Rodale Institute is turning 75! Help us celebrate the rich history of organic agriculture and the future of the regenerative organic movement this fall by joining in our “Why Organic” social media campaign.

We’re asking farmers, consumers, activists, environmentalists, and organic fans everywhere to join us on social media October 3-7 to celebrate the past, present, and future of organic agriculture. Share why you’re passionate about regenerative organic farming and participate in our “Why Organic” campaign by following these simple steps below.

How to Participate

Step #1

Record a short video of yourself sharing why you believe in organic agriculture.

Step #2

Post your video on any social media platform on our anniversary week, October 3-7, using the hashtag #MyWhyOrganic.

Step #3

Make sure to tag @rodaleinstitute and nominate a friend you want to participate!

Questions to Consider:

Why is organic agriculture important to you? Why do you farm organically? Why do you buy organic products? Where do you want to see this movement go in the future?

Share your thoughts with the hashtag #MyWhyOrganic.

Our Why Organic

Hear from our Rodale Institute Farmer Training (RIFT) interns on why they believe in organic agriculture.

 

Learn more about the importance of organic agriculture on our website:

Why Organic Matters

The Past 75 Years

In 1947, J.I. Rodale founded the Soil and Health Foundation, later to be renamed Rodale Institute. From the very beginning, he knew that farming practices focused on cultivating healthy soil would lead to healthier foods, and ultimately, healthier people too.

In those early days, J.I. Rodale’s family farm in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was the site of the Institute’s first organic research trials and demonstration projects. In the 1970’s, Rodale Institute moved to its current site in Kutztown, Pennsylvania which is now home to renowned research projects such as the Farming Systems Trial and the Vegetable Systems Trial, as well as our farmer training programs.

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  • 1942

    1942

    1942

    September 21, 1942
    J.I. Rodale working at his desk in the 40s

    J.I. Rodale begins publishing Organic Farming and Gardening magazine in Emmaus, PA, distributed to more than 12,000 subscribers. J.I. Rodale is considered the pioneer of modern organic agriculture.

  • 1947

    1947

    1947

    September 21, 1947

    Rodale establishes the nonprofit Soil and Health Foundation (precursor to Rodale Institute).

  • 1962

    1962

    1962

    September 21, 1962
    book cover for Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

    Silent Spring, a best-selling book by science writer Rachel Carson, documenting the destructive impact of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers is published.

  • 1971

    1971

    1971

    September 21, 1971
    aerial view of New Farm in the 40s

    Rodale purchases the 305-acre (now 333-acre) Siegfried Family Farm in Maxatawny, PA, and calls it the New Farm. The property was later named Rodale Research Center and then Rodale Institute.

  • 1972

    1972

    1972

    September 21, 1972

    The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is formed during an international congress on organic agriculture organized by the French farmer organization Nature et Progrés.

  • 1973

    1973

    1973

    September 21, 1973

    The first third-party organic certifier, California Certified Organic Farmers, is founded.

  • 1978

    1978

    1978

    September 21, 1978

    First issue of New Farm magazine. Organic Farming and Gardening magazine becomes Organic Gardening.

  • 1981

    1981

    1981

    September 21, 1981
    side-by-side comparison of conventional vs organic corn crops

    First year of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, now the longest running side-by-side comparison of organic versus conventional agriculture, begins right here in Pennsylvania.

  • 1990

    1990

    1990

    September 21, 1990
    Group of 6 Congressman signing the Farm Bill of 1990

    The Organic Foods Production Act is passed by Congress as part of the Farm Bill.

    It called for the establishment of national standards governing the marketing of organic products.

  • 2000

    2000

    2000

    September 21, 2000
    woman holding a flat of small organic potato plants

    After 10 years of debate, the final National Organic Standards rule is published in the Federal Register, establishing standards for organic certification in the United States.

  • 2008

    2008

    2008

    September 21, 2008

    The U.S. Farm Bill allocates $78 million for organic agriculture research and education.

  • 2015

    2015

    2015

    September 9, 2015

    The Vegetable Systems Trial is created to track the degradation of soil and its impact on human health by comparing the nutrient density of organic and conventional produce.

  • 2015

    2015

    2015

    September 21, 2015
    Farmer feeding his free-range chickens next to a portable barn

    U.S. organic sales top $43 billion, and more than 22,000 certified organic businesses operate in the United States. Pennsylvania has 85,164 acres of organic farmland. PA has the largest growth in organic sales of any state in the nation from 2011 to 2015.

  • 2018

    2018

    2018

    September 4, 2018

    Rodale partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to launch an Organic Consulting service to provide support to farmers transitioning from conventional to organic. This program is the first in the nation, and Rodale Institute has expanded it to offer services to farmers across the country.

  • 2020

    2020

    2020

    September 1, 2020
    2020

    The first Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) products hit the market. ROC certification goes beyond USDA organic, ensuring customers their purchase supports farms dedicated to reducing synthetic fertilizers, improving soil health, animal welfare, and worker fairness.

Read More About Our Story

Questions About the Campaign?

If you have any questions about the campaign and how you can participate, contact David.Pryor@RodaleInstitute.org.

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