Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


$25 Million Available for On-farm Conservation Innovation Trials

May 17, 2019 – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition – Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of $25 million in annual funding to advance the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation practices on agricultural lands. The funding for on-farm trials is available as a sub-program of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. CIGs are designed to support collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement innovative, on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impacts. Participating farmers and ranchers will receive payments to offset the risk and investments for testing out new and innovative conservation approaches.


U.S. organic sales break through $50 billion mark in 2018

May 17, 2019 – Globe Newswire, Yahoo News – Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey released Friday by the Organic Trade Association.


Maine Farm Group Surveying Regional Food Buyers

May 17, 2019 – ATTRA – Maine’s Mid Coast Farmers Alliance is conducting an online survey of regional food buyers, to help connect local food buyers to the products they need and inform marketing decisions for local growers. All commercial food buyers, including general stores, restaurants, grocers, schools, and hospitals, are encouraged to participate in the online survey, which is available until June 1, 2019. Mid Coast Farmers Alliance has already completed a preliminary growers survey, which indicated that respondents were interested in expanding their operations and collaborating with other growers to reach a wider range of markets.


Planting above their weight: low-acreage, high-yielding farms

May 17, 2019 – By Megan Backhouse, The Age – When my book club shook things up and visited a town outside Canberra for last month’s meet, we spent most of the weekend dissecting not our book but the Braidwood farm that happened to be opening its gate for a local harvest festival.


Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments

May 16, 2019 – By University of Helsinki – The abundance of bird species living in agricultural environments has decreased both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. Attempts to rectify the situation have been made with the help of agri-environment-climate subsidies. They are granted to agricultural producers by the EU for implementing measures that are presumed to be beneficial to the environment. There is a range of such subsidies, but their potential effects on biodiversity at national scales have been seldom comprehensively investigated.


Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat

May 16, 2019 – By Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times – In recent years, many nutrition experts have linked the obesity epidemic to the spread of ultra-processed foods that are engineered to have a long shelf life and irresistible combinations of salt, sugar, fat and other additives.


OMRI Welcomes New Board Members

May 16, 2019 – OMRI – OMRI (the Organic Materials Review Institute) recently welcomed Matt Landi of Awe Sum Organics and Beth Unger of CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley to the organization’s Board of Directors. Matt and Beth will both fill seats designated for organic processors / handlers, to round out OMRI’s diverse and representative board. OMRI recently exceeded 7,000 input products that are OMRI Listed® for organic use. Processors such as Matt and Beth provide a valuable perspective, representing the many people who rely on OMRI’s lists to support their organic operations.