The Farmers’ Organic Research Club (FORC) provides producers and others with the opportunity to undertake their own farm trials, collaborate with fellow farmers and growers and to engage directly in the organic research programme of ORC.
The club provides producers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to set up meaningful trials, tackling your immediate problems and helping to understand what the results mean in practice. Producers can collaborate with ORC on bids for new projects and support can be provided to individual or groups of producers who wish to collaborate on a common problem. Active commitment and input from farmers and ORC team are the key-ingredients of this network.
How does it work?
Participatory Research is done in two main ways at ORC: through national and international research projects and through the Farmers’ Organic Research Club.
- A major part of ORC activity consists in applying for and taking part in funded national and international research projects. Whenever it is possible, ORC gives UK farmers the opportunity to take part in these projects, such as: Optimising Subsidiary Crop Application in Rotations (OSCAR), plant breeding (SOLIBAM, COBRA and WHEALBI), sustainable organic and low-input dairying (SOLID), reduced tillage (TILMAN), alternative approaches to feeding pigs and poultry (ICOPP) and novel production systems such as agroforestry (AgForward);
- Farmers’ Organic Research Club (FORC) aims to involve farmers and growers throughout the process of identifying research priorities, setting up projects, and undertaking the trials work on their own farms and discussing the results.
Participatory research at ORC has achieved very relevant results for producers in the last few years, for example in reducing antibiotic use in dairy farms (SOLID), breeding wheat varieties (Wheat breeding LINK), composting woodchip for propagation (Field Lab), and designing ley mixtures (LegLINK). These have all brought real benefits to producers, which is the ultimate measure of a successful research project.
Become part of FORC and develop your business!
The benefits to network participants include:
- Having a say on organic research priorities to ensure that they are relevant and focused on your real needs;
- Participating in topic-related active sub-groups to share problems, priorities, ideas, information, knowledge, and experience with colleagues and ORC staff on particular technical issues –including through e-discussion groups (Wiggio network);
- Support to co-organise on-farm research projects (design, funding, dissemination);
- The ORC printed Bulletin (normal price £25) and e-Bulletin ;
- The Organic Farm Management Handbook (normal price £20);
- Priority access to research reports, digests, and technical guides that will help you to develop better farming systems;
- Free or reduced-rate access to ORC events and conferences.
If you are interested, you can register by making your payment on-line now, or e-mail us for further information.
It is also possible to support ORC’s research with a donation. See our Support us page for more information.
|Project title (acronym)||Funder||Description|
|Innovative Farmers||The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation||Innovative Farmers is a not-for-profit network that gives farmers research support and funding on their own terms.|
|Duchy Future Farming Programme (DFF)||The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation||The Duchy Future Farming programme supports innovation in sustainable agriculture. The programme will help British farmers identify and adopt practices that improve their productivity in an environmentally responsible way.|