COEUR d'ALENE - A free community lecture on organic food and creating an "economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible approach to agriculture" is coming up at Pilgrim's Market.
Lynn Carpenter-Boggs, a research leader of Washington State University's Biologically Intensive Agriculture and Organic Farming program, will give her presentation at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.
According to a press release, since the passing of The Organic Food Production Act in 1990, the organic food industry in the U.S. has grown at a rate of 20-30 percent per year, making it the fastest growing sector in the food market.
"Growing awareness of the quality and nutrient value of the foods we are feeding our families has translated into 28.682 billion annual organic sales in 2010," the release said.
In 2008, certified organic acreage in the U.S. reached more than 4.8 million acres, according to the USDA.
A key player in the development of Washington's organic agriculture has been Washington State University.
Their commitment has been demonstrated in their Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as the creation of the first four-year organic agriculture major in the country.
WSU also established the Organic Farm in Pullman in 2003.
In 2012, WSU received a $9.5 million gift from the founder of Pacific Natural Foods, Chuck Eggert, to build another 30-acre organic, student-based farm project, called The Eggert Family Organic Farm.
Both projects are designed to pass onto the next generation the skills necessary to grow organic fruits and vegetables in a sustainable manner, through organic techniques, computer science and architectural planning.
Carpenter-Boggs focuses her program on identifying and applying strengths to study and document the effectiveness of BIOAg farming techniques.
"Biologically intensive," Carpenter-Boggs says, "means farming practices and systems that rely on biological processes that are renewable, non-polluting and mutually beneficial to both farmers and society."