May 2019

Join us for Upcoming Webinars in May

May 22, 2019: Understanding and Managing Soil Biology for Soil Health and Crop Production. This is the final webinar in the Soil Health and Organic Webinar series by Mark Schonbeck of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. This webinar was originally set up in Webex but will take place in Zoom. To connect, you don't need to register. Anyone who would like to join can simply click the following link on the scheduled date and time. The webinar takes place at 11AM Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, 2 Eastern Time.

May 29, 2019: Meeting Weather Challenges in the Western U.S.: Organic Practices to Mitigate and Prepare for Climate Change. This webinar will explore the capacity of sustainable organic systems to sequester soil carbon, minimize agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, and help organic cropping and livestock operations withstand the impacts of climate disruptions already underway. Our presentation will include a summary of recent research findings and practical implications for the Western Region. Presented by Mark Schonbeck of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Register at

Recordings available for April Webinars

Featured New Research Project: Open-ROAMER

The Open-Community Resource for Organic Animal Microbiome Education and Research Project (or open-ROAMER) is a NIFA OREI research project which is aimed at launching microbiome research within the organic livestock community. Outcomes from the research will produce new tools to combat livestock diseases and production challenges affecting dairy health. To demonstrate the utility of this resource, the researchers will use mastitis – one of the most important diseases affecting dairy health – as a test case. They will enroll 600 heifers in a study for the purpose of uncovering both the epidemiological (e.g., host and farm) and microbial risk factors associated with the development of mastitis, while also pursuing the development of a new microbial-based preventive for mastitis in heifers. The project is being led by Noelle Noyes of the University of Minnesota, along with collaborators in Minnesota, Colorado, Texas and New York. To learn more, and to read updates over the course of this new research project, visit their website at

May 9 Citrus Greening Webinar by the Organic Center

Citrus Greening is a devastating disease affecting citrus around the world. It has swept through the United States, wiping out over 60% of the citrus harvest in Florida alone. To date there has been no cure found for this disease, and most of the research on control measures have focused on conventional protocols. A new report by the Organic Center in collaboration with Ellen Cochrane, examines tools that are available for organic growers. Join Dr. Amber Sciligo, Science Program Manager at The Organic Center, and Ellen Cochrane on Thursday, May 9 at 2:00 P.M. ET for a one-hour webinar on the effect Citrus Greening disease has had on the Florida citrus industry, especially in organic, and provide a high-level overview of the study’s findings. Register here to attend this free webinar. It's very short notice, and the webinar will not be recorded; however if you can't make it today, you can read the Organic Center's report on this topic at

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network Seeks Proposals for Food and Farm Forum

The Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network is seeking Proposals for their 2019 Food and Farm Forum, and the deadline is June 17th. The Forum will address a variety of topics related to cultivating a resilient agricultural system in Alabama. Priority will be given to sessions that reflect:

* Skill-building across cultures, communities, and sectors/roles in the food system
* Collaboration, cooperation, and network-building
* Diversity of presenters and perspectives
* Grounding in racial, social and economic equity/justice and authentic community-building

Applications are welcome from anyone, anywhere.  That said, as our goals are rooted in peer-to-peer exchange, community- and movement-building, and network empowerment, priority will be given to sessions led by folks from within our network -- Alabamians and those nearby who have ties to the Alabama local food system and food movement. For detailed information see

Organic Certification Cost Share Funding Available

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019. Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices or they may apply through participating State agencies. To find out more and locate your FSA office and an application form, visit

Organic Integrity Learning Center

The Organic Integrity Learning Center offers free online training in a formal Learning Management System. The Learning Center supports the professional development and continuing education of professionals working to protect organic integrity including certifiers, inspectors, reviewers and compliance specialists in organic businesses. To facilitate course tracking and reporting, you need an account to access the Learning Center. Examples of courses in the Learning Center include Fundamentals of Inspections; Import Oversight Essentials; Compliance and Enforcement; and Introduction to the USDA Organic System.  New courses are added on a regular basis. Find them at

eOrganic Mission

eOrganic is a web community where organic agriculture farmers, researchers, and educators network; exchange objective, research- and experience-based information; learn together; and communicate regionally, nationally, and internationally. If you have expertise in organic agriculture and would like to develop U.S. certified organic agriculture information, join us at

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View research project websites at






Published October 7, 2019

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.