About the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

The purpose of the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) is to bring together researchers, farmers, and other beneficiaries of organic agriculture and farming systems research and to create lasting relationships among the participants. The symposium provides the latest results of research to farmers, ranchers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in organic agriculture. Farmers, agricultural advisors, and practitioners have an opportunity to learn about and advance the state of the art of organic farming in partnership with the research community.

Editor: Brian Baker

2015 OARS Conference

The 2015 OARS was held in LaCrosse Wisconsin on February 25-26, 2015 immediately prior to the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference. The program consisted of 11 workshops with 33 speakers, including three speakers who connected remotely from France. Six workshops and the keynote were also livestreamed via eOrganic webinars. These webinars are available on eXtension and on the Proceedings page of this website. The presenters were invited to post summaries of their presentations to this website.

In addition, two listening sessions were held the afternoon of February 26. The sessions were attended by approximately 50 participants that included farmers, researchers, practitioners and activists. The listening sessions were organized into four tracks: soil and plant health, livestock, seeds and breeds, and a range of miscellaneous topics. The participants identified research gaps and topics that need to be addressed to advance organic agriculture. These outcomes from these listening sessions are also summarized and included with the Proceedings

The event was funded by grants from the USDA NIFA Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and from Ceres Trust. The University of Wisconsin and The Organic Center (TOC) co-sponsored with MOSES.

2016 OARS Conference

The 2016 OARS was held at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 as a pre-conference event at EcoFarm. The plenary speakers were AndrĂ© Leu, President of Organic International / IFOAM and Mathieu Ngouajio, USDA/NIFA National Program Leader in Cropping Systems. Workshops on soil health, long-term and strategic research, and innovative educational systems were livestreamed as eOrganic webinars, and the recordings will be posted on this website. Funding for the  live broadcast of the OARS was provided by USDA NIFA OREI and the conference hosts were the UC-ANR Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center and the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production. The Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension (KARE) Center, founded in 1965, is one of nine world-class agricultural research centers operated by the University of California.

2017 OARS Conference

OFRF, in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University, presents the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), taking place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (SAWG).The symposium featured researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards. The intent of the symposium was to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others intererested in organic agriculture.