California Organic Agriculture Institute Conducting Statewide Assessment of Organic Ag Needs

In its first major public initiative, the Organic Agriculture Institute—a program of University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources—is conducting a statewide needs assessment for organic agriculture, as well as forming a knowledge-sharing network that connects UC experts with growers, processors, producer organizations, certifiers, crop consultants, community groups, and state agencies. This California Organic Agriculture Knowledge Network, or Cal OAK Network, builds upon the productive partnerships and knowledge systems established by organic growers and other stakeholders over many decades. The Institute recently received a planning grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct a formal needs assessment through summer 2022. In surveying growers and other stakeholders, the Institute seeks to identify their primary research and extension priorities, as well as gain a better understanding of the key people and organizations they currently rely on for information about organic production.