Environment, Farm Bill, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Where have all the farmers gone?

Organic FarmerIn a recent discussion with Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program, he cited a concern on the lack of new farming operations entering organic production.

“Though we have seen market success over the last 20 years, the number of new certified operations in the US has remained relatively flat,” Miles told me. “The industry continues to grow, sales are up, but the number of certified operations has not grown.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that the Farm Belt is not expanding quickly enough into organics to meet growing consumer demand. Consequently, producers are going abroad for commodities

This leads me to ask, where have all the organic farmers gone? Continue reading “Where have all the farmers gone?”

Environment, Labeling

Oh no! Nano! – coming to a product near you!

Nano-particlesI recently attended a conference that touched on nanoparticles. I was intrigued because I had once given a brief to the USDA on their properties and possible hazards in our food supply. Australia, Canada and the UK all restrict their occurrence in organic production, so there were grounds for concern. On the other hand, I also recognized there were groundbreaking scientific and technological advances in industry and medicine through the use of nanotechnology. Continue reading “Oh no! Nano! – coming to a product near you!”

Farm Bill, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

I hear the call of ORPP

Got Organic?ORPP is not the call of some exotic water fowl. It’s an acronym for one of the most exciting ideas I have encountered in my entire career. It stands for Organic Research and Promotions Program, which could be a mechanism for creating much needed funding for organic research, education and promotion of our burgeoning industry. Continue reading “I hear the call of ORPP”

Environment, What is Organic

What’s the all the Buzz about?

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 46th week, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have heard a lot of buzz lately from the media, USDA and environmentalists   regarding the state of honeybees.  The decline of the Honeybee population has been well documented since 2006. According to USDA studies, 31% of North America hives have collapsed each winter since 2006. The trend is similar throughout Europe and Asia. Continue reading “What’s the all the Buzz about?”