History of Organic Agriculture


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This is an updated version of a presentation for my Intro to Sustainable Agriculture class that I began assembling in 2010.

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History of Organic Agriculture

  1. 1. Organic Agriculture Interview Qs – due next Monday (10/22)1) Biographical info: age, years as a principal operator, education,relationship to you2) What comes to mind when you hear the term "Organic farming"?3) Do you actually know any organic farmers? If so, please share afew impressions.4) Have you ever been to an organic farm? If so, please share a fewimpressions5) How frequently (if ever) do you consume organic food? If youhave consumed organic food, please share a few impressions.6) If a landlord in your area offered you a very reasonable rent tofarm their quarter section of land organically, how would yourespond?7) Have you ever considered organic farming? Please briefly explainyour answer.
  2. 2. What is organic agriculture???
  3. 3. Organic by neglect or omissionis guaranteed to fail!!
  4. 4. This was organic farming by neglect!!! -523,000 tons of N/yr ! (David et al., 2001)Late 19th century N budget for Illinois (units are 1000 metric tons N / yr)
  5. 5. What did CG Hopkins mean bypermanentagriculture?
  6. 6. First 2 sentences of the book
  7. 7. Do you remember this sentence from Monday? Does this describe what you have learned in your ag classes at WIU?
  8. 8. Franklin Hiram King (1848-1911) FH King , Professor of Soil Physics at UW was dismayed by the rapid degradation of Midwest soils during the 19th century and traveled to Asia looking for answers.Farmers of 40 Centuries: “ We desired to learn how it isPermanent Agriculture in possible, after twenty and China, Korea and Japan perhaps thirty or even forty centuries, for their soils to be was the original title. made to produce sufficiently for the maintenance of such dense populations.. “ Farmers of Forty Centuries, 1911
  9. 9. First edition in 1929JR Smith was a pioneer in the fieldof economic geography, an authorof many popular elementaryschool – college level geographytext books and a dedicatedconservationist and agro-forester.
  10. 10. Sir Albert Howard (1873-1947)
  11. 11. Who was Sir Albert Howard?Although many concepts of organic farming predatedhis work, Sir Albert Howard is commonly regarded as the father of organic agriculture. He was raised on a farm in England, and educated atCambridge University. He served as a mycologist in theImperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies (1899-1902), before returning to England to teach agricultural science at South-Eastern Agricultural College in Wye (1903-1905).
  12. 12. He moved to India in 1905 and conducted agricultural research fortwenty-six years before permanently returning to England in 1931. British Indian Empire INDORE
  13. 13. After returning to England, Sir Albert Howard beganto articulate an alternative system of farming based on his extenisve research and observations of indigenous farming practices.He gave lectures and wrote widely read books aboutcomposting, soil fertility, and relationships between farming practices and crop, livestock and human health. He also became an increasingly fierce critic of mainstream agricultural science and practice.
  14. 14. In An Agricultural Testament (1940) Howard laid out his vision foragriculture based on nature as a model with greatemphasis on a concept that is central to organicfarming--the importance of utilizing organic waste materials to build and maintain soil fertility and humus content.
  15. 15. An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard Chapter 1 IntroductionTHE maintenance of the fertility of the soil is the first condition of any permanent system of agriculture. In the ordinary processes of cropproduction fertility is steadily lost: its continuous restoration by means of manuring and soil management is therefore imperative.
  16. 16. “In the study of soil fertility, the first step is to bring under review the various systems of agriculture… These fall into four main groups:1) the methods of Nature -- the supreme farmer -- as seen in the primeval forest, in the prairie, and in the ocean; 2) the agriculture of the nations which have passed away; 3) the practices of the Orient, which have been almost unaffected by Western science; and 4) the methods in vogue in regions like Europe and North America to which a large amount of scientific attention has been paid during the last hundred years.”
  17. 17. “Little or no consideration is paid in the literature of agriculture to the means bywhich Nature manages land and conducts herwater. Nevertheless, these natural methods of soil management must form the basis of all our studies of soil fertility. What are the main principles underlying Natures agriculture?”
  18. 18. “Mixed farming is the rule: plants are always found with animals: many species of plants and of animals all live together. In the forest, everyform of animal life, from mammals to the simplest invertebrates, occurs. The vegetable kingdom exhibits a similar range: there is never anyattempt at monoculture: mixed crops and mixed farming are the rule.”
