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