Released December 16, 2008
WOOSTER, Ohio — Transitioning to organic farming? Already switched, but needing to update your farm plan? Get step-by-step help in the Organic Whole Farm Planning Workbook (8.5 by 11 in., 108 pp., coil-bound), just released by Ohio State University’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) Program.
The new book serves as a companion volume to OFFER’s A Transition Guide to Certified Organic Crop Management (8.5 by 11 in., 74 pp., paperback), which came out earlier this year.
Deb Stinner, an OFFER scientist and the program’s administrative coordinator, said the workbook further supports the transition process by guiding the user through developing a holistic transition plan and producing a completed organic farm plan as required by certifying agencies.
“Evaluating Your Current Farm Operation” (history, mapping, climate, soil), “Defining Your Goal” (based on Alan Savory’s “Holistic Management” approach), “Writing Your Transition Plan” and “Pulling It All Together” (the importance of integration, monitoring and record-keeping) are the book’s four chapters.
There are questions to answer, conditions to describe, factors to rate and records to start keeping — all with plenty of space provided to do it — plus sample certification forms, neighbor notification letters and more.
The author is Margaret Frericks Huelsman, who also wrote the Transition Guide. She formerly was program manager of Ohio State’s Integrated Pest Management Program and holds a doctorate in environmental science from Ohio State.
“The workbook is designed to be user-friendly,” Stinner said. “It’s coil-bound so it’s easy to write in. There’s an extensive list of resources at the end.
“(The workbook is) targeted at transitional farmers,” she noted. “But it can also be a valuable tool for existing organic farmers who are considering adding a new enterprise to their operation or who need to submit an updated farm plan.”
Order Organic Whole Farm Planning Workbook, $20, and Transition Guide to Certified Organic Crop Management, $15, from OFFER, 201 Thorne Hall, OSU/OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Make checks payable to OSU/OFFER.
For more information, call (330) 202-3528.
Both books are printed on sturdy, high-quality recycled paper with soy inks.
Funding support to produce both books came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cooperative State, Research, Education, and Extension Service.
USDA, through its National Organic Program, requires organic farmers and food handlers to meet a uniform organic standard. The program makes certification mandatory for operations with organic sales over $5,000.
OFFER, established in 1998 at Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, provides educational and scientific support for organic agriculture to the people of Ohio.
OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Contacts: Kathy Bielek, 330-202-3528, email@example.com
Kurt Knebusch, 330-263-3776, firstname.lastname@example.org