  19. 19. “The soil is always protected from the direct action of sun, rain, and wind. In this care of the soil, stricteconomy is the watchword: nothing is lost. The wholeof the energy of sunlight is made use of by the foliage of the forest canopy and of the undergrowth.The leaves also break up the rainfall into fine spray so that it can the more easily be dealt with by the litter of plant and animal remains which provide the last line of defence of the precious soil.”
  20. 20. According to what Sr. Albert Howard called theLaw of Return, all organic waste materials, including sewage sludge, should be returned to farmland. Recalling his experiences in India, he described the "Indore" (after a region in India) method of composting. He prescribed a certain pile size,temperature, moisture, aeration, and a mix of plant, animal, urine-soaked earth, and ash as a proper composting recipe.Howard stressed a good mix of composting materials contained residues from both plants and animals.
  21. 21. Howard was very concerned about the increasing overspecialization in agricultural science -“learning more and more about less and less” He tried to broadly investigate how to growhealthy crops in typical conditions in the field, rather than the atypical conditions in laboratories and test-plots.
  22. 22. Sir Albert Howard loudly criticized the field plot and statistical methods used at the Rothamsted agricultural experiment station. He thought that these studies were flawed for many reasons e.g.,continuous cultivation of wheat, use of new seeds from outside sources and free movement of earthworms between plots.
  23. 23. In Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease (laterpublished as Soil and Health), Sir Albert Howard introducedthe idea that disease, whether in plants, animals or humans, was caused by unhealthy soil and that proper farming techniques would make the soil and those living on it, healthy. As evidence he cited his observations that animals fedwith crops grown in humus-rich soil were able to rub noses with diseased animals without becoming infected. More generally he argued that the correct method for dealing with a pathogen was not to destroy the pathogen but rather to try to learn from it or to "make use of it for tuning up agricultural practice”.
  24. 24. Sir Albert Howard was certainly In 2001, a serious outbreak rolling in his grave when… of FMD in Britain resulted in the slaughter of ~ 300,000 cattle, the postponing of the general election for a month, and the cancellation of many sporting events and leisure activities. Due to strict government policies on sale of livestock, disinfection of all persons leaving and entering farms and the cancellation of largeevents likely to be attended by farmers, a potentially economically disastrous epizootic was avoided.
  25. 25. Sir Albert Howard studied the traditional farming methods of Indias peasant farmers and the pests and weeds thatconventional agriculturalists were committed to fighting with an ever-widening array of poisons, but which Howard called his Professors of Agriculture. He saw pests in the context of Natures use for them as sensors of soil fertility and indicators of unsuitable crops growing in unsuitable conditions.
  26. 26. Sir Albert Howard recognized the significance of Justus von Liebigs writings on agricultural chemistry but he was a critic. He thought that Liebig led agriculture astray when he denounced the humus theory of plant nutrition and promoted the NPK mentality, i.e., the idea that soil fertility could be maintainedentirely through applications of inorganic sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  27. 27. Sir Albert Howards main concern was that Liebig focused attention on soil chemistry to the neglect of soil biology and physics.Liebig’s prestige and appreciation of thesingle-minded focus value of soil organic on chemistry matter by scientists led to diminished and farmers. Sir Albert Howard never lost his appreciation for soil organic matter and extolled its profound influence on the health of soils, plants, animals, and mankind in all of his writings.
  28. 28. In Sir Albert Howards long and distinguished career as ascientist, he made many significant discoveries related to many different facets of agriculture including plantbreeding, irrigation, mycorrhizae, soil aeration, fruit tree cultivation, post-harvest handling of produce, weed management, and diseases of plants and humans. For these widely recognized contributions to agriculture he was knighted in 1934. As Howard became increasingly critical of conventional agricultural science, many of his scientific colleagues began to view his ideas on humus, soil fertility, and disease as exaggerations of otherwise fundamentally sound ideas.
  29. 29. Sir Albert Howard’s hard-line opposition to the use of artificial fertilizers is often consideredextremism but is no more extreme than Liebigs absolute concept of plants using exclusively inorganic forms of nutrients (which persists in some modern soil science literature). Unfortunately Howards stance on fertilizers contributed to the common but mistakenimpression that organic farming is simply farming without the use of synthetic fertilizers and other agrichemicals.
  30. 30. In 1946 (one year before his death), Sir Albert Howardacted out his role of agricultural contrarian mostexplosively in a book titled The War in the Soil.This book opens with a powerful condemnation:The war in the soil is the result of a conflict between thebirthright of humanity--fresh food from fertile soil--andthe profits of a section of Big Business in the shape ofthe manufacturers of artificial fertilizers and theirsatellite companies who produce poison sprays toprotect crops from pests and who prepare the variousremedies for the diseases of livestock and mankind.
