Aug 16, 2011

Organic farming careers take off as more than a quarter milllion organic farmers sue Monsanto

More colleges offering organic, sustainability agriculture programs as consumer interest grows of others are doing the same at dozens of universities that now offer courses, certificates or degree programs focused on organic and sustainable agriculture. Experts said those graduates shouldn’t have trouble finding jobs as the agriculture industry replaces aging farmers — the average age of a U.S. farmer is 57 — and farmers increasingly look to diversify their operations.

“We’re always looking at the university for our future ag workers,” said Roger Pepperl, spokesman for Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers, the nation’s largest organic tree fruit producer.

Thirty percent of Stemilt’s crops are organic, comprising 3 million boxes of apples, pears, cherries, peaches and nectarines annually.

Experts said the growth in alternative agriculture programs is fueled by continued consumer demand for food seen as healthier and rising demand for food that is produced on sustainable farms that are environmentally responsible and treat workers and animals humanely. - Read more at WashingtonPost

While more than 270,000 organic farmers are taking on corporate agriculture giant Monsanto in a lawsuit .
Led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, the family farmers are fighting for the right to keep a portion of the world food supply organic—and preemptively protecting themselves from accusations of stealing genetically modified seeds that drift on to their pristine crop fields.