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Daily News Blog

12
Jun

Take Action: Help Boost Transition to Organic Agriculture

Rows of crops on an organic farm

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2023) In view of the urgent need to enact a transformation to organic agriculture in order to address existential threats to human health, climate, and biodiversity, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (VT) and U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-19) and Alma Adams (NC-12) have introduced Senate and House versions of the Opportunities in Organic Act to reduce cost-barriers, expand access to new markets and resources, and provide support and training.

>>Tell your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to cosponsor H.R. 3650 and S. 1582, the Opportunities in Organic Act. Thank those who are current cosponsors.

Although some existing programs support organic agriculture, transition, and research, they do not level the playing field for organic producers and do not adequately or holistically meet their needs. Organic certification costs and processes remain a barrier for many, and most producers have limited access to organic-specific technical assistance or mentorship – especially in regions with smaller organic sectors. The Opportunities in Organic Act will expand the existing National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to reduce these barriers and better serve organic producers.

The Opportunities in Organic Act has three major components:

  • Organic Certification Cost-Share. The Opportunities in Organic Act will modernize reimbursements for organic certification, to ensure cost does not deter producers. Cost-share payments will cover up to $1,500 in certification costs. USDA will have discretion to exceed that cap to ensure that certification costs are not a barrier to certification for underserved producers and regions.

  • Transition and Resilience Funds. The bill will provide support for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to build capacity to support organic transition, particularly for smaller scale and socially disadvantaged producers and underserved regions. The program will also pass-through funding from NGOs to producers to offset costs and reduce barriers associated with organic transition.

  • Technical Assistance.  The bill will provide resources for organic capacity and partnerships at public institutions and NGOs, including support for education, outreach, and market expansion so producers in any part of the country will have access to professional assistance with building healthy soil, natural pest management, and protecting ecosystems and natural resources.

A wide range of environmental, organic agriculture, and organic research organizations support the Opportunities in Organic Act. Our thanks to the sponsors and cosponsors:

  • S. 1582: Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI], Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ], Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA], Sen. Fetterman, John [D-PA], Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY], Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM], Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. [I-ME], Sen. Lujan, Ben Ray [D-NM], Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA], Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR], Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT], Sen. Padilla, Alex [D-CA], Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT], and Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN].

  • H.R. 3650: Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12], Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1], Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-18], Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2], Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-19], Rep. Payne, Donald M., Jr. [D-NJ-10], Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1], Rep. Salinas, Andrea [D-OR-6], and Rep. Tokuda, Jill N. [D-HI-2].

>>Tell your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to cosponsor H.R. 3650 and S. 1582, the Opportunities in Organic Act. Thank those who are current cosponsors.

Letter to U.S. Senators who are not currently co-sponsors of S. 1582:

There is an urgent need to enact a transformation to organic agriculture in order to address existential threats to human health, climate, and biodiversity. U.S. Senator Peter Welch (VT) has introduced S. 1582, the Opportunities in Organic Act to reduce cost-barriers, expand access to new markets and resources, and provide support and training.

Although some existing programs support organic agriculture, transition, and research, they do not level the playing field for organic producers and do not adequately or holistically meet their needs. Organic certification costs and processes remain a barrier for many, and most producers have limited access to organic-specific technical assistance or mentorship – especially in regions with smaller organic sectors.  The Opportunities in Organic Act will expand the existing National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to reduce these barriers and better serve organic producers.

The Opportunities in Organic Act has three major components:

Organic Certification Cost-Share. The Opportunities in Organic Act will modernize reimbursements for organic certification, to ensure cost does not deter producers. Cost-share payments will cover up to $1,500 in certification costs. USDA will have discretion to exceed that cap to ensure that certification costs are not a barrier to certification for underserved producers and regions.

Transition and Resilience Funds. The bill will provide support for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to build capacity to support organic transition, particularly for smaller scale and socially disadvantaged producers and underserved regions. The program will also pass-through funding from NGOs to producers to offset costs and reduce barriers associated with organic transition.

