Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

What’s up Congress?

Capitol HillEveryone who is lucky enough to have a job these days is paid to perform the tasks that define their position.  Unfortunately our Congressional leaders are not proving to hold up to this work ethic.

Every 4-6 years Congress is charged with passing a massive piece of legislation called the Farm Bill. It is second in size only to the Defense Bill. Passing this legislation has been the standard work plan for Congress since the Depression in the 1930’s when it was enacted to help farmers and ranchers maintain their land and prosperity. 

The last Farm Bill passed in May 2008 and it authorized over $289 billion dollars of federal spending over 5 years. That’s a chunk of federal change!  It was divided into 15 “titles” or categories.  The lion’s share (97%) of the total funded only four titles:  Nutrition or “SNAP” (also known as Food Stamps), Farm Commodity support, Crop Insurance and Conservation Programs. Many believe The Farm Bill should really be re-named the “Food Bill”! 

In September the 2008 Farm Bill expired leaving a vast gap in many programs affecting rural America.  Specifically there is zero funding for many organic programs such as the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, and Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives, as well as export development programs.  All grants, loans, and research projects funded by these programs are on hold until the Farm Bill is extended or reauthorized.  This is bad news for organic farmers and even worse news for those farmers affected by last summer’s drought.

The failure to complete this extremely important work was mostly the result of the House Republican leadership being unwilling to bring a bill to their floor in advance of the election.  Typically both the House and Senate come up with different versions of the bill and then come together to mark up one final version. The Senate produced their version of a Farm Bill earlier in the year but it completely stalled in the House.   So election political posturing became the focus rather than getting the job done. The future of the bill is in limbo… Let’s consider it a “farm cliff” we have already gone over.

How is it that our elected officials can get away with political posturing rather than doing the job they were elected to do? It’s my belief we should hold each and every Congressional member accountable to represent us and complete the tasks at hand.

If food and farms are important to you get involved! Stay informed on what is happening with this important bill by subscribing to the list serve Monitor your elected Congressional leaders on their job performance. Don’t be shy in communicating what you want them to do. You are the constituency that elected them into office and your voice is important to them. Let’s not let another year go buy when we have to ask “What’s up Congress?”

21 thoughts on “What’s up Congress?”

  1. Hello! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website like yours take
    a large amount of work? I’m completely new to running a blog but I do
    write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share
    my personal experience and feelings online. Please let me know
    if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

  2. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed!
    Very useful info particularly the ultimate part 🙂 I deal with such info much.
    I used to be seeking this particular info for a very long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

  3. I was recommended this web site via my cousin. I’m now not certain whether or not this publish is written via him as nobody else recognize such designated approximately
    my trouble. You are amazing! Thank you!

  4. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with
    us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information.

    I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this
    to my followers! Superb blog and outstanding style and design.

  5. When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps
    the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is perfect.


  6. Of approximately a thousand separate species of
    bats worldwide, there are 44 known species found
    on the North American continent. Not to mention, their evening aerobatic sessions are a whole lot of
    fun to watch. Perfect if you want to be able to use the boat inside waters.

  7. Save them until next summer when you really need them. The range of types of composting bins is varied,
    and indeed large due to. Thus, the process of composting of is
    simply up to you.

  8. Items can be thrown out or donated if in good condition. Plan out the location of your wall hanging hooks so that the longer
    items like shovels and rakes do not overlap the shorter tools that you hang from the walls.
    Consider employees such as your waiters and give them enough room to move around to serve
    diners as quickly as possible and with ease and comfort.

  9. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.