NOFA-NY Field Notes

NOFA-NY Blog

Our blog is a great way to stay current on organic farming, gardening, certification, policy, and community information and issues that we regularly share. We help you stay on top of everything that relates to technical and practical organic farming and gardening, timely and important legislative policies, field days, conferences, consumer issues, and more.

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2018 Farm Bill Moves Forward

2018 Farm Bill Moves Forward

Good work, all! The Farm Bill was passed by the Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 87-13, and passed on Wednesday by a vote of 369-47 in the House of Representatives. The bill has big wins for organic! Our thanks to the “Big Four” in the House and Senate, as well as the many organic and other congressional champions who were instrumental in advancing organic and preventing various environmental and food access poison pills. 

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USDA Does the Right Thing – Listens to the NOSB!

USDA Does the Right Thing – Listens to the NOSB!

A story of Paper Pots and Origin of Livestock

Last month, the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met in St. Paul for their semi-annual meeting. The NOSB is a 15 member volunteer Advisory Board to the National Organic Program (NOP) which has legal authority for organic standards and the materials allowed to be used in the USDA Organic Label.1

NOSB meets twice per year in a public forum to discuss issues relevant to the organic industry and vote on final recommendations. As always, there was a huge agenda, lots of controversy, and many discussions about all things organic standards.2

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Why the Organic Checkoff is Bad for Organic Farmers, the Environment, and Independent Family Farm Agriculture

In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed an organic research and promotion checkoff program (an assessment on organic sales) which could unfairly promote large organic processors’ needs over those of smaller, family farmers. USDA promotion/research/information programs focus on the marketplace. They are not about farmers or farming.

According to USDA, “These programs are designed to maintain and expand markets and uses for agricultural commodities.” Without a stated goal to increase U.S. organic farmers and farms, we believe this checkoff program will increase demand and encourage supply at the fastest rate and lowest cost through consolidation and global supply, never good for smaller, independent organic farmers or farms.

Organic is about more than sales—it’s the extra benefits to the environment and to animal and human health. Unless we preserve the viability and profitability of our farmers, and increase organic farmers and farms, we will not see these health and environmental benefits.

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