Rodale Institute Looks to Expand


Rodale Institute plans to establish satellite centers across the country. These "Regional Resource Centers" will help more farmers transition to organic operations.

IMG_5484 (1)With the realization that not everyone can physically visit the 333-acre experimental farm in Kutztown, PA, Rodale Institute aims to create "mini-Rodale Institutes." Establishment of these centers can be even more useful than online presentations and webinars, creating a greater impact with farmers during the transition process.

Regional Resource Centers are intended for regions of the country that have different climates and crops than in the Northeast. Current locations where significant groundwork and initial plans have been laid include: Boulder, Colorado, Memphis, Tennessee, eastern Michigan, and northern Montana.

Each center would be staffed with a scientist, technician and farmer or extension agent who could provide information and Rodale Institute research to interested farmers. Currently, Rodale Institute is looking to find partners who can provide them with land and office space to use, with the goal of opening centers by the end of 2016.

Recent reports show that the U.S. consumer demand for organic food and beverages has surpassed the domestic supply. Manufacturers are having difficulties finding enough farms to supply organic ingredients. Rodale Institute is determined to change that market scenario. The ultimate goal in establishing of Rodale Regional Resource Centers will be to successfully transition farmers organic and to provide needed resources for farmers who are already organic.

11 Responses to “Rodale Institute Looks to Expand”

  1. Lillian Chou

    I am interested in working with you to establish regional Rodale Institute.

    I have large tracts (hundreds to thousands of acres) farmland and office space available in Lubbock and Kauffman county Texas. If interested, please contact me.

    Reply
  2. Margie Cole

    When your “ship comes in” please consider a location serving north Florida/south Georgia. We feel like the neglected stepchild. (I am a small USDA certified organic grower.)
    Thank you for all you do.

    Reply
  3. Carmen Fernholz

    I would respectfully disagree with the domestic supply of organic grains not meeting consumer demand. Look at the statistics for organic grain imports. If we are to grow the domestic supply we will first need to utilize what is in fact being grown domestically.

    Reply
  4. Seth

    We are a large scale organic farm in Texas , we farm cotton milo, wheat, corn, soybean, black eye peas, and would like to expand into vegetables , we have around 3,000 that is certified organic by the state of Texas we would like to visit about working with y’all . Thanks Seth Fortenberry

    Reply
  5. Bob in NC

    Please consider bringing your mission to the Southeast. North Carolina farmers wanting to transition could seriously benefit from the knowledge you have to provide. The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) would be a terrific starting point for conversation

    Note to Carmen – No mention was made in the article about a shortage of organic grains. Your comments don’t make sense as stated

    Reply
  6. Nancy Parker

    agree w/ Ms. Cole – I was raised gardening organically by my father who farmed as a young man in Mt. Bethel – not far from u -over the years I subscribed to Organic Gardening Mag. and belonged to the book club and so had a lot of wonderful publications to further my knowledge – then I got into sheep and learned something from a type of “necessity is the mother of invention situation” – due to moves w/ ex, had given sheep to Heifer project and then found a place in NH suitable for sheep and had Heifer telling me that if I wanted them back, to do it soon because they couldn’t deal w/ the young ones getting “out” – so, in the winter I was stuck coming up w/ housing – designed and built my first portable unit in my basement – could take apart easily and set up outside easilty – then did more – what I learned was, rather than spending my time cleaning up manure and moving it to where I wanted to build soil, it would have been easier to just move the houses – well that is all the past
    I have gotten older now, don’t need much to take care of or do for that matter but, I am in Ocala Fl. – perhaps the only place I have ever seen an active Ag. program in a high school – I have tried in the past to get the Heifer project to put a farm here, to no avail – but, there are a lot of big tracts of land here and a lot of the “horse farms” are on the way to development, which is just what they don’t need w/water problems etc. – so, North Florida/S. Georgia sort of applies to Marion County – and their are a lot of gardeners here and an ag. center where they try to do a lot but the last time I was out there their raised beds didn’t look so good to me, but that is me – so,,,,,good luck.

    Reply
  7. Alfred from Europe

    I would like to offer a cooperation in Europe at my organic farm in Austria. I know, this was not your intention, when you offered to expand “Rodale Institute”, but maybe it could be a good idea to cooperate also on an international level. In Austria, 20% of agriculture is cultivated certified organic, we are intensively connected to Universities, research stations, and other “organic” stakeholders and are already cooperating with a lot of farm trials. We are at the moment in a process of expanding our farm with a research and training station. If Rodale Institute is interested in a cooperation, I would be glad to be contacted by someone responsible to offer more information.
    Thank you for your work (I used your knowhow for a great roller-crimper trials this year!), best wishes, Alfred!

    Reply
  8. Deston Denniston

    VETS_CAFE is a non profit partner to SW Washington land trusts, the Washington State VA, and regional economic development council and allies. We work with veterans to help them establish farm, forestry, conservation and ecological design careers. We would like to entertain a conversation with Rodale about how we may work together in service as you expand to our area of operations.

    Reply
  9. Becky Noffsinger

    Hello,

    Your expansion into regional centers is exciting news.

    I am in Michigan, where my family has dairy farmed in southeast Barry County for 150 years. Adjacent to the family’s conventional farm operated by my brother, my parents own 70 acres of combination woods, pasture, cropland, and creek. Some acreage is used by my brother, but 10 have been fallow for 30+ years, with a spring-fed pond in the center. My father and I have discussed ways to use the land sustainably but have yet to put our ideas into play.

    My goal is to use my Horticulture degree (MSU ’97) to help convert farmland from conventional to organic. In my wildest dreams, I would farm the 10 acres and slowly rehabilitate my family’s larger farm while helping new farmers get a start in a farm incubatiom program. If The Rodale Institute can use someone with my technical background, or likewise if you are interested in the farmland, I would be very interested in having a conversation with you.

    Kind Regards,
    Becky Noffsinger

    Reply
  10. Darren

    Ms. Parker and Ms. Cole. I am located in Tallahassee FL, we are currently working on a foundation for this. I will contact Rodale, and if you all would like to speak it would be great to have community backing.

    Thank you

    Reply

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