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President’s Note: Kerr Center to Work on USDA Organic Grant

President’s Note: Kerr Center to Work on USDA Organic Grant

The Kerr Center will be working with researchers from the University of Missouri on a new USDA grant aimed at identifying challenges to organic agriculture in the region.

Mary Hendrickson, associate professor of rural sociology in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), and Kerry Clark (pictured), director of CAFNR International Programs and assistant research professor of rural sociology in CAFNR, received one of twelve grants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Organic Transitions Program (ORG).

The project, funded for more than $420,000, is titled “Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Adoption of Organic Agriculture in the Mid-South.” Its specific objectives include identifying region-specific economic, social and biophysical barriers to USDA certified organic adoption in the Mid-South, a region including parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee.

“The goal of this research is to identify adoption challenges specific to the Mid-South, and to offer insights about specific policy supports, agricultural research, organic processing infrastructure development and market development needed in the region,” Hendrickson said.

“By identifying and better understanding these challenges, extension, university and governmental agencies will be better equipped to serve producers in the region.”

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