Interagency group aims to help farmers in organics

FILE - In this July 9, 2009 file photo three combines harvest the winter wheat on the Cooksey farm near Roggen, Colo. Farm-state lawmakers are pushing for final passage of the massive, five-year farm bill as it heads to the House floor Wednesday — member by member, vote by vote. There are goodies scattered through the bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher cotton and rice subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
FILE - In this July 9, 2009 file photo three combines harvest the winter wheat on the Cooksey farm near Roggen, Colo. Farm-state lawmakers are pushing for final passage of the massive, five-year farm bill as it heads to the House floor Wednesday — member by member, vote by vote. There are goodies scattered through the bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher cotton and rice subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — An interagency team of agriculture officials have received training to help Indiana farmers interested in alternative agriculture and to provide resources to integrate best organic practices into more conventional farming systems.

The 19-member team from Purdue University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Indiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts were trained in May at Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that promotes and researches organic farming methods.

Team members plan to provide education and training for new farmers and also large-scale production farmers interested in diversifying their operations, such as by growing fruits, vegetables and specialty grains.

They plan to build an inventory of Indiana resources, such as people, websites, available research plots and equipment and publications, to help farmers interested in sustainable alternative farming methods.

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