Israel Morales Delivers Hope for The Future as OTA’s Farmer of the Year

OTA 09.11.19On September 11th, The Organic Trade Association honored Israel Morales Sr. from JV Farms Organic with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award.

Israel Morales Sr. is JV Farms Organic’s lead grower with over 40 years of farming experience.

Israel has extensive experience not just in knowing what produce matches the type of soil but is also a master of soil health. He has a direct influence on the growing practices on all of the acres in his operation.

Some describe him as living and breathing organic farming. He has both an old-school mentality on how to grow organically with a flair for innovation.

Israel is a successful large-scale organic farmer, known as a steward of the land. He minimizes disturbance and maximizes soil cover, biodiversity, and the presence of living roots.

His focus is soil health, habitat diversity and reducing or eliminating organic pesticide use if he can. Israel has developed an innovative farming system using conservation tillage beds that allows him to use cover crops on 80 to 90 percent of his acreage during the winter fallow. Continue reading

Why didn’t the UN Climate Report Offer Organic Farming as a Solution?

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We’ve all felt it; the dog days are expanding their territory, lasting longer and showing their teeth more often.

According to NOAA, eight of the ten warmest years on record have occurred within the past decade. 2016 was the warmest year in the history of instrumental observation, and 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño influence.

If the current greenhouse gas emissions rates persist, it will result in the continuation of the global temperature increase.

The Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C will require transformational challenges – especially in land use and farming. It is unattainable with our current practices,

On August 8th,the UN Climate released its special report on Climate Change and Land Use.  It held dire warnings; unless we change the way we eat and farm, we are all in for a bit of trouble. Continue reading

Why the Organic Produce Summit Is My “Go-To” Show

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I was honored to again participate in this year’s Organic Produce Summit in Monterey. Even though I no longer engage directly in trading organic produce, something draws me to this event like no other. What’s in it for me then? Why must I go? Continue reading

Dear Human, Glyphosate by Any Other Name is Now a Reality

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As a follow up to my interview with Chuck Benbrook, I was astounded to see the verdict come through on the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury awarded them an astonishing $2 billion in damages for their exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and their subsequent fight with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chuck testified in the case on April 17th, and he focused on Monsanto’s “stewardship” and lack thereof for its Roundup-brand herbicides.

Chuck comment that “This verdict will surely get Bayer’s attention. Talk about chickens coming home to roost.” His May 13thblog post, Has Bayer’s Day of Roundup Reckoning Arrived?, elaborates more on the verdict.

What does all this have to do with organic products? Herbicides like glyphosate are explicitly forbidden in organic production. Continue reading

Jim Riddle Weighs in on The Future of the GRO Organic Check-Off-Like Program

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After the demise of the USDA mandatory research and promotion check-off attempt, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and Organic Voices (OV) decided to take matters into their own hands. Continue reading