmers Need to Meet Food Safety Requirements: Learnings from a National Needs Assessment

    Presented Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT (90 minutes)

    The Organic Center has partnered with The University of Rhode Island (URI) to identify the best opportunities for developing cost-effective and organic-compliant tools to help organic farmers navigate food safety risks and third-party certification. Dr. Patrick Baur from URI will present results from a national needs assessment that included farmer-focused listening sessions and a national survey. Specifically, these results will touch on which producers are most impacted on a national level and which food safety requirements are most difficult to synchronize with NOP standards. This needs assessment will also help prioritizing which research and knowledge gaps can best address these specific conflicts. Join Dr. Amber Sciligo of The Organic Center & Dr. Baur as they discuss the research findings and next steps for this pivotal work. This webinar will include a Q&A session following the presentation.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center
    • Patrick Baur, PhD, Assistant Professor | University of Rhode Island

    Open to all

    WATCH NOW

     

    Virtual Field Day: Integrating Livestock in Organic Crops and Its Impacts on Food Safety and Soil Health

    Virtual Field Day: Integrating Livestock in Organic Crops and Its Impacts on Food Safety and Soil Health

    Presented Wednesday, July 20th

    Researchers from Maryland, Minnesota, and California present their findings on the impacts of cover-crop grazing on food safety and soil health for fresh spinach and cucumbers in organic systems. This webinar will provide attendees with an understanding of how grazing of cover crops in fresh vegetable production systems can be implemented in 3 different climates (humid coastal, humid continental, and semi-arid). This work has been completed through funds from a USDA -ARS grant* in collaboration with The Organic Center, University of California,​​​​​​​ University of Minnesota, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and USDA-ARS.

    *Funding for this project was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant # 19-1046-001-SF. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

    • Esteemed Speakers
    • Sejin Cheong, PhD student Epidemiology | UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
    • Emily E. Evans, Researcher 3 | University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
    • Amélie Gaudin, PhD, Associate Professor of Agroecology | UC Davis, Department of Plant Sciences
    • Alda Pires, DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM,  Associate Specialist in Cooperative Extension | UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
    • Sequoia Williams, PhD student Soils and Biogeochemistry | UC Davis, Gaudin Lab
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (facilitator)

    WATCH NOW

    Black Farmer Justice: Past, Present, and Future

    Black Farmer Justice: Past, Present, and Future

    Presented December 8, 2021

    Black farmers have a rich history and promising future in the United States, even though the Black history of agriculture is often reduced to slavery and cotton plantations. ​​​​​​​In Farming While Black (2018), Leah Penniman argues that justice for Black people, farmers and otherwise, requires learning about Black histories of agriculture, creating new experiences in the natural world, and getting in touch with our food systems. With a panel of Black scholars, farmers, and activists, in this webinar we explore what justice for Black farmers is today, what it has been in the past, and what it can be in the future.
    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Maya Allen, PhD student in Botany | The University of New Mexico
    • Laquanda Dobson, Chef and Farming Activist
    • Ashley Gripper, PhD Candidate in Environmental Epidemiology | Harvard University
    • Teona Williams, PhD Candidate in History | Yale University
    • Jayson Porter, PhD candidate in History | Northwestern University & Social Justice Intern | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)

    WATCH

    How Farming Systems Impact Bionutrients

    How Farming Systems Impact Bionutrients

    Presented November 17, 2021 

    How plants are grown can have an immense effect on nutritional content. A healthy, high functioning soil will produce crops that are flavorful, aromatic, and nutritious. Studies have reflected this by showing that organic production can result in higher antioxidant levels. However, nutrition is still not well understood, and the actual nutrient levels in of crops can vary dramatically with farmer, season, and seed. This webinar will discuss what we know – and don’t know – when it comes to crop nutrition and highlight new technology and campaigns to better understand how to maximize the nutrition of our food. Watch our recording on demand now by registering below. ​​​​​​​
    • Esteemed Panelists: 
    • Dan Kittredge, Executive Director | Bionutrient Food Association
    • Sara Newmark, Chief Operating Officer | True Grace Health
    • Tina Owens, Senior Director, Food & Agriculture Impact | Danone North America
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)
    • Andrew Smith, PhD, Chief Operating Officer | Rodale Institute

