You haven’t heard from me lately because, quite frankly, I’ve had post-election PTSD – also known as electile disfunction.
With that over, I decided to move forward and think about the future.
I attended the 2020 Post Election Outlook Webinar Hosted by the only Political Action Campaign for Organic – Organic PAC. I was eager to understand what opportunities the incoming Administration would offer, what synergies could help advance our organic agenda.
It turns out the Biden-Harris plan for Agriculture includes priorities that Organic Agriculture can enhance and help build a better plan for our food system.
We are coming out of four years of policy coming strictly out of the White House – USDA agencies had little or no influence. That will change with the new Administration.
The Biden-Harris priorities include:
Building Back Rural America, creating jobs and incentivizing young people to move back to rural communities.
We know that organic is good for the economy; in fact, it’s red hot! Organic is now a $55 Billion industry in the US and can be found in over 82% of US households.
Studies show that when a county has high levels of organic agricultural activity, and neighboring counties also have high organic activity, they flourish. These Organic Hot Spots are found in 21 states. And when these counties get hot, the poverty rates were lower by an average of 1.3%, and median household incomes were higher by an average of $2,094.
We need federal incentives and programs that offer beginning organic farmers and ranchers access to capital, land and expertise.
Addressing Climate Change is a high priority that will permeate all agencies. The Biden-Harris plan says, “Soil is the next frontier for storing carbon.”
Appointing John Kerry as the International Climate Envoy for National Security was a significant first appointment to combat climate damage by fossil fuel emissions. John Kerry was one of the leading architects of the Paris climate agreement—and I have a feeling we will be back in soon.
Everything about Organic Agriculture offers solutions to mitigate our climate crisis.
The science says that organic farms:
- Sequester 26% more carbon in the soils than non-organic soils.
- Emit 18% less global warming emissions than other farming systems.
- Use around 50% less nitrogen, which is a potent greenhouse gas.
The organic community must make sure that Organic has a voice in Climate Discussions.
We must have incentives for farmers to transition to climate-friendly farming practices that organic provides.
Addressing COVID19 and ensuring economic recovery is tantamount to the Harris-Biden plan.
Part of that is addressing hunger and nutrition, providing benefits to those suffering – not only from the loss of income but also the disease itself.
Organic must be part of the mobilization of food in this recovery plan in state and federal programs.
The Biden-Harris plan will bring back a focus on science-based policy.
We need to send a clear message that they build a policy road map that links the science already done on organic, including mitigating climate change and addressing nutrition.
The Organic Center will be hosting an Organic Science Roundup on December 10th. You can register here and learn from leading scientists about how far we have come in this challenging year.
The Priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration are aligned with organic. There is a tremendous opportunity, and we must act quickly to develop partnerships with conversations.
Leadership and personnel at USDA are very important to our agenda.
It’s important that they restore the Organic & Sustainable Ag Policy Advisor, who will be the liaison with USDA, White House and other federal offices.
This will help build confidence with USDA leadership and bridge an alliance with organic agriculture.
OTA’s Political Action Committee will be at the forefront of engaging the Administration and Congress. Learn more about Organic PAC here.
Now let’s focus on Georgia and the special run-off election that will determine who controls the Senate.
Getting those two seats filled by Democrats Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock will be KEY to getting the Biden- Harris and Organic’s agenda funded and done.
So, I am spending most of my afternoons phone banking for both of them.
Jon Ossoff’s campaign here allows you to get involved by calling, canvasing, or simply giving.
Georgia is infamous for its voter suppression tactics that go back to the Jim-Crow poll taxes that intimidated black voters.
Georgia requires voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot. Voters must also pay postage to request and send mail-in ballots, which must arrive before 7 p.m. on Election Day. Georgia mandates some of the country’s most aggressive methods for purging voters from registration rolls.
A voter protection site provides resources to ensure all Georgians can vote and that their vote is counted.
If you can help turn out Georgia voters who support those Democrats for two US Senate seats, we will come a long way to making our Organic Agenda come true.
Do what you can, but please do something. It’s not an old sweet song, I’ve got Georgia on my mind. And she can sing of an organic future.