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US NewFarm.org announces new, free features to help farmers succeed

In the bold quest to increase U.S. certified organic farming by more than 800% in the next ten years, The Rodale Institute® has expanded their portal website, www.NewFarm.org, providing farmers with free, A-Z news, research and market data on organic and sustainable agriculture.

Organics is one of the fastest growing food trends today. The Organic Trade Association, based in Greenfield, Mass, reports that the market for organic food and products is more than $11 billion in annual sales, and growing an estimated 20-30% per year.

Despite this trend, farmers expanding into the organic field have been impeded by inadequate access to crucial research, market data and timely news.

Providing a virtual one-stop on-line resource, NewFarm.org has emerged as the organic industry's champion, with new features including:

· Grass Roots OPX? - NewFarm.org made national headlines when it demonstrated the new Organic Price Index? (OPX?), the first and only free service offering farmers critical and timely market pricing data. The OPX? compares organic and conventional prices for over 40 products, using prices gathered from terminal markets and organic wholesalers in Seattle and Boston. The new Grass Roots OPX? expands this index by providing farmers with informal weekly updates on consumer-direct pricing from producer-only farmer's markets around the country. Farmers who sell via farmers markets, roadside stands, CSAs and other direct-to-consumer channels will now be able to assess the real-world value of their products in the consumer market.

· Farm Locator -Helps wholesale and retail customers find producers in their region; connects farmers with restaurants, CSA outlets, farmer's markets, and retail stores. Users can search for farms using a variety of criteria including products type (fruit, vegetable, poultry, etc.), state, county, or marketing method.

· Partnership Program - The timely sharing and dispersal of relevant information is key to The New Farm's® mission and success. In order to reach as broad a market as possible, The New Farm® has made available their archive of articles and information. Like-minded organizations and publications are encouraged to make use of The New Farm's resource center through reprints, redistribution or web links. This service is available free of charge. Articles are currently available by request at: newfarm@strauscom.com

This round of NewFarm.org updates follows Anthony Rodale's ambitious call to action for the world's farmers. Addressing leaders of the US organic industry on June 13th, 2003, Rodale called for 100,000 farmers, about 5% of America's remaining 2 million farmers, to transition to Certified Organic by 2013. Currently, 8,000 farmers are certified organic (just over ½ of one percent of all US farmers), according to Rodale.

In addition to these features, NewFarm continues to offer:

· Organic Price Index? (OPX?) - the first and only free service offering farmers critical and timely market pricing data.

· News and Research - Scientific reports, and news related to the economics, politics, social issues and environmental impact of agriculture.

· New Farm International - first-person accounts from around the world, including Cuba, Guatemala, India, Japan, Kenya, Laos, New Zealand, Thailand, and Switzerland.

About The NewFarm®

A project of The Rodale Institute®, www.NewFarm.org reaches a global community of food producers to exchange valuable "farmer-to-farmer know-how." This comprehensive website has become an invaluable resource for the organic community, offering the widespread support and access to information necessary to help achieve the Rodale Institute's® goal of having 100,000 farmers transition to Certified Organic by 2013.

Michael@StrausCom.com. Also, visit www.newfarm.org.




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