Organic Research

UNL Organic Research and Education Collaborators

Department of Agronomy and Horticulture

UNL Department of Entomology

Organic Research Resources

  • The CERES Trust provided research grants to organizations in 12 North Central U.S. states, including Nebraska, from 2009 to 2017.  Research categories included: soil health, public plant breeding, organic fruit and vegetable production, organic pest management, and organic livestock management. Research final reports are posted at In 2015 the Ceres Trust compiled a list of organic research by state.
  • USDA’s Clearinghouse for Alternative Farming Systems Information. The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, founded in 1985, was one of the first USDA programs to focus on sustainable and organic agriculture. The Center specializes in library services – locating, accessing, organizing and distributing information – and highlights links to recent and major publications of eOrganic, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, National Ag Library, NCAT/ATTRA, NRCS, and universities.  A specific list of key organic production resources can be found at, but other important organic resources are found on the crops, livestock, and natural resource management pages.
  • eOrganic is the organic agriculture community of practice with eXtension. The eOrganic website is a clearinghouse for articles, webinars, and videos, and provides the opportunity to “Ask an Expert” about commercial certified organic farming. eOrganic’s initial content focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production, but eOrganic members are now developing content on other farming systems and topics. All content is collaboratively authored and peer-reviewed by eOrganic’s community of University researchers and Extension personnel, other agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture. Find eOrganic's resources for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, rsearchers, and educators at
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service on Soil Health. This highly inclusive NRCS website about soil quality includes multiple references to organic farming and other practices related to soil fertility and pest management.
  • The high tunnels research and education program coordinated by Kansas State University provides a one-stop global web resource for high tunnel vegetable and fruit management. A special section is devoted to all aspects of organic high tunnel production covering construction and management of cover crops, nutrients, and pests. The website was started in 2002 as part of a USDA IFAFS grant project that was awarded to Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Development was also supported by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. The KSU High Tunnels Program is centered at the KSU Horticulture Research and Extension Center in Olathe, Kansas.

Regional Organic Research Resources
of Relevance to Nebraska

Model Organic Production and Research Farms

(Ordered by relevance to Nebraska)

  • Western Illinois (80-acre small grain and row-crop research farm—Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm)
  • Montana (7400-acre commercial grain farm with 7 main crops, apprenticeships and community partnerships—Vilicus Farms)
  • New Hampshire (150-acre Organic Dairy Research Farm) 
  • New York (30-acre vegetable research farm—Thompson Research Farm) 
  • Pennsylvania (333-acre diversified farm, education and outreach center—Rodale Institute)

Organic Education Archives

The Organic Movement Past and Present

Agroecosystems Analysis Reading List 2014

Book Publications – Our Sustainable Future

Links - Additional Organic Resources 

Science-Based Organic Farming 2010: Toward Local and Secure Food Systems

Multifunctional Rural Landscapes 

Authored by Twyla Hansen and Charles Frances, UNL Dept. Agronomy & Horticulture.
Economic, Environmental, Policy and Social Impacts of Land Use Changes in Nebraska.

The paper was featured in the Praire Fire Newspaper, May 2008.

Extension and Education Materials for Sustainable Agriculture Series

Extension and Education Materials for Sustainable Agriculture Series. Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Nebraska, 1993 - 2000. A series of volumes useful for traditional classroom instruction, extension meetings with producers, and in-service training of extension educators.
  • Volume 1: Extension Materials (from regional workshops) (1993)
  • Volume 2: Curricula in Sustainable Agriculture (1994)
  • Volume 3: Alternative Approaches to On-farm Research and Technology Exchange (based on national symposium) (1994)
  • Volume 4: Everyone a Teacher, Everyone a Learner (from train-the-trainer workshops) (1995)
  • Volume 5: Shared Leadership, Shared Responsibility (from train-the-trainer workshops) (1996)
  • Volume 6: Future Horizons: Recent Literature in Sustainable Agriculture(reviews more than 90 books on Sustainable Agriculture) (1996)
  • Volume 7: Linking People, Purpose and Place: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture (from the NCSATP Professional Development Program workshops of the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program) (1997)
  • Volume 8: Procedures for Evaluating Alternative Farming Systems: A Case Study for Eastern Nebraska (1998)
  • Volume 9: Facing a Watershed: Managing Profitable and Sustainable Landscapes in the 21 st Century (1998)
  • Volume 10: Small Farming Systems for the Midwest and Reintegrating Agriculture and Community in the Midwest (1999)
  • Volume 11: Urbanization of Rural Landscapes: Syllabus and Teaching Materials from a University Course (1999)
  • Volume 12: Urbanization of Rural Landscapes: Second Syllabus and Teaching Materials from a University Course (2000)
  • Volume 13: Action Education in Land Use Decisions: Student Views on Urbanization and Farmland Loss
  • Volume 14: Education in Agroecology: Reports and Publications from The Nova University Program
  • Volume 15: Adventures in Experiential Learning: Student Creativity in a Course on Urban Sprawl, 2004

Growing Crops Sustainably - Organic Grape Production by Tara Sood