    WATCH

    Small Changes, Big Outcomes: The Impact of Organic Dairy on Reducing Synthetic Chemical Use

    Small Changes, Big Outcomes: The Impact of Organic Dairy on Reducing Synthetic Chemical Use

    Presented Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    You may think your family’s food shopping decisions don’t have much of an impact. But when it comes to the positive impact of choosing organic dairy products, think again! Choosing organic means saying no to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and drugs – especially antibiotics. And when you combine the impact of your organic ice cream with the organic yogurt used at your favorite diner, and the milk boxes in your child’s school lunch program, the use of organic dairy drastically reduces the amount of chemicals on our farms, and in our foods. Join us to explore a new tool for calculating the positive impacts of choosing organic dairy. And, learn how you can use the tool to advocate for changes to school lunch and other programs in your area.
    • Esteemed Presenters:
    • Megan DeBates, Vice President of Government Affairs | Organic Trade Association
    • Jessica Shade, Ph.D., Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center
    • Judi Shils, Founder and Executive Director | Turning Green & Conscious Kitchen
    • Brand ambassadors from Organic Valley & Stonyfield Organic

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    This webinar will be recorded.

    Managing Soil Amendments for Food Safety and Soil Health

    Managing Soil Amendments for Food Safety and Soil Health

    Presented Thursday, July 15, 202

    Soil amendment use is one option among a number of management practices that growers have to support plant growth and build healthy soils. Some soil amendments are biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) and they are primarily used as a nutrient source and to build up organic matter in the soil. However, the use of BSAAO in produce production can present a microbial food safety risk by introducing human pathogens into the soil as well as the broader farm environment. This two-part webinar series will outline benefits and risk reduction practices when using manure, compost, and other BSAAO often used on produce farms. The relationship between these BSAAO recommendations and the requirements in the National Organic Program, Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, and third-party Good Agricultural Practices audits will also be explored. Both webinars will include a Q&A session at the end.  

    As the first presentation in a two-part series, this session will introduce how the use of BSAAO improves soil health. Research on pathogen survival in BSAAO-amended soils will be presented, as well as how growers can minimize the risks of using untreated soil amendments through proper application, storage, handling, and recordkeeping practices. Other common practices will be introduced, including rotational grazing.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Donna Pahl Clements, M.S., Product Safety Alliance's Southwest Regional Extension Associate | Cornell University
    • Elizabeth A. Bihn, Ph.D., Senior Extension Associate, Department of Food Science | Cornell University
    • Alda Pires, Ph.D., Asst. Research Scientist & Asst. Specialist in Cooperative Extension, School of Veterinary Medicine | University of California, Davis
    • Amber Sciligo, Ph.D., Associate Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)

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    Science-Based Composting Practices

    Science-Based Composting Practices

    Presented Friday, July 23, 2021 

    Soil amendment use is one option among a number of management practices that growers have to support plant growth and build healthy soils. Some soil amendments are biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) and they are primarily used as a nutrient source and to build up organic matter in the soil. However, the use of BSAAO in produce production can present a microbial food safety risk by introducing human pathogens into the soil as well as the broader farm environment. This two-part webinar series will outline benefits and risk reduction practices when using manure, compost, and other BSAAO often used on produce farms. The relationship between these BSAAO recommendations and the requirements in the National Organic Program, Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, and third-party Good Agricultural Practices audits will also be explored. Both webinars will include a Q&A session at the end.  

    The second presentation in the series will highlight science-based composting practices that growers can use to minimize microbial food safety risks while reaping the soil health and production benefits from the use of BSAAO. A discussion will follow about the treatment status and documentation requirements for other common BSAAO such as vermicompost, fish emulsion, and pelletized poultry litter.

