The University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Team wants to help you be successful in whatever growing practices you choose. This entire section is dedicated specifically to growing organic foods. As this method of growing becomes more mainstream, we've created a one-stop resource for potential organic growers to easily find everything they need to understand organics, including various certifications, history, fruit and vegetable production, as well as a comprehensive list of outside organizations and resources.
What is Organic?
- USDA Organics - One-Stop-Shop: A centralized web resource center at USDA.gov for programs, services, and data that support organic agriculture.
- USDA Organic Literacy Initiative: Connects current and prospective organic farmers, ranchers, and processors with USDA resources.
- Upper Midwest Organic Resource Directory: Information about certification agencies, suppliers, buyers, processors, consultants, publications and events in seven states: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
- USDA National Agricultural Library - Organics: Topics covered include organic production, organic food, and information access tools.
What's the History of Organic Farming?
- A Forty Year Collection of Organic History Documents: An ongoing effort in Wisconsin to document the history of the organic and sustainable agriculture movement in the U.S.
- Histories Leaders in Alternative and Sustainable Agriculture: Oral History Interview Series: A list of oral history interviews (some available online) with people who have provided leadership and inspiration in the field of alternative or sustainable agriculture. IFOAM also highlights Pioneers of the Organic Movement.
- Organic Roots Digital Collection: Search Organic Roots, an electronic collection of historic USDA publications related to organic agriculture. Contains almost 800 documents published before 1942 (before synthetic chemicals became widely used) that contain data that are still very pertinent for today's agriculture.
- Tracing the Evolution of Organic/Sustainable Agriculture: Discover the philosophical and scientific roots of sustainable, regenerative agriculture through readings dating from the 1500s in the selected and annotated bibliography.
- Twenty Years of Sustainable Agriculture: Presentation by Dr. John Ikerd at the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Tenth Anniversary Celebration, Burlington, VT. January 23, 2004.