Organic Produce Farms Needed for Research Study

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University of California, Davis (UC Davis) researchers are looking for certified organic producers to participate in a multi-regional study to assess current management practices used by the organic industry related to adding raw or untreated manure to crop fields. The goal of our study is to provide organic farmers with science-based effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using valuable raw manure-based soil amendments.

UC Davis researchers will visit cooperating farms eight times over the 2017-2018 growing season. They will collect produce, water, soil, and manure samples. All samples will be tested for bacterial indicators such as nonpathogenic E. coli and pathogens. Farmers will be asked to complete a short survey. The study is voluntary and all cooperator locations and names will be kept confidential.

Who are we looking for?

Certified organic farms in California which

  1. fertilize with raw manure or untreated manure (dairy cattle, horse, or poultry), and
  2. 2. grow any of the following produce: o leafy greens (lettuce, spinach) o root vegetables (carrots, radishes) o fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers).

Benefits: Participating farms will receive all test results for their farm for free, a summary report of the overall study, farm-specific feedback to help minimize contamination of fresh produce, and an incentive of $700 upon completion of the two-year study.

For more information or to enroll, please contact Dr. Alda Pires (Urban Agriculture & Food Safety Specialist in Cooperative Extension) at (530) 754-9855 or, or Dr. Michele Jay-Russell (Research Microbiologist & Program Manager) at (530) 219-4628 or


This article was submitted by Dr. Jessica Shade from The Organic Center.