Where have all the farmers gone?

Organic FarmerIn a recent discussion with Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program, he cited a concern on the lack of new farming operations entering organic production.

“Though we have seen market success over the last 20 years, the number of new certified operations in the US has remained relatively flat,” Miles told me. “The industry continues to grow, sales are up, but the number of certified operations has not grown.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that the Farm Belt is not expanding quickly enough into organics to meet growing consumer demand. Consequently, producers are going abroad for commodities

This leads me to ask, where have all the organic farmers gone? Continue reading

I hear the call of ORPP

Got Organic?ORPP is not the call of some exotic water fowl. It’s an acronym for one of the most exciting ideas I have encountered in my entire career. It stands for Organic Research and Promotions Program, which could be a mechanism for creating much needed funding for organic research, education and promotion of our burgeoning industry. Continue reading