  31. 31. Although Howard was a passionate advocate of whatis now known as organic farming, he never used the term organic to describe the system of agriculture that he promoted. Lord Walter Northbourne, a British agronomist, academic (long time Provost of Provost of theagricultural college of London University), elite athlete (silver medal in rowing at the 1920 Olympics), translator, and author of books about agriculture and comparative religion, was the first person to use the word organic to describe a method of farming.
  32. 32. In 1940, Northbourneintroduced his conceptof the ideal farm as an organic whole (i.e. having a complex interrelationship of parts/organs, similarto that in living things) in a book titled, Look to the Land.
  33. 33. In Look to the Land, Northbourne wrote that “chemical farming is regulated mainly according to the combined recommendations of the farmeconomist, with his calculating machines and ledgers, and the chemist”.He warned that farming should not be “treated as amixture of chemistry and cost accountancy, nor can it be pulled into conformity with the requirements of modern business, in which speed, cheapness, andstandardizing count most. Nature will not be driven. If you try, she hits back slowly, but very hard”.
  34. 34. Within Northbourne’s concept of organic farming, the farmer’s role is to coordinate the integratedcomponents of a farm – so that resource cycling and self-regulating processes are optimized.It is important to distinguish this concept of organicfrom the common misunderstanding that organic (incontext of organic farming) refers only to the carbon based chemistry or biological origin of the soil amendments commonly used in organic farming.
  35. 35. When J.I. Rodale, a successful American businessman read An Agricultural Testament, he was so moved by Howard’s ideas (he described the experience as like being hit by a "ton of bricks“) that he almost immediately purchased a farm near Allentown, PA and began experimenting withJ.I.Rodale(1898-1971) composting and organic farming techniques.
  36. 36. Jerome Irving Rodale was born in New York City in1898, the son of a grocer, and thus was connected to the food industry but had little to no direct connection to agriculture while growing up.He was a very successful entrepreneur who started out manufacturing electrical switches buteventually founded a publishing empire (Rodale Inc.launched in 1930), launched several very successful magazines (e.g., Organic Gardening, Prevention), and published many books (including some he authored) on agriculture, human health and many other topics.
  37. 37. In 1942, JI Rodale began publishing Organic Farming and Gardening magazine with Sir Albert Howard serving as the associate editor. In 1945, JI Rodales book Pay Dirt, with an introduction by Sir Albert Howard, introduced organic farming concepts to a wide audience. For approximately the next quarter century, JI Rodale promoted organic concepts with missionary zealand probably did more than anyone else to increase awareness and interest in organic gardening and farming in the US.
  38. 38. Both Sir Albert Howard and JI Rodale saw the conflict between organic and mainstream agriculture as a struggle between two different visions of what agriculture should become as they engaged in a war of words with the agricultural establishment.
  39. 39. The circulation of OrganicGardening magazine increased from 260,000 in 1960 to 1,300,000 in 1980 when it wasthe most widely read gardening publication in the world.Many factors, such as the back- to-the-land movement, the growing environmental movement, and the anti-establishment social revolution, were responsible for theincreasing popularity of Rodale Press publications.
  40. 40. These folks probably subscribed to Organic Farming and Gardening magazineThis is not me!
  41. 41. In addition to writing/publishing magazines and booksabout gardening and farming, JI Rodale also launched a Wellness revolution In 1950, he founded Prevention magazine to teach readers how to prevent disease through a healthylifestyle and diet versus just treating the symptoms of disease.He also wrote books promoting the healthful effects of exercise and fruit and vegetable rich diets (e.g., How to Eat for a Healthy Heart).
  42. 42. In 1954, the Federal Trade Commission ordered JI Rodale to stop advertising and selling healthbooks, claiming that the medical advice given in his books was unsubstantiated. JI Rodale engaged in legal battles with the FTC for almost two decades, at times putting his entirepersonal net worth at risk. Over the years, the FTC, fearing that they would lose their case onconstitutional grounds, attempted to settle with JI Rodale. But despite financial hardship, JI Rodale refused to back down unless the FTC agreed toacknowledge that the First Amendment prohibitedthem from regulating books and printed material.
  43. 43. In the later years of the case, JI Rodales lawyersintroduced new testimony from some of the same leading medical experts that the governmentoriginally used at the initial FTC hearings almost 20 years earlier. One by one, the experts refuted their originaltestimony, claiming they "didnt know back then" and admitted that many of JI Rodales original claims had since become established medical facts.
