Organic farming roundtable series offered this spring

Organic farming roundtable series offered this spring Friday, December 23, 2016

Organic food in U.S. markets brings in over $40 billion each year.
Organic food in U.S. markets brings in over $40 billion each year.

Organic farming and food represent one of the major changes in the food industry over the past two decades. Why is organic food so popular, and how are farmers responding to this new demand? These are topics to be discussed in a roundtable series to be held Monday evenings on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s East Campus.

The public is invited to attend and participate in this 14-week series, led by Chuck Francis, professor of agronomy and horticulture. The series runs Jan. 9 to April 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Goodding Learning Center, 280 Plant Sciences Hall.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and learn about the growing organic food industry, its popularity in farmers’ markets and supermarkets, the cost of organic foods, the difference in quality from conventionally produced items, food safety and the future of organic foods in our diets.

According to Francis, organic food in U.S. markets brings in over $40 billion each year.

“The emergence of organic systems has been stimulated by consumer concerns about the effects of pesticides in foods, as well as the impacts of these chemical products on environmental quality,” Francis said. “There is a rich history of organic food production before the introduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Recently the organic production system has been formalized with official certification based on rules approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Francis feels growers, consumers and educators will benefit from a roundtable discussion format about the topics relevant to the food they eat, produce, sell and consume. The cost is $50 per person for educational materials.

Go to http://go.unl.edu/organicfarming to register for the series.

For more information, email Chuck Francis at cfrancis2@unl.edu or call at 402-472-1581.

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