About the Organic Agriculture Program

The goal of the Oregon State University Organic Agriculture Program is to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of organic farms through integrated research, extension and education programs. Organic agriculture production is defined as "A production system that...respond(s) to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." (USDA National Organic Program Regulations) Consumer interest in and demand for organic foods is increasing. U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009 (Organic Trade Association). In Oregon, 657 certified or exempt organic farms generate more than $155.6 million in organic products from approximately 105,605 acres (Organic Production Survey 2008, USDA NASS). Oregon's strong agricultural infrastructure and unique climate make Oregon's agriculture uniquely positioned to grow dramatically in its market share of agricultural products including specialty seed, processed and fresh market tree fruits, vegetables and berry crops, grains, dairy, and meat.