Public Release: 

Conference brings international organic agriculture leaders together

American Society of Agronomy

Oct. 1, 2014--Organic agriculture is growing rapidly in adoption by producers and consumers. However, it is not widely understood in terms of its potential for contributing to food security, economic development, and environmental health. To address this knowledge gap, "Innovations in Organic Food Systems for Sustainable Production & Enhanced Ecosystem Services," a two-day conference, will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2, 2014, in Long Beach, CA. The conference is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America together with the Co-operative Research Program on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD).

This workshop will bring together leaders in organic agricultural systems from around the world to assess the current state of knowledge about innovations that enhance both sustainable food production and ecosystem services. Eighteen scientists from 12 countries will present the latest findings from studies of organic systems, and participants will discuss the implications for both practice and policy.

"We felt it was important to organize this workshop to synthesize, across international boundaries, our current state of knowledge about how organic agriculture and food systems can best contribute to society goals of sustainable food production and enhanced ecosystem services," says conference coordinator Ellen Mallory. "The workshop is structured expressly to generate discussion among participants, to identify research, extension, and policy needs, and to foster future partnerships."

Mallory, an associate professor at University of Maine, is coordinating the workshop along with Patrick Carr (North Dakota State University) and Kathleen Delate (Iowa State University) representing ASA; Mathieu Ngouajio of USDA-NIFA; and Lise Andreasen of ICROFS, Denmark.

Other program sponsors are the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS).

For more information about the Grand Challenges, Great Solutions meeting sponsored by American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 20, 2014, is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom for registration information.

To speak with Dr. Mallory, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.

Contact: Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org. Please RSVP by October 20, 2014

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