Two men standing together in the middle of a wheat field, both looking down at the laptop computer in the hands of the man on the right

Iowa State University Organic Agriculture Program (ISU OAP)

Generating Soil Health Solutions

Program Contact

Dr. LaKisha Odom

Year Awarded   2022

Total award amount   $50,000

Location   Ames, IA 

Matching Funders   The Organic Center

To Advance Organic Agriculture, Training and Technical Support is Needed

The $350,000 Organic Training for Agricultural Professionals Prize recognizes extraordinary contributions to training farmers, agriculture professionals and community organizations in organic production. In selecting the 2022 prize winners, The Organic Center and FFAR prioritized farmer-led projects with the potential for expansion and multi-regional impact. Organizations were also selected based on their project’s ability to increase diversity, equity and inclusion among participants and on the extent to which they included measurable, in-person and online knowledge exchange between farmers and organic agriculture professionals. Applicants were required to match the award amounts.

Why this research is important

Organic farming is poised to be part of the climate change solution; organic farmers do not rely on fossil-fuel intensive synthetic inputs to manage pests or increase soil fertility and use farming techniques that sequester carbon in the soil. However, more work is needed to understand specific strategies organic growers can adopt to mitigate climate change, while managing the negative effects climate change is having on their farms through drought, flooding, invasive pests and extreme weather events.

Transitioning to organic farming can be confusing, costly and labor-intensive. This partnership with The Organic Center provides a much-needed opportunity for agriculture professionals to educate more farmers about organic farming best practices so we can sustainably meet consumers’ growing demand for organic products and support thriving farms. LaKisha Odom, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Director Soil Health

Details About this Research

Expanding Organic Production Education

Iowa State University Organic Agriculture Program (ISU OAP) has a 25-year history of training farming community groups, farmer leaders and agricultural professionals in organic agronomic practices, certification and farm management. With support from this prize, ISU OAP is expanding its organic production education through train-the-trainer and organic certification workshops, videos and podcasts, and carbon sequestration webinars and field days.

Novel, Innovative Programs Offered

  1. “Train the Trainers in Organic Production and Rules” full-day training
  2. “Latest Innovations in Organic Ag Technologies” video and podcast
  3. “Navigating Organic Certification” Intensive Workshop at the Iowa Organic Conference
  4. “Enhancing Carbon Sequestration on Organic Farms” Webinar and Field Day

How This Research Contributes to Our Mission

This research develops and deploys the latest technology and knowledge to help farmers build and maintain healthy, productive soil and to protect farmers’ livelihoods and the environment, while increasing productivity.

Matching Funders

The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental impacts of organic food and farming and to communicate the findings to the public. The Center is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.

Connect: @OrganicCenter

TOC logo

The Latest


As an inclusive organization, we host Insights from thought leaders across for food and agriculture community on DEI. Learn more about their unique experiences and perspectives.

See all Insights


The latest news and updates from FFAR.

See all News


Tools, technologies and strategies from the research we fund.

See all Breakthroughs

Want to do more to support our pioneering research?

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.