(Kutztown, Pennsylvania) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, today announced the addition of new staff members to support the Institute’s implementation of replicable, farm-scale models of organic agricultural methods.
These models demonstrate best methods for integrating livestock and plant production, especially in the cycle of crop rotations where livestock play an important role. The models also serve as research opportunities where data can be collected and used to further develop best practices and improve organic methods.
The expansion includes the addition of five new positions including Farm Manager, Animal Husbandry Specialist, Compost Specialist, Seasonal Greenhouse Manager and Plant Production Specialist, and Marketing & Sales Specialist.
Executive Director of the Institute, “Coach” Mark Smallwood, said, “We carefully selected this team for their unique skills and experiences, but even more importantly because they live our mission of improving the health and well-being of people and the planet.”
Ross Duffield, Farm Manager, will focus on field maintenance including planting and seeding, maintain the farm equipment necessary to work the fields, and expanding the livestock operations, particularly the vertical integration of the poultry and hog operations into crop rotations. Kevin Breen, Animal Husbandry Coordinator, will oversee the care, feeding and breeding of livestock and is also responsible for developing and executing sales and marketing strategies.
Rick Carr, Compost Specialist, will continue research into best methods of composting for agriculture, gardening and landscaping applications. Sam Moll, Seasonal Greenhouse Manager and Plant Production Specialist, will be responsible for plant production for seasonal plant sale events at the farm and maintaining the greenhouse and high tunnel spaces for the Agriculture Supported Communities program and Institute research projects. Molly Sweitzer, Marketing & Sales Specialist, is tasked with marketing and sales of all aspects of the Institute, including working closely with local restaurants and farmers’ markets, as well as Institute events and weddings at the farm.
Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. This year, 2014, marks the 34th year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.
ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.
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