Organic production of agricultural products helps to sustain and
enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms. Organic production relies
on a form of farming which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic
fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, and livestock
additives. To the extent possible, organic farmers rely on crop rotations,
crop residues, animal manures and mechanical cultivation to protect the soil
from erosion, maintain soil productivity, supply plant nutrients, and to control
weeds, insects and other pests.
As compared with conventional agricultural production
techniques, organic farming practices typically result in improved water
quality, reduced soil erosion and overall improved soil quality. Soil
organic matter is increased by using manures and compost as fertilizers, growing
cover crops and green manure, practicing crop rotations, and by growing more
acres of perennial crops. Water
Quality is often improved by the avoidance of synthetic fertilizers and
are increasingly demanding more organic products and are willing to pay the
extra premium for them. Many VT
producers see this trend as an opportunity to diversify their farms and increase
Organic Farming Information Links:
The ATTRA program provides
information to farmers and other rural users on a variety of sustainable
agricultural practices that include both cropping and livestock operations. The
program encourages agricultural producers to adopt sustainable agricultural
practices which allow them to maintain or improve profits, produce high quality
food and reduce adverse impacts to the environment.
Vermont is a non-profit association of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working
to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont
food system for the benefit of current and future generations’.
In the United States, the National
Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework governing organic
food. The NOP is administered by the US Department of Agriculture.
OFRF strives to
foster the improvement and widespread adoption of
organic farming practices.
- To sponsor research related to organic farming;
- To disseminate research results to organic farmers and to growers interested
in adopting organic
production systems; and
- To educate the public and decision-makers about organic farming issues.
data representing the extent of
certified organic farmland acreage and livestock in the United States are
presented in tables showing the change in U.S. organic acreage and livestock
numbers through 2005, including the number of certified operations, by State.
The Center for Sustainable
Agriculture was established in 1994 as a unit within the
to integrate university and community expertise to promote sustainable farming
and the region.
We operate as an integral part of
, collaborating with faculty and staff throughout the state. Our programs
always involve farmers, the University, and other organizations.
The Vermont Pasture Network (VPN) is
a collaboration between the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Grazing Lands Conservation
Initiative (GLCI), the Vermont Grass Farmers' Association (VGFA), and UVM
Extension. VPN's goal is to work cooperatively with farmers, other state and
regional organizations, and agency personnel to promote and enhance successful
grass-based livestock production throughout Vermont.
Modified: June 23, 2010