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Crop Management Abstract - Symposium Proceedings: Organic Agriculture: Innovations In Organic Marketing, Technology, and Research

Broadening the Education Infrastructure in Organic Agriculture for Farmers


This article in CM

  1. Vol. 5 No. 1
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Accepted: June 21, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): brett@albafarmers.org
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  1. Brett Melone *a
  1. a Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association, PO Box 6264, Salinas, CA 93912(Endnote 1)


Access to high-quality information and continuing education for farmers is essential for them to remain competitive and viable in today's marketplace. The organic sector, while only representing 1 to 2% of the entire US agricultural economy, continues to enjoy growth rates in the range of 16 to 21%, as it has since 1997. Organic agriculture is management intensive, relative to conventional production systems, and requires individuals that are well-trained and proactive and holistic in their management strategies. Many of today's new farmers, whether organic or conventional, are immigrants, ethnic minorities, or otherwise socially disadvantaged. Some of these new farmers are entering the organic sector, yet they are likely not to have access to the necessary information or technical assistance required to make their operation successful, due to language, cultural, and other barriers. This paper explores the current and potential role of producer-targeted organic agriculture programs around the US in building the capacity of new farmers and immigrant and refugee farmers to establish, transition, or strengthen their operation.

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