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Donna Pahl Clements, M.S., Product Safety Alliance's Southwest Regional Extension Associate | Cornell University
    • Elizabeth A. Bihn, Ph.D., Senior Extension Associate, Department of Food Science | Cornell University
    • Amber Sciligo, Ph.D., Associate Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)

    WATCH NOW

    Maximizing Carbon Sequestration in Organic Systems

    Maximizing Carbon Sequestration in Organic Systems

    Presented Friday, April 16, 2021 

    Organic has the advantage when it comes to mitigating climate change and building soil health by quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of organic soil management practices. Join The Organic Center on April 16 to learn more from the Robert Crystal-Ornelas, PhD, co-author of a recently-published paper that looks within organic management and builds on The Organic Center’s continued delivery on GRO Organic’s climate change and soil health portfolio. The project not only highlights the areas where organic excels at locking greenhouse gas in the soil, but also identifies the areas that are having the biggest beneficial impact, allowing organic growers to maximize their climate change fighting power.
    • Esteemed Panelists: 
    • Robert Crystal-Ornelas, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar in the Energy Geosciences Division | Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Associate Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Facilitator)

    Open to all

    WATCH NOW

    This Webinar was recorded and now shared on demand.

    The Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton

    The Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton

    Presented Wednesday, February 17, 2021

    Join The Organic Center and Iowa State’s Kathleen Delate, PhD, for a discussion of the scientifically backed, full system ecological benefits of organic cotton – from farm to fashion. We’ll also hear from the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council on the group’s work to advance organic cotton and other textiles. There is no charge to watch this on-demand webinar.  

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Kathleen Delate, PhD, Professor and Extension Organic Specialist, Departments of Horticulture and Agronomy | Iowa State University
    • Angela Wartes-Kahl,  Organic Inspector & Consultant & Vice Chair of the Organic Trade Association's Fiber Council | Independent Organic Services, Inc.
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)

    Open to all

    WATCH NOW

    2020 Organic Science Roundup with The Organic Center 

    2020 Organic Science Roundup with The Organic Center 

    Presented Thursday, December 10, 2020

    Come learn about the hottest science in the field of organic food and farming from 2020. This webinar brings together leading scientists to talk about where we’ve been and how far we’ve come  in this challenging year. Hear about what studies have changed the industry, how COVID has changed the research landscape, and what we foresee for the scientific outlook for 2021. 
    • Esteemed Panelists: 
    • Asa Bradman, PhD, Professor, Associate Director and Co-founder | University of California, Merced & CERCH
    • Nathalie Jas, PhD, STS scholar and Senior Researcher in Sociology of Risk | French Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).
    • Jayson Porter, PhD Candidate in Mexican Environmental History, Department of History, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences | Northwestern University
    • John P. Reganold, PhD, Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology | Washington State University
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)
    • Houston Wilson, PhD, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist & Director| University of California, Riverside & Organic Agriculture Institute

    WATCH NOW

    Developing Public-Private Partnerships to Address Organic Research Needs

    Developing Public-Private Partnerships to Address Organic Research Needs

    Presented Thursday, November 5, 2020

    Last year, The Organic Center partnered with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to hold a convening examining research areas that would have the most impact on advancing the organic sector, explore avenues for private-public partnerships, and identify areas where industry is interested in investing in research. The convening’s objective was to identify high-impact research areas that could have a substantial positive impact on advancing organic production systems, build partnerships in support of scientific collaborations, and provide a venue for cross-sector sharing of ideas and priorities. This webinar will present the outcomes from that convening, share information about FFAR funding, and gather your input on research needs that are critical for advancing the organic sector. 

    You can download the full outcomes from the convening HERE.

    Click here to learn more about the project. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • LaKisha Odom, PhD, Scientific Program Director | Foundation
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Asst. Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center
    • Brise Tencer, Executive Director | Organic Farming Research Foundation (Q&A participant)

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    Biodiversity and Profitability on Organic Farms - Environmental and Economic Benefits of Organic Practices

    Biodiversity and Profitability on Organic Farms - Environmental and Economic Benefits of Organic Practices

    Presented July 1, 2020

    A growing body of science shows that organic farming supports more biodiversity and can bring in more income than conventional farming, highlighting the environmental and economic benefits of using organic practices. What is less understood is how these benefits are affected by the farming landscape around organic operations. Join Amber Sciligo, Associate Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center, who will be joined by two of the senior authors of a recently published meta-analysis, where you can learn about more about the study’s findings and these benefits from organic practices. 
    • Presenters
    • Amber Sciligo, Ph.D., Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
    • David W. Crowder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entomology, Washington State University
    • Olivia M. Smith, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher in Entomology, University of Georgia

