United States: OFRF releases Land Grant Assessment

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) recently released its report on its assessment of organic agricultural research and education programs in the US Land Grant University (LGU) system.


LGUs are Federally supported public institutions that conduct agricultural research, education and extension programs in all 50 states. OFRF evaluated all the LGUs on the following criteria:

  1. certified organic research or student farm ground;
  2. certified organic experiment station ground;
  3. student organic training farm or site;
  4. an organic major, minor or certificate;
  5. an organic course;
  6. a dedicated organic staff or faculty person;
  7. organic extension resources; and
  8. an annual organic field day.

The following institutions met all the criteria: Colorado State University, Fort Collins; University of Florida, Gainesville; Michigan State University, East Lansing; University of Minnesota, St. Paul; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Washington State University, Pullman.

OFRF noted significant improvement since their previous report. Tennessee's program was the newest addition to meet all the criteria.  The change since OFRF  first began tracking public investments in organic agriculture research and education programs has been dramatic.

However, much improvement is needed. Some of the best endowed and highest funded LGUs still have gaps in their organic programs and opportunities for improvement. More than half of the LGUs meet less than half of the criteria, with many of the least funded schools—including the historically black 1890 Colleges—urgently need to invest in organic programs to keep up with demands from organic farmers, students, and the public.

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