Organic Produce Farms Needed for Research Project

The University of Minnesota is seeking organic produce farms in Minnesota, northern Iowa, eastern North & South Dakota, and western Wisconsin to participate in a research project (.pdf) funded by the USDA's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. The aim of this multiregional study is to provide organic farmers with science-based, effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using valuable raw manure soil amendments.

Who are we looking for?

  • Certified organic farms in Minnesota, northern Iowa, eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, and western Wisconsin
  • Fertilize with raw or untreated manure (not compost)
  • Produce any of the following: leafy greens (e.g., lettuce, spinach), root vegetables (e.g., carrots, radish), or fruits (e.g., tomatoes, cantaloupe or melons)

What does participating in the study involve?

Researchers of the University of Minnesota will visit your farm 8 times over the growing season to collect water, soil, manure, and produce samples. All samples will be tested for bacterial indicators. Manure and soil will additionally be cultured for food-borne pathogens. Farmers will be asked to complete a short survey about farm management practices.

What are the benefits of participating?

All participating farms will receive:

  • the test results for their farm as well as a summary report of the entire study.
  • farm-specific feedback to help minimize contamination risk of fresh produce.
  • an incentive $800 upon completion of the study
The study is voluntary and all locations and names will be kept confidential.

For more information or to enroll

Please contact Dr. Paulo Pagliari, Assistant Professor, Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC). Phone: 507-752-7372 Email: pagli005@umn.edu