Dig Deeper

Organic Livestock Class

Shelby Dukes, Animal Husbandry Coordinator at Rodale Institute, educated the class on both organic chicken and organic hog production. The group learned the process of raising chickens for eggs and how to humanely raise organic pork. These classes helped the OFCP students to learn how to organically raise their own livestock on pasture, which not only cuts feed costs, but also improves the lives of the animals.




OFCP students learned how rotating livestock keeps the animals healthy by giving them fresh forage and interrupting parasite life cycles. Temporary paddocks are set up, with the animals regularly being moved to fresh ones, so the previous pasture can have time to regenerate and regain nutrients. The students also learned about the livestock facilities and housing on the farm. The Rodale Institute Organic Hog Facility is a scalable model, so the students can apply it to their own farms regardless of size. With the knowledge gained from these classes, OFCP participants can raise their own organic livestock to be happy and healthy on their farms.



Learn more about the Organic Farming Certificate Program.






Future Organic Farmer: Michael Lupaccino

Michael Lupacchino is an Army and Coast Guard veteran with a combined 16 years of service. Lupacchino served four years with the Coast Guard as an electronic technician. After leaving the Coast Guard in 1998, he used his G.I. Bill to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Central Connecticut State University.


Continuing Land Stewardship; Farming on Conservation Land

The Organic Farming Certificate Program and the Veteran Farmer Training Program recently visited 2 Gander Farm, located in Downingtown, Pa. 2 Gander Farm is operated by husband/wife team Trey and Deirdre Flemming. The 10-acre farm holds a bounty of vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and bees, and is located within a preserve owned by the Brandywine Conservancy.


For what Ails You; Visiting an Herbal Farm

Wednesday, June 27, students from the Organic Farming Certificate Program and Veteran Farmer Training Program, took a field trip to Tooth of the Lion Farm & Apothecary. Located in Orwigsburg, PA, Tooth of the Lion is owned by Katelyn Melvin, a young yet, seasoned farmer.


From Grain to Glass: Students and Veterans Tour Local Farm to Distillery

Students and veterans visited 8 Oaks Distillery in New Tripoli PA, a veteran run distillery. Chad Butters, owner and Army veteran, tells his family’s story with pride through Eight Oaks Distillery. From the origin of the name to most of  the employees, family and friends is what makes this distillery run. (more…)

Future Organic Farmer: Billy Vaughan

Billy Vaughan is a retired Marine officer with 21 years of service who began his time as an enlisted Infantryman specializing in demolitions and anti-tank operations. Drawn by the opportunity to challenge himself, Vaughan volunteered and trained to become an Airborne Ranger. After finishing the rigorous training, he attended college and earned two bachelor's degrees in English and History with the intent of becoming an Infantry Officer. During his 21 years of service, Vaughan served a total of 10 deployments; four as enlisted and six as an officer.


Meet the Next Generation of Organic Farmers

Rodale Institute's Agriculture Supported Communities program provides organic produce at affordable prices to low-income communities, while training new organic farmers. You can find this year's farmers-in-training tending the production fields, harvesting and preparing food for members, and distributing food at the markets. Now's your chance to learn more about the next generation of organic farmers. (more…)

Pennsylvania Gives $500,000 to Rodale Institute to Fund Organic Research

Bipartisan Support for Increased Funding for Research on Organic Agriculture

On July 20th, state legislators gathered at Rodale Institute to announce $500,000 in appropriations funding dedicated to the Institute's research on organic methods. “I’ve watched as the research has grown here [at Rodale Institute] and know that the work being done here can have a very, very positive impact on not only Pennsylvania, but agriculture nationally and internationally as well,” said state Senator Judy Schwank (D-11). (more…)

Soil Scientist

SUMMARY: The Soil Scientist will support all short- and long-term projects at Rodale Institute with a focus on measuring soil health in different agricultural systems. A strong emphasis will be placed on Regenerative Agroecosystem Analysis. He or she will be expected to work closely with other research scientists and lead outreach initiatives to educate the public and farmers on the benefits of improving soil health.  Strong oral and written communication skills are required. (more…)