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Interagency group aims to help farmers in organics

– 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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