Getting to the Heart of an Organic Planet

If you have a background in internet technology, the “organic” space couldn’t be further from your comfort zone.  When Afilias started the journey to bring .ORGANIC to market, we researched.  We hired consultants, worked out detailed analyses and compared stats, broiled over common terms and boiled down our directives.  We identified prime resources and pinpointed benchmarks to “success”.

One of those benchmarks was developing a relationship with Rodale Institute.

Rodale Institute is – for all intents and purposes – the Mecca for organic.  Heck, J.I. Rodale coined the actual term!  But when bridging the gap between green and geek, there was only one option – head to the source.

Last month, several members of our team spent the day in Kutztown, PA “on the farm”.  The idyllic setting of the centuries-old homestead was the perfect backdrop to discuss the organic space – and how we, could both remain authentic and trustworthy to it. “Coach” Mark Smallwood, the Executive Director for Rodale Institute, was ready to share all the amazing projects and successes they have had in organic initiatives.  From “organic tea” to happy hogs, Smallwood could convert even the most stalwart conventional farmer to the perks of going organic.  He can’t help himself.  “It’s not just what I believe; we have the proof.  We can show you,” he said, and he can.

“The Farm”, as they call it, is a sprawling expanse of lush green spaces, restored barns and cutting edge technologies (you should see the public restrooms!).  Whether you’re shopping for fair-trade baskets in the quaint schoolhouse, or wandering through the property’s 1200 organic apple-tree orchard, learning moments abound.  And you can’t help but believe that organic is more than a word – it’s a culture, it’s a belief system, it’s a community, it’s the future.

Today, Coach takes on a very special endeavor; he’s walking all the way from “the Farm” to Washington, DC, to hand deliver a report to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that he says organic agriculture can successfully reverse climate change.  The 162 mile journey is being sponsored by people around the globe, as well as caring organizations like our own, because we believe in the Rodale Institute’s mission, and the credence of 40 years of research.

When a technology company leaves the safety of the interwebs and crosses the threshold of green, grassy knolls, it’s a big leap.  But as a company, we know that Coach and the enlightened researchers of the Rodale Institute are working for the betterment of the world, with each step he takes.  To learn more about Coach’s Walk for an Organic Planet, visit their site.  We encourage you to get involved; we’ll be supporting this important endeavor each step of the way.

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Posted on Date:
Wednesday, October 1, 2014