Sixth Organic Farming Innovation Award Summit

OFIA Summit 2019

IFOAM - Organics International is pleased to announce that the sixth Organic Farming Innovation Award Summit will be held in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA on August 10, 2019. Please join us from 8:00 - 9:30 am and 10:00 - 11:30 am in the Robert Crown Center of the Hampshire College campus for this prestigious event! ä

View the Program: PDF icon ofia_summit_program_for_download.pdf


The Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) is the organic movement's prize awarded to highlight organic innovations of scientists, extension agents, and practitioners. OFIA strives to contribute to solving problems, exploring the potential to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of organic farming, as well as improving viability for environment, plants, animals, and human beings.


Once every three years, the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea, IFOAM - Organics International, and the IFOAM Technology Innovation Platform (TIPI) use the platform of the Organic World Congress to bestow the Organic Farming Innovation Award to outstanding organic innovators.

OFIA is an initiative of the government of the Republic of Korea in remembrance of the 17th Organic World Congress held in 2011 in its Gyeonggi Province. The OFIA Committee selects Grand Prize and Science Prize winners based on criteria of innovativeness, relevance, applicability, and potential for impact. To learn more about OFIA, visit

2019 OFIA summit

Worldwide, there is an urgent need for sustainable solutions to poverty, food insecurity, soil erosion, biodiversity decline, and climate change. Innovations in organic agriculture have a crucial role in the search for local or scalable solutions for more sustainable and regenerative farming. It is one of the main roles of agricultural research, and farmers are often the innovators.


The 6th OFIA Summit will have the thematic focus "Nurturing a Culture of Improvement in Organic Agriculture", tying into the debate of how innovations can spur and nurture the growth of organic agriculture as envisioned in Organic 3.0.


The 6th OFIA Summit will run from 8:00 - 11:30 am and features two sessions. Both sessions will address the 'Role of Innovation' and 'Nurturing a Culture of Improvement', looking at how innovations can address increasing health and environmental concerns while factoring in the needs of farmers and consumers. The session moderator will prompt panelists to discuss the topic of innovation in organic amongst themselves and with the audience. As such, the panel discussions are intended to be interactive, audience members are encouraged to engage with the panelists and ask/provide questions and comments of their own.

Part I: 8:00 - 9:30 am

  • Chair: Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director of IFOAM - Organics International (30 min)
  • Julie Rawson, Executive Director of Northeast Organic Farming Association - MA Chapter (20 min)
  • Brian Baker, Former President of IFOAM North America (20 min)
  • Interactive Discussion & Q/A with Panelists, moderated by Louise Luttikholt (20 min)

Break & Screening of Short Film 'We Unite': 9:30 - 10:00 am

  • If you are unable to attend this screening, we will have a second screening at 12:30 pm in the same location!

Part II: 10:00 - 11:30 am

  • Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, Program Officer at the Asian Productivity Organization, 2011 OFIA Awardee (25 min)
  • Brian Caldwell, Owner/Operator of Hemlock Grove Farm (20 min)
  • Mike Hands, Director, Inga Foundation and OFIA 2017 Awardee (25 min)
  • Interactive Discussion & Q/A with Panelists, moderated by Louise Luttikholt (20 min)

This event will have a 30-minute break in between sessions, which will feature a free screening of our short film 'We Unite'. Please join us!

Keynote Speakers: Previous OFIA Winners

This year's summit keynote speeches will be given by two former OFIA winners, Mike Hands and Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain. 


Mike Hands is the founder and director of the Inga Foundation. In his role, Director Hands coordinates alley-cropping projects in Honduras and advises on 11 additional alley-budding cropping projects across Central America, Africa, and Madagascar. He is an experienced tropical ecologist specializing in the ecology of tropical rain forests and slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture. In the mid-1980s, Director Hands initiated studies that have become the Inga Foundation's flagship Land for Life Project. From 1988-2002, he worked as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where he focused almost exclusively in Central America. Director Hands received his M.Sc. from the University of Cambridge and considers himself a lifelong naturalist. He has published multiple articles on tslash-and-burn techniques and alley-cropping systems.



Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain works in the Agriculture Department of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO). He is the Vice-President of IFOAM Asia and was designated an “IFOAM Global Ambassador” in 2017. He is a pioneer of integrated rice-duck farming technology and organic vegetable production in sack technology in Bangladesh. Dr. Tanveer previously worked as a Senior Scientist (Agronomist and Plant Physiologist) at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and as a Sustainable Agriculture Advisor for Friends in Village Development Bangladesh. He is a Council Member of IFOAM's Technology Innovation Platform (TIPI) and an advisory member of the Sustainable Organic Agriculture Action Network. He has published more than 50 scientific papers and holds a Ph.D. in agriculture (organic rice) from Ehime University, Japan.

Hosts of the 2019 OFIA Summit 


This year's OFIA Summit is being organized in conjunction with the 45th Annual Summer Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). 

Entitled "Nutrition Matters: Soil Health Builds Human Health", the 2019 NOFA Summer Conference represents a dynamic and diverse gathering of people working at the intersections of organic agriculture and gardening, food justice, land management, education, carbon sequestration, environment, and health.

IFOAM - Organics International is very much looking forward to this event, which Hampshire College has graciously offered to host. A family-friendly affair, the 2019 NOFA Summer Conference will be open to kids, adults, and teens alike. It will feature a variety of workshops for all ages and live music, games, and amazing food from over 60 vendors!

Conference registration is now open, please sign up online here.

Who is NOFA?

The Northeast Organic Farming Association is a US-based non-profit organization of over 5,000 farmers, gardeners, landscape professionals, and consumers working to advocate for and educate about healthy food, organic growing practices, agricultural justice, and a cleaner environment.

NOFA has regional chapters in 7 US states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.


Share the news!

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon