I trundled to Washington DC on my annual pilgrimage to attend OTA’s Policy Conference & Hill visit days. Dubbed “Organic Week” in Washington, it’s a 4-day extravaganza of organic industry leaders gathering to confirm our priorities and take action on the hill. This year the climate in DC was unique, awash with new leadership and new philosophies. It became apparent that as the organic sector continues to grow, it’s important that we pay attention to federal policy and show up for our fair share of funding. Continue reading
It’s that time of year again when many of us are on vacation. If you’re not working and enjoying these hot August nights, you’re in good company. Congress is also on recess until September 9. Lawmakers left Washington DC with unfinished business and a farm and agriculture community truly sweating it out. Continue reading
Last week, the House of Representatives finally passed a Farm Bill by a vote of 216-208. No Democrats supported the bill, and 12 Republicans voted against it. For the first time since 1949 it did not include the nutrition title or food stamps for hungry Americans. This new version of the Farm Bill included provisions that repeal the 1938 and 1949 permanent law provisions and make the 2013 Title I a permanent law going forward. If this ultimately became law in conference, it would never need to be reauthorized. Congress could consider them again but would never face a deadline requiring their re-authorization.
The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is what happens next? Continue reading
Here’s a word that could sum up what happened yesterday in the U.S. House: disappointing.
At the end of a fairly short three day session, The House Farm Bill failed to pass by a vote of 195-234. What this means is the Farm Bill cannot advance into a full conference even though the Senate passed its version just two weeks ago.
Is the Farm Bill dead? Was it dead upon arrival anyway?
So what went wrong? Continue reading
You eat, therefore you live. So shouldn’t you know what’s in the current version of the US Farm Bill? If you’re an engaged member of the organic food industry, you should be well acquainted with the Farm Bill and be willing to take action.
Here’s why: we need more federal funding. Continue reading