skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Transitioning to Organics Made Easier for Texas Farmers

play audio
Play

Monday, July 10, 2023   

Texas farmers who want to transition some of their land from conventional crops to organics are getting help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bob Whitney, a Regents Fellow and extension organic program specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, works with the state's Transition to Organic Partnership Program. Whitney said California grows more organic fruits and vegetables, but Texas is making inroads.

"We're number one in organic dairy production, we're number one in organic peanut production, number one in cotton production," Whitney outlined. "The last couple years, we've been number one in organic rice production."

Before crops can be certified organic, farmers must manage their land without using synthetic pesticides for 36 months. So far, Texas has issued 383 organic certificates to farmers. Overall, estimates show Texas in sixth place among the states for organic ag acres.

A report by Statista said global sales of organic food increased from $18 billion in 2000 to $131 billion in 2021.

Supermarket produce labeled organic has been strictly defined by the federal government since 2002, and Whitney noted shoppers pay attention.

"I'll just tell you these other labels that are on foods are not very well trusted, according to research," Whitney observed. "Organic still has a very high trust with the consumer."

He added participants chosen for the program will learn organic practices, business development, marketing and more, from farmers who have already been successful.

"These farmers that we will work with will be paid a mentorship fee," Whitney explained. "They will help these transition farmers with questions, with how-tos; a little bit of pep talking when they need it."

Whitney has found once farmers commit to organics, they don't look back.

"I can tell you that I do not lose organic producers," Whitney asserted. "As I've heard many of them say, 'You know what, I've got kids, and I'd rather know that they're not out there in the middle of something that's been sprayed.'"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has committed $100 million to the Organic Transition Initiative.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The Mecca Hills, southeast of the Coachella Valley, are part of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. (Bureau of Land Management)

Social Issues

play sound

California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …


Environment

play sound

A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…

Social Issues

play sound

By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …


An analysis of government data by the health policy group KFF estimates that nearly one in 10 adults, or roughly 23 million people nationwide, owe significant medical debt. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …

Social Issues

play sound

Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…

The Rein in Response Kickoff event will take place at 44 E. 130 N in La Verkin. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …

Social Issues

play sound

Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021