Organic Farmers Association React to Farm Bill

U.S. organic farmers offered applause for the passage of the farm bill which supports organic farmer priorities. Stating, “organic farming is at a critical junction,” Association President Dave Colson says farmers “need support to diversify their production and enter new markets, like organic.” The farm bill, the association says, helps to enhance USDA’s enforcement of the organic label so that all producers are farming within consistent and fair standards. It will also support programs to grow domestic production to meet the increasing demand for local, organic food. Overall, the bill includes priories such as a commitment to organic integrity, mandatory funding for the organic certification cost-share program, and permanent mandatory funding for organic research. Despite the organic community’s united opposition, conferees made two changes to the National Organic Standards Board. The first changes voting procedures that affect decisions about allowed synthetic materials and the second will allow farm employees to represent a farm on the board farmer seat.