  44. 44. In 1971, while describing his legal problemswith the federal government on the set of apopular TV show, J. I. Rodale suddenly died. Until he actually stopped breathing and turned blue, everyone watching the taping of The Dick Cavett Show thought Rodalewas faking a heart attack in order to make a point about his troubles with the FTC.
  45. 45. Just days before his death, J.I Rodale spoke before an audience in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The contrarianleader of the organic movement boasted to his followers,“My friends, my time has come. Years ago they heapedviolence and poured ridicule on my head. I was called acultist and acrackpot…but now I am suddenly becoming a prophet here on earth, a prophet with profits.” Rodale’s talents as entrepreneur and passionate spokesman lifted him from a childhood of immigrantpoverty to the head of the multi-billion dollar publishing company with major influence on public opinion worldwide.
  46. 46. Today Prevention magazine has 12 million readers, and Rodale Press is the largesthealth-oriented publisher in the world, publishing~100 new wellness titles each year that sell a combined 20 million copies.
  47. 47. JI Rodale’s publications gave voice to the ideas of many other advocates for alternative health and farming practices
  48. 48. In the early 1920s, Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, gave a series of lectures on the Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture which inspired the development of Biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamic agriculture has much in common with other organic systems, such as emphasizing the production and use ofRudolph Steiner compost and excluding the use of synthetic (1861-1925) inputs. Methods unique to Biodynamics include the use of fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost additives and field sprays and the use of an astrological planting calendar.
  49. 49. Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer (1899–1961) wasborn in Germany and worked closely with Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. In 1928, he became the director of a biodynamic research farm in Holland and visited theU.S. several times during the 1930s giving lectures on biodynamic agriculture. In 1940, he immigrated to the U.S. and provided leadership for several biodynamic farms where he pioneered the testing and documentation ofbiodynamic practices. He helped establish the Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association in Kimberton, PA where he developed a friendship with JI Rodale.
  50. 50. Lady Eve Balfour (1899-1990) is best known as the founder of The Soil Association, Britains leading organic food and farming organization. The Soil Association was born in 1946, following publication of Lady Eve Balfours bestselling book about organic agriculture, The Living Soil (Faber & Faber 1943). In 1939, she launched the Haughley Experiment on her farm in Suffolk,. England. It was the first scientific, side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming and was maintained for 33 years.
  51. 51. The Haughley ExperimentThree side-by-side units of land were established,each large enough to operate a full farm rotation, so that the food-chains involved — soil–plant–animal and back to the soil — could be studied as they functioned through successive rotational cycles, involving many generations of plants andanimals, in order that interdependences between soil, plant and animal, and also any cumulative effects could develop.
  52. 52. One unit was a stockless arable farm — the other two were both ley farms (temporary pasture alternatingwith arable crops) following the same rotation. Each carried a herd of dairy cows, a flock of poultry and a small flock of sheep.All livestock was fed exclusively on the produce of its own unit, replacements were home bred and cereal and pulse crops raised from home-grown seed. All wastes of crops and stock were returned only to itsown unit. Only livestock products and surplus animals were sold off the farm. All crops were fed to the animals.
  53. 53. On one of the ley units called the Mixed Section supplementary chemical fertilizers were used, as well as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides when thought necessary. On the other ley unit, called the Organic Section, no chemicals were used. It was thus entirely dependent on its own biologicalfertility. As nearly as possible a closed cycle was maintained so that a minimum of unknown factors would be introduced into the food chain.
  54. 54. Ecology of Earthworms under the ‘Haughley Experiment’Organic and Conventional Management Regimes - R. J. Blakemore Significant differences in earthworm populations and soil properties were found in three sections of a farm at Haughley in Suffolk that, since 1939, had either an organic, a mixed conventional, or a stockless intensive arable regime. Compared with the mean earthworm population When the Haughley experiment was terminated, m2, the of a 1,000 year old permanent pasture of 424 per organic field had 179 per m2,not as clearfield 98 been hopedthe stockless the results were the mixed as had per m2 and field 100 per m2(hardly surprising as we still have a poor . understanding of the relationships between soil, Choice chambers offering the three however the experiment crop and animal health), field soils, with and without organic amendments, showed an earthworm preference forhow organic soil (total clearly contributed to understanding of the the 96 worms) compared to the mixed and stockless soils (75 and 73 worms). best of old and new traditions in land husbandry could be combined and paved the way for the first Soil analyses showed the organic soil had higher moisture, organic C, and organic standards. mineral N, P, K, and S compared with soil from the stockless field. The organic soil also had lower bulk density and good crumb structure whereas the stockless soil was cloddy and subject to puddling. The properties of the mixed field soil were intermediate to the others.
