The number of states with certified organic research acres has nearly doubled to 37 in 2011 from only 18 in 2003 while the number of organic academic programs has increased to eight from zero during the same period.
Those are just some of the findings of an updated inventory of land-grant university organic activies conducted by the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Organic Farming Research Foundation, according to a news release.
In addition, the inventory found that the number of student organic farms quadrupled to 36 from nine during the same time period.
But the number of states offering organic Extension resources increased only marginally to 45 from 42.
In 2001 and 2003, the foundation conducted its first inventories of organic activity within the land-grant system.
At the time, it used only certified organic research acres as the primary indicator.
The most recent inventory uses an eight-point system that examines organic research, Extension and education to yield a single score.
Six campuses received perfect scores: Colorado State University, Fort Collins; University of Minnesota, St. Paul; University of Florida, Gainesville; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Michigan State University, East Lansing; and Washington State University, Pullman.
The organic industry has grown to $28.6 billion in sales in 2010 from $7.4 billion in sales in 2001.
As a result, the foundation said it expects the land-grant system to keep pace with the growth of the organic sector, according to the release.
To view the complete inventory report, visit http://ofrf.org.