    WATCH NOW

    Building Soil Health for Organic Systems

    Building Soil Heath for Organic Systems

    Presented on April 17, 2020

    Healthy soils are essential for resilient crop production and supporting our ecosystem. Unfortunately, soils in the United States are being degraded by unsustainable agricultural practices. Techniques used by organic farmers can help stop soil health degradation, or even restore soil health in previously degraded soils, because they replenish soil organic carbon and preserve underground biodiversity. However, the specific impacts of organic practices on soil health are not well understood.  Broad surveys of soil health comparing organic and conventional systems consistently show the benefits of organic farming, but rarely compare strategies within organic systems to understand where these benefits arise, or how they can be maximized. This webinar looked at new research on the benefits of organic farming to soil health and climate change mitigation, and specific organic soil-building practices to illuminate strategies that have the biggest impacts on soil health.
    • Presenters
    • Amber Sciligo, Ph.D., Associate Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
    • Kate Tully, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Agroecology, University of Maryland

    WATCH NOW

    The Biodiversity Calculator - A Simple Tool for Tracking & Managing Biodiversity for NOP Compliance

    The Biodiversity Calculator - A Simple Tool for Tracking & Managing Biodiversity for NOP Compliance

    Presented September 25, 2019

    Biodiversity is critical for healthy, functioning organic farms, and is central to the NOP Guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation. However, the burden of designing and implementing biodiversity plans still falls on the farmer. This workshop will highlight a new, farmer-friendly tool that can aid farmers in technical decisions to increase on-farm biodiversity and comply with the new guidance.
    • Presenters:
    • Jessica Shade, PhD., Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
    • John Quinn, PhD., Associate Professor of Biology, Furman University

    Open to all

    WATCH NOW

    The Benefits of Organic Dairy

    The Benefits of Organic Dairy

    Presented July 17, 2019

    Learn about a new study published in Public Health Nutrition, by Emory University, in collaboration with The Organic Center, which shows that choosing organic is an easy way to avoid pesticide, antibiotic, and synthetic growth hormone residues in milk. Researchers tested conventional and organic milk from store shelves across 9 regions of the U.S. and found that a majority of conventional milk samples tested positive for residues of antibiotics and currently used controversial pesticides, while organic milk tested clean.
    • Presenter:
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center

    Open to all

    WATCH NOW

    Citrus Greening Disease - the Quest for an Organic Management Solution

    Citrus Greening Disease - the Quest for an Organic Management Solution

    Presented May 9, 2019

    Citrus Greening is a devastating disease affecting citrus around the world – though Florida citrus has been particularly hard hit. Infected trees are unable to extract the nutrients they need from soil, resulting in severely compromised yields and fruit that is unsuitable for sale. Until now, most of the protocols used to fight the spread of the disease have not been compliant with organic regulations. The Organic Center has collaborated with University of Florida researchers to publish a study that outlines a rigorous, multi-faceted approach to protecting citrus trees in organic systems. The paper is based on a review of existing literature, previously unpublished research and grower observations. Our panel of experts discussed the effect Citrus Greening Disease has had on the Florida citrus industry (especially in organic), and provide a high-level overview of the paper’s findings.
    • Presenters:
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Science Program Manager, The Organic Center
    • Ellen Cochrane, PhD, University of Florida

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    Organic's Impact on Human Health

    Organic's Impact on Human Health

    Presented March 20, 2019

    The more we learn about the adverse effects of toxic and persistent agricultural inputs on eaters, farmworkers and their families, the clearer the connection becomes between organic food and agriculture and lower cancer risks. Dr. Jessica Shade, The Organic Center's Director of Science Programs, will discuss several groundbreaking studies with their respected authors.
    • Presenters:
    • Jessica Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center
    • Asa Bradman, PhD, Associate Director of Exposure Assessment, University of California - Berkeley
    • Kendra Klein, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist, Friends of the Earth

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    A Spice, Herb & Tea Bazaar: The Benefits of Organic

    Presented on Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific (75 minutes)

