CALS researchers recognized at “Organic Oscars”

On March 15, the organic community gathered at the Natural Products Expo West trade show to honor the best of organic sector. Hosted by The Organic Center and Organic Voices, “An Organic Night Out” showcased honorees in eight categories – all nominated and chosen by their peers.

A team from UW–Madison, along with collaborators from Organic Valley, were recognized with the “Most Impactful Research Finding Award.” UW researchers include Horacio Aguirre-Villegas, scientist, and Becky Larson, professor, both from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Erin Silva, professor of plant pathology and Michel Wattiaux, professor of animal and dairy sciences.

This award recognizes the organic research result or finding that most excites and motivates consumers, retailers, food service and restaurateurs to choose organic. It was presented to a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin/Madison and Organic Valley/CROPP for showing small organic dairy farms, which focus on grazing and organic production techniques, create 24 percent lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than conventional dairy systems.  

“The role of organic agriculture is fundamental to achieve a more sustainable economy. Our study quantifies the carbon footprint, among other environmental impacts, of organic dairy farms in the U.S. and identifies opportunities to mitigate these impacts,” said project lead Aguirre-Villegas. “The results from this research can inform sustainable agriculture goals, and we hope that it sets the basis to continue working with the industry in supporting the adoption of sustainable management practices.” 

Read more about the event from The Organic Center.