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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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organic farming

Foundation Seeks to Use Sustainable Agriculture to Empower Women in the Developing World

November 8, 2011 |

For the Global Hunger Foundation, combatting hunger in developing countries requires more than just sending emergency food their way. The foundation takes a much more long-lasting approach—it aims to empower women in poverty-stricken countries by helping them learn how to grow their own organic food.

Why the focus on women, one might ask.

H. Eric Schockman, president of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit and a university professor, said that’s because about 70 percent of small farming entities in the world are run by women. Studies also show that women are more likely than men to pour resources they are given back into their communities, he said. Read More

Penn State Receives $2.3M Grant to Investigate Impact of Cover Crop Cocktails on Organic Agriculture

November 2, 2011 |

Researchers at the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences were recently awarded a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to examine the effects of various “cover crop cocktails,” or cover crop mixtures, on organic agriculture production.

Jason Kaye, associate professor of soil biogeochemistry, said the study hopes to determine whether mixing multiple varieties of cover crops or planting a single species is better at amplifying ecosystem functions in a corn-soybean-wheat cash crop rotation that produces organic feed and forage. Read More

Event in San Diego, CA to Explore Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship in Southern California

November 1, 2011 |

A burgeoning crop of agricultural entrepreneurs is beginning to sprout, poised to develop sustainable and profitable solutions to meet the food and energy demands of a world population forecast to peak at 9 billion by 2050. To explore this flight to innovation in agriculture, Seedstock, a company that promotes entrepreneurship and sustainability in agriculture through its website http://seedstock.com, in association with the Rady Entrepreneur Club, an affiliate organization of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, will host a panel discussion with a number of Southern California-based agricultural entrepreneurs. Read More

USDA Extends $19 Million in Grants to Support Organic Producers and Processors

October 26, 2011 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleA growing demand for organic and sustainably produced food has led the USDA to announce nearly two dozen new grants to research and extension programs that will help organic producers and processors more effectively market and grow their products.

The 23 grants total $19 million, and are funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through two unique programs: the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative and the Organic Transitions Program.

“As more and more farmers adopt organic agriculture practices, they need the best science available to operate profitable and successful organic farms,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Read More

Start Farming Program in Pennsylvania Helps Beginning Farmers Chart Sustainable Path

October 11, 2011 |

Start Farming,’ a program that seeks to develop new farmers, was developed by Penn State Extension in 2009 to address the the rising average age of farmers in Pennsylvania as well as the increasing demand for local and sustainably produced food.

The program offers a variety of courses throughout the year to beginning farmers interested in learning organic farming techniques, pasture management, financial management, land acquisition and marketing. The Penn State Extension program, ‘Start Farming’, is run in collaboration with Pennsylvania Farm Link, a nonprofit dedicated to the mission of “creating farming opportunities for the next generation,” and The Seed Farm, an agricultural business incubator in Lehigh County, PA.  Read More