    Teas, herbs, and spices have been prized for their medicinal and culinary uses for millennia. But when you concentrate botanical ingredients to capture their beneficial attributes, undesirable traces can make their way in. Organic certification practices ensure synthetic ingredients are not used in the making of these products, and in some respects can even enhance their quality. By choosing organic teas, herbs, and spices, you also vote for healthier working conditions and improved livelihoods for farmworkers and their communities. Find out how by joining The Organic Center’s Director of Science Programs, Amber Sciligo, PhD, along with industry spice and tea experts for a live webinar and behind-the-scenes look exploring the fascinating science and trade of your favorite soothing, healing, and flavor-enhancing ingredients.
    • Presenters:
    • Tony Bedard, Chief Executive Officer | Frontier Co-op
    • Greg Lightfoot, Vice President of Global Business Development | Kalustyan Corporation
    • Amber Sciligo, PhD, Director of Science Programs | The Organic Center (Discussion Leader)
    • Raj Vable, Founder | Young Mountain Tea

    Learn more about The Organic Center's latest work on spices, teas, and herbs recently published at https://organic-center.org/site/benefits-organic-spices-herbs-and-teas

    Open to all

    WATCH ON DEMAND

    This webinar will be recorded and shared on demand following the live presentation. Register now to receive follow up communications, including links to view the recording, resources shared, and more!

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    Organic & Climate – Breakthrough Progress in the EU

    Organic & Climate – Breakthrough Progress in the EU

    Presented Thursday, July 30, 2020 (75 minutes)

    As part of its effort to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU's Green Deal calls for 25% of Europe's agriculture to be transitioned to organic (nearly triple the current area) by 2030. Join us to learn more about this bold effort to create a fair, healthy and environmentally beneficial food system. We'll discuss how leaders in the organic movement were able to successfully advocate for organic's inclusion in this sweeping program. And we’ll hear from organic industry participants in the farming and processing/trade sector about priorities for specific action plans to implement and achieve the sustainability targets set out in the Green Deal’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies. 

    • Esteemed Participants:
    • Alexander Beck, Association of Organic Food Manufacturers eV (AöL)
    • Ariane Lotti, Tenuta San Carlo Organic Farm
    • Silvia Schmidt, IFOAM Organic Europe
    • Johanna Mirenda, Organic Trade Association (Discussion Leader)

    Complimentary to OTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    REGISTER NOW

    Exploring Trends and Opportunities for Organic Products Around the World

    Exploring Trends and Opportunities for Organic Products Around the World

    Presented June 25, 2020

    Continued shifts in consumer health preferences and sustainability-minded consumers are further driving organic product sales around the world. This webinar will provide an overview of newly updated global organic data, highlighting observations and trends to compare important markets and opportunities for US producers and exporters. If you are currently exporting your products around the world or looking to learn more about export opportunities, this webinar will provide meaningful insights and detail further resources to help grow your international market.

    • Presenters
    • Alexis Carey, International Trade Manager, Organic Trade Association (Moderator)
    • Patti LaGuire, Senior Account Manager, Euromonitor International 

    Open to all

    REGISTER NOW

    What's New with the Canadian Organic Standards?

    What's New with the Canadian Organic Standards?

    Presented Thursday, March 11, 2021

    Canada – the US’s largest organic trade partner – recently finalized a significant organic regulatory refresh. Existing Canadian producers, and those who export to Canada, now have a one-year grace period in which to achieve compliance with the changes. Join us for an update on the state of organic trade between Canada and the United States, a look back at the process behind the advancement of the standards, and a high level overview of the key changes. Our presenters will share in-depth materials that illustrate the new requirements, and will allow for generous time for questions. 

    • Esteemed Panelists:
    • Robert Anderson, Principal | Sustainable Strategies (Discussion Leader)
    • Roxanne Beavers, Senior Reviewer and Inspector | Quality Assurance International
    • Alexis Carey, International Trade Manager | Organic Trade Association 
    • Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director | Canada Organic Trade Association 

    Complimentary to OTA & COTA members 
    Not-yet member registrations: $149

    Download

    REGISTER NOW

    This webinar was presented on March 11, 2021 and is now available on demand.

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    If you're a member of the Organic Trade Association and have any questions about how to view our webinars please email Libby Mucciarone. If you are not a member, please email Danielle Cote for more information about membership and how to pay to watch those webinars available to non-members. 


    Contact
    Angela Jagiello
    Director of Education & Insights
    (202) 403-8636

    Upcoming Webinars