ORGANIC FARMING RESEARCH FOUNDATION
1993 ANNUAL REPORT
OFRF was founded in 1989 by grower members of the California
Certified Organic Farmers Board of Directors to fulfill a number of
goals. The founders of the Organic Farming Research Foundation
described its mission as: to sponsor research related to organic
farming; to disseminate research results to organic farmers and to
growers interested in adopting organic production systems; and to
educate the public and decision-makers about organic farming
issues. OFRF's founders saw the Foundation as a vehicle for growers
to play a central role in the redesign of America's research
priorities. In our first three years of existence, we developed our
research and educational objectives and developed our long range
goals. We made grant awards totalling $101,475 in support of seven
different research projects from 1990 to 1992.
1993: Our Program Takes Root
In 1993, the OFRF Board completed its internal development
process. We added two more members thereby filling all fifteen
seats on the Board. We added a second salaried staff person, two
contract employees, and moved to a larger office. Completing our
first fully staffed year, OFRF was able to process hundreds of
requests for our Procedures for Grant Applications and review
almost 100 research and education proposals for funding.
This work resulted in the Board's vote to fund sixteen
research and educational projects in 1993. While most were based in
California, OFRF also supported projects in New York, New
Hampshire, Washington and Alabama. The information gleaned from
these research and education projects will surely be of interest to
farmers and researchers throughout the nation.
Fundraising is Critical to Our Success
OFRF raised almost $157,000 in 1993. Generous support came
from the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the Flow Fund,
Wallace Genetic Foundation, Kokoro Foundation and the Linnie Cooper
Foundation. Paul Newman of Newman's Own made a special donation in
general program support.
But these foundations provided about half of our financial
support. In addition, a number of individuals and businesses in the
organic industry made almost $40,000 in donations. Special events
like our first annual legal conference and a wonderful luncheon at
the Lark Creek Inn in California raised over $27,000 for us.
Critical to our success was the $13,000 raised in $15 and $35
donations from individual growers and their supporters. Without
this type of expanding grassroots support, major foundations would
be less likely to support our work.
OFRF's Endowment Program is Up and Running
One our most significant success stories in 1993 was the
creation of our Endowment Program. We set a goal of raising
$6,000,000 by the year 2001. As with any project with such
audacious objectives, the first step can be the hardest. Last year
we set a goal of raising $30,000 specifically for the endowment
program. Thanks to major gifts by certified organic farmers Warren
Weber and Amy Nathan of Star Route Farms and Todd Koons of TKO
Farms, we reached our first year goal and deposited $30,000 in our
restricted Endowment Fund in December.
OFRF Expands its Program in 1993
Our long-range plan for OFRF calls for programmatic
diversification. We moved in that direction in 1993 by sponsoring
our first conference, Legal Aspects of Organic Agriculture and
Product Regulation and our own research project, the 1993 National
Organic Farmers' Survey.
The legal conference attracted 170 individuals representing
attorneys, organic industry activists, state and federal employees,
and members of the press. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture
Richard Rominger delivered the keynote address in which he noted,
"USDA strongly supports industry-funded research activities,
including those sponsored by the Foundation. The Foundation's work
strengthens the knowledge base for the entire organic industry. It
also helps educate the public about organic methods."
The eight-page survey was mailed to every certified organic
farmer belonging to fifty-four verification organizations and their
chapters. Out of the 2,700 mailed, 550 were returned. We learned
that organic farmers are family farmers (84% are sole proprietors
or family partnerships) and that eighty percent of them would
participate in on-farm research projects if the resources were
available. Nearly one-fifth of the organic farms surveyed grossed
over $100,000 in 1992 and over two-thirds of the farmers marketed
76-100% of their products as organic. The complete text and
statistical results of this survey is available from OFRF for a $5
postage and handling fee.
Our Current Priorities
In 1994 we plan to increase the funds we devote to our core
grantmaking program. We expect to analyze the 1993 National Organic
Farmers' Survey with the development of new policy initiatives in
mind. And, we will present the nation's certified organic farmer's
research priorities to the United States Department of Agriculture
pushing for immediate implementation. With appropriate underwriting
support, we will again host a conference providing the latest
information on marketing, legal and regulatory issues affecting the
In mid-year 1994 we will publish the first issue of our
Information Bulletin. This newsletter will be designed to bring the
OFRF-funded grower research results directly to other farmers
through the pages of our bulletin. We expect to publish two issues
of the bulletin in 1994.
