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Research, Promotion, and Education


Technical Assistance 

The Organic Agronomy Training Service (OATS) provides groundbreaking technical assistance that addresses the lack of experts available to help organic farmers and those who want to transition. The service provides innovative, virtual, train-the-trainer programming for agricultural professionals working with organic or transitioning producers across geographic regions and crop types.

  • Since its launch in 2019, OATS has:
  • Trained 140 agricultural professionals who have directly impacted management decisions on almost a half-million acres.
  • Brought organic education into regions of the country where there are few resources for organic farmers.
  • Demonstrated that its training approach can effectively bring skeptical professionals into the organic tent.
  • Developed strategic plans for expansion to new geographic regions and crop types

OATS recently partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s OGRAIN and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) to produce a video series interviewing organic farmers and experts on best practices for organic field crop production and launch the Organic Advisor Call Series and Listserv for farm advisors who are interested in working with organic producers. OATS also hosts The Dirt on Organic Farming podcast to bring honest and fair answers to common criticisms of organic agriculture.

Organic Advisor Call Series & Listserv The Dirt on Organic Farming Podcast 

Critical Research

The Organic Center provides innovative research initiatives, exploring the ways organic farming builds soil health, mitigates climate change, supports farmer livelihoods, and saves consumers money by supporting ecosystem services. They are building an in-depth understanding of how organic can maximize soil health benefits and increase carbon sequestration. The work looks at the full impacts of organic from the cradle to the grave. It connects these environmentally friendly practices with real-world gains for farmers by accounting for economic considerations such as yield.

The Center has multiple ambitious projects underway through University partnerships and has already published several scientific articles, consumer-focused reports, and farmer-focused booklets. They pair their print and online media with national and regional workshops, webinars, and social media campaigns to reach a broad sector of society.  

The Organic Center also focuses on leveraging private sector contributions for dollar-for-dollar matches by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR). These matching opportunities will support priority areas around climate change, soil health, and actual cost accounting for the environmental impacts of farming. The Organic Center has been working closely with FFAR to ensure that organic community needs lead the final priorities, reflect the top concerns of organic growers and industry members, and use the most cutting-edge research methodologies.

The Organic Center Research Projects Organic Center-FFAR Joint Research Program

For more information on how to invest in these critical initiatives, contact Cassandra Christine at the Organic Trade Association.