The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Aaron Kinsman

Media Relations Specialist

USDA Office is Final Stop for 'Walk for an Organic Planet' Tomorrow

Rodale Institute Director to hand deliver study proving Climate Change Reversible through Global Organic Agriculture to USDA Researchers & Senator Jeff Merkley Ending 16 Day Walk from PA to Washington, D.C.


On October 16, 2014, Rodale Institute Executive Director, 'Coach' Mark Smallwood will complete a 160 mile walk from the Institute's farm in Kutztown, PA, to Washington, D.C.

Media are welcome for photographs and video on Thursday October 16 at 9:30AM in Washington, D.C. as Smallwood walks from Columbia Heights Metro Station to the Hart Senate Office Building.

Smallwood will be available for interviews in after the USDA meeting ends at approximately 4:00 PM. Contact Aaron Kinsman for interviews at or 215-589-2490.

Smallwood is set to arrive in Washington, D.C., on October 16th after walking an average of 10 miles per day for 16 days. On arrival in the capitol he will hand deliver a recent study from the Institute which identifies regenerative organic agriculture as a solution for reversing climate change.

Rodale Institute's study,"Regenerative Organic Agriculture & Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming," states that reversing climate change is possible through simple photosynthesis and healthy soil biology. If all agricultural land on Earth were transitioned to reflect regenerative organic principles, crop lands would capture 40% of annual emissions, and graze lands would capture 71%. Together, they would represent 111% of annual emissions, capturing all current greenhouse gases that we emit annually and beginning to draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere. Reversal of climate change has not been a topic of discussions between global leaders who have settled for goals to simply reduce the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere every year.

"It's simple. It's fourth grade science, with no downside. The global transition to an organic planet is already underway, it's happening now. The organic movement is stronger than ever with growth that far exceeds conventional agriculture," said Smallwood.

Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America's longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30 percent higher. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.

Important links:

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we've been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.