  55. 55. Sir Robert McCarrison (1878 – 1960) was a pioneering physician and nutrionist who is credited with being the first scientist to experimentally demonstrate the effect of dietary deficiencies upon animal tissues and organs. He also carried out human experiments aimed at identifying the cause of goitre, and included himself as one of the experimental subjects. At age 23, he went to India, where he spent 30years investigating relationships between nutrition and contrastingdisease patterns on the Indian subcontinent.He concluded that many common diseases increasingly prevalent inindustrial societies were caused by diets made defective byextensive food processing, and the use of chemical additives. Hedeplored the universal consumption in Britain and America ofrefined white flour and the substitution of canned, preserved andartificially sweetened products for fresh natural food.
  56. 56. McCarrisons work was widely published in medical journals. He was honored forhis discoveries, but his recommendationswere largely ignored by government and the medical profession at a time when medical thought was focused on the treatment of disease rather than theprevention of disease and the promotion of health.
  57. 57. McCarrison studied the inhabitants of theHunza valley of Northern India and wrote:
  58. 58. JI Rodale brought McCarrison’s research on the Hunzas to a popular audience
  59. 59. Weston A. Price, DDS (1870–1948) was a dentist and nutritionist. He was the chairman of the Research Section of the American Dental Association from 1914– 1923, but was later marginalized by the American Dental Association for his outspoken views.In 1939, Price published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,a book that details a series of ethnographic nutritional studies performed by Price across diverse cultures.
  60. 60. In his studies, Price found that many of the ailments of modern civilization (headaches, dental cavities, impacted molars, tooth crowding, allergies, heart disease, asthma, and degenerative diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer) were not present in cultures sustained by indigenous diets. Sadly, within a single generation these same cultures experienced all the above listed ailments when they adopted Western foods in their diet: refined sugars, refined flours, canned goods, etc.
  61. 61. Louis Bromfield (1896 – 1956) was an American author and conservationistwho gained international recognition for his writing (30 best-sellers, severalmovies and a Pulitzer Prize) and for promoting innovative ecologicallyoriented farming practices. In 1939, after living in France for over 10 years, Louis Bromfield returned to the US and purchased Malabar Farm, near Mansfield, OH. Bromfield dedicated the rest of his life to agriculture and sought to create a farm that promoted soil conservation but also continued to write books and articles. His later books, including Pleasant Valley, focused on soil conservation and other farming issues. He continued to socialize with prominent artists, including Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart who were Louis Bromfield working on married at Malabar Farm in 1945. another book
  62. 62. William Albrecht was a leading soil scientist who served as the head of the Agronomy Dept at the U of Missouri and as the president of the Soil Science Society of America. In his latter years, he wrote extensively about the relationship between soil fertility and animal and human health. He felt that animal health (and ultimately human health)Dr. William Albrecht was related to soil fertility and that 1886-1974 proper management of soils would solve most crop, livestock and human disease problems.
  63. 63. From the Acres website ”Acres U.S.A.was founded on the belief that the world did not begin in 1948, when the research anddevelopment bonanza of World War II combined witha flood of special interest money to create a new kind of agriculture, based on petrochemical inputs. Nordid the world of scientific farming, attuned to nature,stop dead in its tracks. In fact, much of the best work in sustainable technology was just beginning. Readers of Acres U.S.A.reap the harvest of courageous innovators who sidestepped the Ag Establishment for decades.”
  64. 64. In the early 1940s, Dr. Fukuoka quit his job as a soil microbiologist, returned to hisfamilys farm in southern Japan,and devoted the next 60 years to developing natural no-till methods of growing citrus, rice and other crops. Americans became familiar with Fukuoka through articles in Rodale publications and his book The One-Straw Revolution.
  65. 65. Prior to the 1970s, mainstream agricultural scientists mostly ignored organic farming and gardening but agriculturalcolleges and experiment stations were increasingly besieged with letters of inquiry from the public and it became impossible to ignore the organic movement.One of the first attempts to respond to the organic advocates was undertaken by Dr. Firman E. Bear, a prominent soilchemist from Rutgers University, who in a 1947 article titled Facts...and Fancies About Fertilizer referred to Sir Albert Howard, E.B. Balfour, J.I. Rodale, and E.H. Faulkner as "gloomy prophets". Other articles critical of the organic movement were published during this period of polarization such as The Great Organic Gardening Myth.
