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|For Immediate Release
May 22, 2003
Michael Straus, Straus Communications
(415) 777-1170 or (415) 519-8343
100,000 Organic Farmers in US
The Rodale Institute® Announces Major Initiative, Launches
Austin, TX – In the
single-most ambitious agricultural initiative of this century, Anthony
Rodale, chairman of Pennsylvania-based The Rodale Institute® and founder
of The New Farm (www.newfarm.org),
declared a broad new vision for organic farming in the United States.
Addressing leaders of the US organic industry gathered for a trade show
in Austin last Saturday to accept the OTA Organic Leadership Award, Rodale
called for 100,000 farmers, about 5% of America’s remaining 2 million
farmers, to transition to Certified Organic by 2013.
Currently, 12,200 farmers are certified organic (just over ½ of
one percent of all US farmers), according to Rodale. This would represent
a 750% increase in the number of certified organic farms and ranches.
The Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association reports that the
market for organic food and products is more than $11 billion in annual
sales, and growing an estimated 20-30% per year.
Rodale, whose grandfather J.I. Rodale coined the term “organic”
in 1942, called on leaders to pool resources and work together towards
a common, quantifiable vision.
“Are we willing to sit back and witness the degeneration of our
environment, and quietly lose control of the quality of food we eat every
day?” asked Anthony Rodale at the OTA ceremony.
“Organic farming is a good business decision for farmers, ”
added Rodale. “It’s time for the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to affirm and promote organic as an economically viable form of agriculture.”
To help achieve his vision, Rodale officially announced the launch of
www.newfarm.org, the nation’s
first organic farmer-oriented information center, providing articles,
marketing tools and expert resources on crop and livestock production,
direct marketing, and timely policy issues.
The New Farm (www.newfarm.org) is
the modern incarnation of The New Farm® magazine, the widely read
print publication started in 1979 by Robert Rodale (son of J.I., and father
of Anthony Rodale).
The New Farm recently made national headlines when it introduced and demonstrated
the new Organic Price Index™ (OPX™), the first and only service
offering farmers critical and timely market pricing data for no charge.
In addition to the OPX, NewFarm.org will also feature:
- Organic farming on-line training courses
– teaching basic and advanced organic agricultural techniques.
Stories of Regenerative Agriculture – success stories
about innovative farmers and ranchers all across the U.S.
- News and Research
– Scientific reports, and news related to the economics, politics,
social issues and environmental impact of agriculture.
- New Farm
International –first-person accounts from around the
world, including Cuba, Guatemala, India, Japan, Kenya, Laos, New Zealand,
Thailand, and Switzerland.
About The Rodale Institute®
The Rodale Institute® is a not-for-profit educational
and research organization committed to sharing information globally about
successful agricultural solutions to health and environmental problems.
The Rodale Institute has worked for sixty years, bringing to life the
philosophy of J. I. Rodale, the founder, that "Healthy Soil = Health
Food = Healthy People®".
The Rodale Institute provides information and forums
for learning and dialogue for farmers worldwide through www.newfarm.org.
The Rodale Institute, on its own and with various research partners, also
engages in and supports a wide variety of scientific trials and experiments
of regenerative farming methods in the United States, Senegal, Japan,
and elsewhere throughout the world.
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