Future Organic Research for Farmer Needs


Saturday, February 4

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


With the passage of the 1990 Organic Food and Production Act and corresponding organic regulations created in 2002, the organic sector has seen tremendous growth of certified organic farms growing by 11% in 2012 to $28 Billion (ERS, 2013).

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has taken on the challenge of providing government and other funding organizations, farmers and ranchers, and the general public the information necessary to determine future research needs and direction. This information has been collected through three mechanisms.

  1. During 2015 and 2016, OFRF has reviewed the major USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) OREI and ORG organic program funding, analyzing the production, economic, and social topics that have been funded between 2002 and 2014. Approximately $82 million has been allocated through the 124 OREI and 64 ORG research grant awards.
  2. OFRF conducted the 2nd National Organic Research Agenda (NORA) survey, a national survey directly asking organic farmers and ranchers what they perceive as their most relevant research needs. The survey was sent electronically to all NOP certified producers and announced through OFRF website and other affiliated organic organizations. Results have been compiled to reflect the top research needs by organic farmers and ranchers.
  3. OFRF has reviewed its portfolio of funded projects between 2006-2014 to determine trends and gaps in topics supported for organic research and education. Results will help OFRF and other funding organizations in selecting future research support.

Results from these three activities will be presented at the meeting to show where funds have been spent and identify future research needs and hold an interactive stakeholder session to identify research needs.

Speakers: Brise Tencer, Executive Director, Organic Farming Research Foundation; Joanna Ory, Research Program Associate, Organic Farming Research Foundation