OPN Connect Newsletter 23 · August 3, 2017

Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know 

1. Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers

Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, the non profit also known as FOG that works on social justice issues associated with organic farming, will celebrate it’s 30th anniversary this month.


As part of its ongoing efforts to educate people about and promote certified organic farming, FOG will host two workshops this month, topics will include:

  • organic vegetable production and high-tunnel research results
  • benefits and challenges of high-tunnel production
  • disease and pest management
  • economic considerations
  • high tunnel structures
  • organic certification
  • S. Department of Agriculture Cost Share program
  • soil fertility and crop nutrient management.
  • Organic tomato grafting and high tunnel production.

Learn more here

2. Organic, Natural Food Industry Raised $150,000 for Project Drawdown

Nature Safe

National Co+op Grocers (NCG) said Tuesday that with the help of about 30 organic and natural food companies it raised nearly $150,000 for Project Drawdown, a nonprofit that brings together researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change.

NCG selected Project Drawdown as this year's fundraising beneficiary of its annual grocery and wellness conference called Co+nvergence. The funds raised will support Project Drawdown’s ongoing research fellowship program; future development of school curriculums based on the Next Generation Science Standards to inform and inspire K–12 students; and collaboration with the Commonwealth of Nations, which has adopted Drawdown as a template for its ongoing work to reverse global warming through regenerative development.

Learn more here.

Organic Ag Products

3. Mastronardi Produce Ltd. Signs with AppHarvest LLC

Greenhouse produce giant Mastronardi Produce Ltd., owner of the Sunset brand of conventional and organic tomatoes, said it has signed an exclusive marketing deal with startup AppHarvest LLC, which is planning to build a $50 million, hydroponic greenhouse on a reclaimed coal site in Kentucky.

AppHarvest, founded in February and based in Arlington, Va., said the 1.8 million-square-foot glass greenhouse - sitting on 60-acres in Pikeville, Ky., will grow cherry tomatoes and bell peppers year round for distribution to retailers on the East Coast and Midwest.

Read more here. 

4. Farm Bill Listening Sessions Next Week in California

Heading into the next Farm Bill, House Agriculture Committee members will be gathering input from farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders from around the country. Several programs key to the success of organic agriculture are under threat of elimination. It is vital that these policy makers—who are instrumental in drafting the Farm Bill—hear directly from organic farmers, researchers, and advocates.

Ocean Mist

Modesto, California
Saturday, August 5, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.
Modesto Junior College West Campus
ACE Ag Pavilion
Brink Ave & Shoemaker Ave

Salinas, California
Thursday, August 10, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. 
Hartnell Community College
Steinbeck Hall
411 Central Ave.

Learn more. 

 5. New Jersey Deadline Set for Reimbursing Organic Certification Costs

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) said Monday it is now accepting applications from qualified producers and handlers of organic products who will be eligible to be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the costs of certification, not to exceed $750. Applications must be received by the NJDA no later than Nov. 17, and will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

The funds are available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Certification costs include fees and charges levied by a USDA-accredited certifying agent for certification activities.

Learn more.



“Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.”
- Mark Twain

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