Preferred form of Contact
Applicants should request our Procedures for Grant
Applications by mail or phone. The OFRF Board of Directors reviews
research and education proposals twice each year, in the spring and
fall. Deadlines are included in the Procedures document. We do not
accept proposals via FAX machine.
Individuals, businesses and institutions interested in making
a gift to OFRF or to our Endowment Fund should contact the
Executive Director via phone or mail.
RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS AWARDED FUNDING BY THE ORGANIC
FARMING RESEARCH FOUNDATION 1993
OFRF GRANTS AWARDED, SPRING 1993
Zea Sonnabend, Watsonville, California
Support for a three-month project to identify areas where
research on inputs for organic farmers would be most valuable.
Stephen Denis, Thermal, California
Support for research into cultural alternatives to malathion and
methyl bromide for pest control in the production of Deglet Noor
dates, in cooperation with three organic date farms in California's
Michael Hoffman, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Support for development of a trapping system for cucumber beetles
in cucurbits, in cooperation with Blue Heron Farm in Lodi, New
York, and CRS Growers, in Lansing, New York.
Sean Swezey, UCSC Agroecology Program, Santa Cruz, California
Support for research into farm-level conversion of a conventional
cotton production system to organic management, at Sheppard Farms,
Eero Ruuttila, Litchfield, New Hampshire
Support for one year to evaluate living straw mulch alone and in
combination with microbial insecticide for control of Colorado
Potato Beetle on potatoes, at Nesenkang Cooperative Farm in
Litchfield, New Hampshire.
Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension, Hollister, California
Support for monitoring the activity of cabbage, seed corn and onion
maggots on Phil Foster's organic farm in Hollister, CA.
California Certified Organic Farmers, Santa Cruz, California
Support for the column Science You Can Use produced by CCOF
technical staff for the CCOF Newsletter.
Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, Watsonville, California
Support for the taping of CSA's Transition Conferences, a series of
regional conferences on specific crops which are provided for
farmers seeking to make a transition to organic growing practices.
Carl Rosato, Woodleaf Farms, Oroville, California
Support for orchard-based research to test the effectiveness of
several anti-fungal substances in controlling Brown Rot in peaches.
OFRF GRANTS AWARDED, FALL 1993*
Kassim Al-Khatib, Washington State University,
Mt. Vernon, Washington
Support on-farm research into weed control with green manure and
cover crops, focusing on control of broadleaf weeds in green peas,
potato and mint. This project will follow-up greenhouse research
showing that white mustard and rapeseed foliage incorporated into
the soil controls weed activity.
Mariah Cornwoman, Washington State University,
Support for case studies of pest control practices used by organic
apple growers in Washington State; for compilation and distribution
of results of farmer interviews concerning cultural practices among
Northeast Washington apple growers.
Jean Mills and Carol Eichelberger, Coker, Alabama
Support for an on-farm feasibility study of composted clippings
from White Dutch Clover living much, as a means of building soil
and reducing off-farm inputs. This project involves a comparison
of clover compost and compost containing chicken litter purchased
off-farm, for quality, quantity, residues, ease of handling, cost,
Carl Rosato, Woodleaf Farms, Oroville, California
Continued support for orchard-based research and lab testing to
study the effectiveness of anti-fungal substances in controlling
Brown Rot in peaches.
Anne Schwartz, Blue Heron Farm, Concrete, Washington
Support for oral interviews with aging and retiring veterinarians
to gather information concerning livestock health enhancement and
disease protection; to collect and distribute information on
techniques and treatments that would qualify for organically-
produced livestock under the Organic Foods Production Act.
*Disbursed in 1994
Balance Sheet (boxed)
Balance Sheet 1993
Please consider making a donation to OFRF. We have a multi-
faceted fundraising program, one that does not depend upon one
source for funding. We particularly welcome donations from growers
and members of the organic products industry. Our Board is uniquely
suited to effectively use your donations in support of the most
innovative research and education projects in North America.
Everyone who contacts us will receive periodic updates on
research and education projects. Our long-term success depends on
the support of every member of the community. And, remember, please
support your local certified organic food producers.
ORGANIC FARMING RESEARCH FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 440
Santa Cruz, California 95061