Why Organic Practices Matter

OAK is dedicated to advancing organic regenerative agriculture in Kentucky and promoting organic farming practices to grow healthier communities.

Organic practices build ecological resilience

When farmers implement organic practices like cover cropping, crop rotation, and reduced tillage they increase soil organic matter and improve soil health. Healthier soils have a more intact soil structure that allow them to better absorb water during heavy rain events and retain water during drought.

Healthy soils are also full of life and contain a robust network of microbes, fungi, and other creatures that make nutrients more bioavailable for crops so they can withstand pest and disease pressure throughout the season.

Organic farmers also prioritize biodiversity and use practices like pollinator strips, hedgerows, and integrated pest management to promote all life on the farm. On average, organic farms support 34% more plant, insect & animal species and 50% higher pollinator species diversity.

Organic agriculture has the potential to be a carbon sink and an important piece of climate mitigation in the future by working to store more carbon underground using sustainable pasture management and minimal soil disturbance for crop production, and less resource-intensive inputs.

Organic practices build economic viability

There is a growing and stable market for organic products that allow farms to earn more with the same acreage in production. There has also been research that shows counties that have high levels of organic agriculture near others called “organic hotspots” are more likely to have higher median household incomes and lower poverty rates.

Organic practices improve human health

Foods are grown in healthy soils where more nutrients are available to crops and to the consumers that eat them. Organic foods are also always non-GMO and produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which reduce consumers and farmers exposure to pesticide residues.

OAK's programs promote organic practices

Our programs help farmers find the tools, practices, farming and customer community needed to help their farms thrive with these organic practices.

OAK's Organic Specialists also assist farmers interested in pursuing organic certification, helping them with everything from navigating federal regulations and record keeping to guiding them through fertility management plans and marketing opportunities. We've worked one-on-one with 157 farmers managing over 9,500 acres now using organic practices. Learn more about why organic here.

Donate to OAK today and join us to grow thriving food futures for Kentucky!

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