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Program Overview

The purpose of the University of Tennessee Organic and Sustainable Crop Production Program is to involve more Tennessee farmers in organic production in order to increase farm income and to provide an alternative to keep the family farm in the family. Organic production has the potential to increase profits by reducing the use of off-farm inputs and providing consumers with locally-grown, high-quality organic products in a rapidly growing market where the demand is greater than the supply.

Our mission is to lead, inspire, discover and advance organic and sustainable production locally and globally.

News & Announcements:

NEW! Check out these items for info on our program and other news about organic farming:

USDA reports that certified organic operations are up 12%. Read more here

Currently no biodegradable films meet the NOP criteria. The NOSB will be meeting April 2016 - submit your comments (deadline is 14 April 11:59 pm) asking the NOP to keep the rule as is or to change the rule so that currently available biodegradable mulch films are allowed. You can make public comments online about mulch film via this link - the comment button is in the top right of the webpage.

Transitioning to Organic Production Webinar produced by USDA and Oregon Tilth. April 5, 2016 at 3:00pm/Eastern

To learn how cover crops can support a thriving community of pollinators and beneficial insects—which in turn can improve crop quality and yield—check out SARE’s new 16-page publication, Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects.

Need help deciding which microbial-based products to use? Check out this database designed to help you from Ohio State University.

Congratulations to Dr. David Butler and UTIA/University of KY team on their new USDA grant to study organic forage production for dairy herds. Click here to read more.

Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) is seeking growers interested in implementing sustainable ag techniques on farm. Apply for grant by Nov. 13, 2015.

Great new info on Beneficial Insects on the National Pesticide Information Center's website.

"Weeds Your Way" - Organic farmers share secrets of herbicide-free farming and Organic seed production offers profit potential. Click here to read these stories and other news from the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Grow More, Give More was featured in the Knoxville Mercury newspaper.Click here to read the full article. New crop production guide aimed at helping farmers tap growing organic markets. Click here to read the full article.

Grafting research could rescue state’s watermelon crop. Click here to read the full article.

Organic Farming Found to Support Diversity of Beneficial Insects. Click here to read the full article.

Organic Farming Boom Stretches Certification System. Click here to read the full article.

Organic Goodness from a Southern Family Farm. Click here to read the full article.

USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill. Click here to read the full article.

The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) has launched Organic Seed Finder, a free online tool for those looking to source certified organic seed. Click here for more information.

Searchable Database of Certified Organic Operations is Now Available. Click here to check it out.

To view more News and Announcements, Click Here.

Become a fan of the Organic Crop Production Unit on Facebook, and get updates on events and news!


And follow us on Twitter!

Upcoming Events:

April 28th 2016, Organic Crops Field Tour. Pre-registration available online now until April 22. Enjoy walking tours, a farm equipment display, and industry and educational exhibits.
Keynote by Dr. Randy Wykoff, ETSU Dean of Public Health. Pre-registration $10.00/person. On-site registration $15.00/person.

Interested in learning more about grazing and organic dairying?, March 24, 2016

Upcoming Webinars on eOrganic, Jan. 14 - April 7, 2016: Connections between Biodiversity and Livestock Well-Being, Wild Bee Monitoring, Organic Dairy Production, Organic Strawberry/Vegetable Rotations, and more!




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Program Contacts

Annette Wszelaki
Commercial Vegetable Specialist Associate Professor
Dept. of Plant Sciences
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
252 Ellington Plant Sciences Bldg.
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-8332
Fax: (865) 974-1947

David Butler
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Plant Sciences
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
252 Ellington Plant Sciences Bldg.
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-7165
Fax: (865) 974-1947

Organic Agriculture Educational Opportunites at UT


Undergraduate Degree with Organic Production Concentration


Graduate Degrees in Organic Production

Find Your Local Expert

For specific questions related to organics in your county, please contact your county extension office. Click here for a directory.

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