Contact: Sarah Hackney, 202-547-5754, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Comment: OFRF Report Highlights Successes, Opportunities for Growth in Organic Research
August 16, 2016, Washington, DC – The following are comments from Juli Obudzinski, Senior Policy Specialist, on the release today of the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s timely report analyzing USDA organic research funding:
“Demand for organic food is fast outpacing supply, and cutting-edge research plays a critical role in helping American farmers meet this demand and tap into the more than $5.5 billion in organic market share in 2014. This report is the first of its kind to assess how USDA’s organic research initiatives have made progress in addressing organic research needs, and it points to a range of opportunities for increased future investment.
Increased funding for the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions (ORG) competitive research grant programs would help researchers continue to provide valuable information and tools for organic producers at a cost-effective scale, such as: the development of dozens of new versatile vegetable varieties, improved weed management techniques, best practices for building soil health with cover crops, and, critically, outreach and education events that get these innovations into the field on organic farms nationwide.
NSAC played a leading role in partnership with OFRF in helping develop OREI in 1998 and is pleased to see the success these research initiatives have demonstrated thus far. This report’s recommendations point the way forward to ensuring organic research is able to meet farmers’ needs and sustain continued growth in the organic sector.”
A digital version of the report, “Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments, 2002 – 2014” is available online at http://www.ofrf.org.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: https://sustainableagriculture.net