Organic Programs Go Adrift During Government Shutdown

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The federal government shutdown is going on its fourth week with no clear resolution in sight. According to estimates from S&P Global, the shutdown has already cost the U.S. economy $3.6 billion, and If it continues two more weeks, the economic damage could surpass $5.7 billion.

The shutdown is causing issues for farmers across the nation. Local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices have been closed, affecting farmers with agency loans. Food safety inspectors are working while missing paychecks, and important Ag data isn’t being collected. What does the shutdown mean specifically for the Organic Sector?

Many organic programs are left without moorings in this uncharted territory. Continue reading

Happy New Year: Congress Lays a Golden Egg While USDA Doles out a Lump of Coal

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The end of the year has come and gone – a new year is upon us. I spent the holidays as a serial hostess, whipping up fine organic fare for friends and family. Yet the feasting and frolicking did not distract me from the news that affects the things I hold dear – Food and Agriculture.

While we were all preparing for the holidays, we at once received great tidings from Congress alongside a grimy gift from our dear Administration.

This then is the story of The Golden Egg and Lump of Coal that ended 2018. Continue reading

What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Organic?

Capitol HillI write from the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. While I was eating kamura wedges and savoring corn fritters, the people of the US were deciding who would represent them in the halls of Congress. I placed my vote via absentee ballot just before I left.

These red-hot midterms sparked historic turnout. Over 114 million Americans cast their votes. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate in the next 116th Congress while the House will shift to Democratic leadership.

These changes will certainly lead to shifts in federal policymaking and could set the stage for friction between the two chambers as well as the executive branch.

How did Organic Champions Faire? Continue reading

The Last Chapter of My Career: Opportunity, Change and Growth

  • Melody DCIt was the beginning of a new millennium. The year 2000 had come with no calamities or misfortunes, but it did bring the winds of change.

I had built a small brokerage business that for six years had linked organic produce growers with receivers across the country. Yet a wrinkle was forming in the fabric of my business model that would change my life forever. Continue reading

Headwinds and Hope : Organic Week in DC

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This not so much a factual account of my week in DC but rather a philosophical musing of the state of organic today.

I knew full well the political atmosphere in DC when I arrived—it is muddled with shear turbulence. So too the organic industry is experiencing a bumpy trajectory even as it streams ahead with over 6% growth.

Organic has been under a barrage of political threats and media scandals that just don’t seem to stop. Continue reading