Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely recognized as the birthplace of the organic movement, Rodale Institute has been the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years.

Mission & Vision

We aim to expand organic agriculture by...

Our Story

Our founder, J.I. Rodale, was an entrepreneur from New York City who struggled with health problems all his life. One day, he wrote these words on a chalkboard: “Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People.” In 1940, he bought a rundown farm in Pennsylvania and began to experiment with a way of growing food without chemicals that he coined “organic.” There, he founded the Soil and Health Foundation in 1947—what is known as Rodale Institute today.

J.I. Rodale popularized the organic movement through titles such as “Organic Gardening,” while Rodale Institute put scientific-research behind its benefit to people and the planet. Today, organic sales top $55 billion annually in the United States.

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Science

Since 1947, Rodale Institute has pioneered a better, natural, and more responsible way of farming by conducting research into the cultivation of healthy, living soils. Rodale Institute is home to the longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic vs. conventional farming practices (our Farming Systems Trial, started in 1981), and our research focus areas include developing organic solutions to pests, disease and weeds, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and growing nutrient dense foods.

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Our Research has Proven that Organic Systems:

  • Produce competitive yields after a transition period

  • Yield up to 40% higher than conventional in times of drought

  • Earn 3-6X greater profits for farmers

  • Improve soil health and build soil organic matter over time

  • Use 45% less energy

  • Release 40% fewer carbon emissions

Farmer Training

The organic market is quickly growing, and yet only 1% of U.S. farmland is certified organic. That’s why education is a key component of our work. Some ways we work with farmers include:

Consumer Education

The organic movement isn’t possible without the consumer: everyday eaters and families demanding organic for their health and for the planet. That’s why we focus on consumer education—helping people understand “Why Organic?”—including what organic agriculture is, how it relates to issues like human health and climate change, and ultimately, how to have a positive impact with their daily actions.

One way you’ll see us in the consumer marketplace is through the new Regenerative Organic Certification, a new high-bar food and fiber label that includes soil health, animal welfare and worker fairness.

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View Our Annual Report

Each year brings new projects, programs, and initiatives. To dive deeper, read our Annual Report: an in-depth review of last year's most exciting accomplishments.

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Get Involved

Whether you volunteer with us, take a tour of our campus, or visit us at a farmers market, you're helping us grow the regenerative organic movement.

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