Charles Benbrook
Charles Benbrook

The Organic Center’s Annual VIP Dinner raised more than $500,00 for the work of the non-profit research and education group.

The March 7 dinner was scheduled in association with the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

“The Center graciously thanks our generous supporters for these crucial donations that make it possible for the organization to carry out its work proving and communicating the science behind organic agriculture and products,” said Todd Linsky, vice-president of organic sales for Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms and chair of the center’s board of trustees, in the release.

Attendees heard about past and ongoing research projects.

One study discussed included lessons learned from a systems approach to non-antibiotic fire blight control by organic orchardists, according to the release. One new research project looked at the effect of organic growing practices on nitrogen pollution. In another study, researchers at Northeastern University are collecting data on soil health on organic farms, according to the release.

The Organic Center’s first Award of Excellence was presented to Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. The award honors excellence in supporting the science behind the benefits of organic food and farming, according to the release.

At Washington State University, Benbrook is program leader of “Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health,” according to the release. Before that, Benbrook was The Organic Center’s original chief scientist and is still a member of its Science Advisory Board.