  66. 66. Shortly after J.I. Rodale died , his son Robert(Bob) Rodale purchased a 333-acre farm near Kutztown, PA (that later became the Rodale Institute). He began hiring scientists with strong credentials and launched an era of organic research.
  67. 67. Initiated in 1981, The Rodale Institute’s FarmingSystems Trial® (FST) is the longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming systems in the US, and one of the oldest in the world. What began as a 5-year controlled study of what atypical American grain farmer would go through to giveup chemical fertilizers and pesticides has matured into acomplex, interdisciplinary, collaborative project that will be continued indefinitely. The FST compares three cropping systems: a conventional BMP system, a livestock-based organic system, and a legume-based organic system.
  68. 68. Key FST research results after 25 years1) higher soil carbon and nitrogen levels in the organic systems2) comparable crop yields for organic and conventional systems in years of average precipitation, and greater for organic systems in drought years3) fossil energy inputs for organic systems were over 30% lower 4) labor inputs in organic systems averaged ~15% higher5) net economic return for organic systems was equal or higher
  69. 69. Under the direction of Secretary of AgricultureRobert Bergland (1977-81) the USDA began its first survey of the organic farming sector. In 1980, the USDA published the Report andRecommendations on Organic Farming for theexpress purpose of "increasing communication between organic farmers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture”.
  70. 70. In 1981, the AmericanSociety of Agronomy helda Symposium on Organic Farming to examine the question "Can organic farming contribute to a more sustainable agriculture...?" They concluded: "Themost probable answer is that it most definitely can...”
  71. 71. Powerful testimony by Bob Rodale as well as many organic farmers andscientists convinced the U.S. Congress to include funds for organic agriculture inthe 1985 Farm Bill. This wasthe beginning of an ongoing process of scientific validation and refinement of organic agriculture by research and education programs.
  72. 72. Bob Rodale was concerned about the negative baggage thatthe term ORGANIC had accumulated and preferred the term Regenerative agriculture.
  73. 73. Most farmers are using methods that do notallow production flexibility. American agricultureof the conventional type "works" only when thethrottle governing energy and input flows ispulled all the way out. Farmers lack the option ofswitching-either permanently or temporarily-toan alternate system that performs well whenconventional production is not profitable.Paraphrased Bob Rodale quote that caught my attention back in the 80s
  74. 74. Bob Rodale launched a magazine titled NEW FARM in 1979 that showcased innovative farming practices that were ecologically oriented but not necessarily organic. Robert Rodale was killed in a traffic accident in Moscow in 1990 while launching a Russian language version of NEW FARM magazine.
  75. 75. The period from 1979 to 1990 was an era of growing recognition of organic food andfarming at a national level in the United States. With growing consumer interest, camecommercial interest in establishing standards for organically produced foods.As a sign of the new times, in 1979, California passed the first legal standard for organic production in the United States.
  76. 76. This new attention and recognition led to a backlash in1981 from the incoming Reagan administration which tried unsuccessfully to end distribution of the USDA Report and Recommendations on Organic Farming. The Reagan administration abolished the recentlyestablished position of Organic Resources Coordinator,held by Garth Youngberg, who had been a member of the USDA Study Team for Organic Farming.Former Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, commented that millions would starve if all farmers adopted organic methods.
  77. 77. The Federal Organic Foods Production Act of1990 set out to:1)Establish national standards governing the marketing of organically produced products2)Assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard;3)Facilitate interstate commerce in both fresh and processed organic foods..
  78. 78. Full development of USDA Organic standards took more than a decade. Initially, theproposed standards did not prohibit the use of sewage sludge, food irradiation and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These allowances resulted in enormous public outcry which eventually led to their removal from the final rules. The USDA Certified Organic label was introduced on October 21, 2002.
  79. 79. Organic certification requirementsDetailed farm plan showing all fields/buffers Documentation of all inputsDocumentation that equipment not solelyused for organic has been cleaned properly On-farm inspection 3 year transition
  80. 80. During the past 20 years, themarket demand for organically produced food in the US hasincreased by about 20 percent annually.Organic product sales in the US currently exceed $20 billion.
  81. 81. CA = California
  82. 82. ~ 0.1% of IL farmland
  83. 83. ~ $500 million of organic foods purchased in IL each year < 5% from IL farms :-<