Technical Assistance.  The bill will provide resources for organic capacity and partnerships at public institutions and NGOs, including support for education, outreach, and market expansion so producers in any part of the country will have access to professional assistance with building healthy soil, natural pest management, and protecting ecosystems and natural resources.

A wide range of environmental, organic agriculture, and organic research organizations support the Opportunities in Organic Act.

Will you please cosponsor the Opportunities in Organic Act?

Thank you.

Letter to Senators who are currently co-sponsors of S. 1582:

Thank you for sponsoring S. 1582, the Opportunities in Organic Act. There is an urgent need to enact a transformation to organic agriculture in order to address existential threats to human health, climate, and biodiversity.

Although some existing programs support organic agriculture, transition, and research, they do not level the playing field for organic producers and do not adequately or holistically meet their needs. Organic certification costs and processes remain a barrier for many, and most producers have limited access to organic-specific technical assistance or mentorship – especially in regions with smaller organic sectors. The Opportunities in Organic Act will expand the existing National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to reduce these barriers and better serve organic producers.

Thank you.

Letter to U.S. Representatives not currently cosponsors of H.R. 3650:

There is an urgent need to enact a transformation to organic agriculture in order to address existential threats to human health, climate, and biodiversity. U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-19) and Alma Adams (NC-12) have introduced H.R. 3650, the Opportunities in Organic Act to reduce cost-barriers, expand access to new markets and resources, and provide support and training., the Opportunities in Organic Act to reduce cost-barriers, expand access to new markets and resources, and provide support and training.

Although some existing programs support organic agriculture, transition, and research, they do not level the playing field for organic producers and do not adequately or holistically meet their needs. Organic certification costs and processes remain a barrier for many, and most producers have limited access to organic-specific technical assistance or mentorship – especially in regions with smaller organic sectors. The Opportunities in Organic Act will expand the existing National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to reduce these barriers and better serve organic producers.

The Opportunities in Organic Act has three major components:

Organic Certification Cost-Share. The Opportunities in Organic Act will modernize reimbursements for organic certification, to ensure cost does not deter producers. Cost-share payments will cover up to $1,500 in certification costs. USDA will have discretion to exceed that cap to ensure that certification costs are not a barrier to certification for underserved producers and regions.

 Transition and Resilience Funds. The bill will provide support for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to build capacity to support organic transition, particularly for smaller scale and socially disadvantaged producers and underserved regions. The program will also pass-through funding from NGOs to producers to offset costs and reduce barriers associated with organic transition.

Technical Assistance. The bill will provide resources for organic capacity and partnerships at public institutions and NGOs, including support for education, outreach, and market expansion so producers in any part of the country will have access to professional assistance with building healthy soil, natural pest management, and protecting ecosystems and natural resources.

A wide range of environmental, organic agriculture, and organic research organizations support the Opportunities in Organic Act.

Will you please cosponsor the Opportunities in Organic Act?

Thank you.

Letter to U.S. Representatives who are currently cosponsors of H.R. 3650:

Thank you for sponsoring H.R. 3650, the Opportunities in Organic Act. There is an urgent need to enact a transformation to organic agriculture in order to address existential threats to human health, climate, and biodiversity.

Although some existing programs support organic agriculture, transition, and research, they do not level the playing field for organic producers and do not adequately or holistically meet their needs. Organic certification costs and processes remain a barrier for many, and most producers have limited access to organic-specific technical assistance or mentorship – especially in regions with smaller organic sectors. The Opportunities in Organic Act will expand the existing National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to reduce these barriers and better serve organic producers.

Thank you.

Share

3 Responses to “Take Action: Help Boost Transition to Organic Agriculture”

  1. 1
    Pam Wilbourn Says:

    NEED TO QUITE PUTTING POISONS ON OUR FOODS,,,INCLUDING ANIMALS!

  2. 2
    Ed Jackson Says:

    Keep Organic Strong.

  3. 3
    Marcelo Vazquez Says:

    ORGANIC ACT NOW¡

Leave a Reply

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