(SANTA CRUZ, CALIF., Oct. 2022)—Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) presented the National Organic Research Agenda (NORA), a comprehensive report that examines current needs and challenges of organic farmers and ranchers across the country and provides policy and research recommendations to address producer-identified issues. The national organic survey data boasts responses from over 1,100 producers and 16 listening sessions held across the U.S.
“Organic farming has been historically under-invested in, in terms of research, education and extension,” says OFRF Executive Director Brise Tencer. “The 2022 National Organic Research Agenda presents incredible feedback directly from organic farmers and provides a compelling roadmap for how to best support the growth of this important sector of agriculture. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) members and the audience were very interested in how our research agenda aligns with the USDA’s new Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) investments.”
As part of its Food System Transformation Framework, the USDA’s OTI is taking meaningful steps toward supporting both organically-certified farmers and ranchers as well as producers who wish to transition into organic production. OFRF has been working alongside policymakers and industry partners to advocate for this crucial investment that supports producers’ adoption of organic management while building a resilient and equitable food system.
NORA report findings indicate that managing production costs is a substantial challenge for 71% of producers surveyed, and an overwhelming number of producers (76%) expressed substantial need for technical assistance with the organic management of weeds, pests, and disease. In addition to detailing farmer challenges on and off the field, OFRF’s NORA report provides a comparison analysis of farmer responses based on commodity, location, and farming experience.
The NORA report is available online (www.ofrf.org/research/nora/) free of charge to farmers, policymakers, ag suppliers, seed companies, and the general public.
About Organic Farming Research Foundation
Organic Farming Research Foundation works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.