Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council to Brief New Lawmakers on Farm Bill
- by Jessica Donnel
WASHINGTON, DC - Organics are about to get some major advocacy, as 22 farmer members of the Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council head to Washington on February 5-6 to meet with new and incumbent members of Congress. The group will help familiarize incoming lawmakers with the organics industry and discuss the implementation of the organic provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. A national coalition of organic farmers and organic farming organizations representing nearly 8,000 organic farms, the Council is able to offer unique insights for the betterment of the agricultural industry.
“The 116th Congress has 101 new members of the House and 10 new Senators, and many of these new lawmakers aren’t familiar with organic,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO. “It’s important that we help our members get connected to these freshmen Congressional members so they can educate the new policy makers about the benefits of organic agriculture, the unique challenges that organic producers and businesses face, and the importance of federal policies that advance American organic agriculture and the organic sector.”
The event, coordinated by the Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council, will bring in farmers from 11 states across the nation. According to the press release, this diverse group will include grain and specialty crop growers, dairy farmers, and egg and livestock producers. The implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill is set to be a key discussion point.
“The Organic Trade Association and its members worked hard to get top organic priorities included in the Farm Bill, and now we want to ensure that this bill—and all of its gains for organic—is implemented in a timely manner,” commented Batcha.
While the group is scheduled to attend meetings with over 40 lawmakers and national agricultural organizations, it will also be hosting an organic farmer's roundtable for congressional staff regarding important organic issues. Included in the roundtable will be a discussion moderated by farmer members who were featured in the recently published National Geographic article, We don’t have enough organic farms. Why not? The roundtable will expand on the highlighted themes in the article, and moderators will lead a conversation about overcoming challenges of organic transition and closing the gap between consumer demand and domestic acreage.
The member organizations of the Farmers Advisory Council include Georgia Organics, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), Montana Organic Association, Organic Egg Farmers of America, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, Tilth Alliance of Washington, and Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance.
AndNowUKnow will keep you posted on all the developments relating to the 2018 Farm Bill.