This post originally appeared on the National Organic Coalition (NOC) blog.
Twenty six farmers, scientists, policy advocates and organic company representatives from the National Organic Coalition advocated for organic agriculture last week in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, we criss-crossed Capitol Hill, where we met with 56 Congressional Offices. 24 meetings were with Members of Congress (or their staff) who sit on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees – the committees responsible for writing the 2023 Farm Bill.
During visits with congressional offices, we focused on four themes to advance organic in the 2023 Farm Bill:
- A proposed Opportunities in Organic Program, which will establish a suite of flexible, easy-to-access tools to reduce barriers to organic agriculture.
- Strengthening organic integrity, which is all about ensuring the continuous improvement of USDA’s organic standards.
- Expanding organic research, which will provide tools to address production, marketing and environmental challenges.
- Strengthening USDA’s conservation programs for organic farmers, which highlights that organic farming is climate-smart and environmentally sound.
NOC has developed a detailed list of organic priorities for every title of the Farm Bill.
NOC also met with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Jenny Moffitt, where we had a productive conversation about the organic dairy crisis, future updates to the organic standards, and the USDA’s new Organic Transition Initiative. NOC thanked Under Secretary Moffitt for championing organic agriculture within USDA and for the agency’s work to finalize the Origin of Livestock and Strengthening Organic Enforcement rules.
The photos below show some of the highlights from our time in DC.
Follow NOC on social media (Facebook @NationalOrganicCoalition and Twitter @NationalOrganic) to see updates from last week’s Congressional and USDA meetings.