Udi Lazimy's picture

Congress Needs to Buckle Down, Too!

Ron Meyer of Strawberry Hill Farm near Coshocton, Ohio knows all to well about the impact that a loss of funding for organic programs would have on farmers.  The draught has destroyed nearly 30% of his crops this year.  Ron has had to re-adjust his business planning and buckle down for the fall. Thankfully, the cost of his organic certification didn’t add to his troubles; he participated in the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helped a lot with the cost of his certification. If this program is not funded in 2013, (as is possible under a “clean” extension of the 2008 Farm Bill), Ron, and over 6,000 other farmers, could lose support for certification.

Faith Grant's picture

The Unclean Truth About an Extension - It'll just keep piling up!

Now that Congress is back in session, everyone’s wondering what's up with the Farm Bill.  Well, things are about to get a little crazy.  Our best educated guess at the end of last week was that the House was going to whip out a short-term Farm Bill extension before they break again for recess.  This would kick the Farm Bill possibly into the next Congress.  Worst of all, it could potentially leave organic programs high and dry like the last extension bill did.  Now, however, we’re hearing rumors that Congress might just let the Farm Bill expire.  Everything remains very much up in the air.

Press Release: Organic Farming IS Good For People, Economy, Soil, and Water

Organic Farming Research Foundation Releases Full Report Extolling the Multiple Societal Benefits of Organic Farming 

For Immediate Release    

Contact Info:
Denise Ryan
External Relations Director
(831) 426-6606

Santa Cruz, CA (September 10, 2012) In what has been a flurry of conversation and controversy revolving around the nutritional advantages of organic versus non-organic food, Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) asserts that the real advantages are far broader. Furthermore, OFRF states that the growing level of interest among consumers and health professionals begs for much greater investment in research that correlates human health to environmental health. 

Maureen Wilmot's picture

We Can't Afford to Turn Our Back on Organic Farmers

We are on needles and pins at the OFRF offices waiting to hear word from DC about the fate of the 2012 Farm Bill. The farm bill is the major body of legislation driving our food and agricultural policy in this country. We can ill afford for our food production policies to be tossed around as a political football. This impacts millions of American farmers and everyone who eats.

Udi Lazimy's picture

The Beginning Determines the End

According to National Young Farmers' Coalition's 'Building a Future' report, 83% of first-generation farmers surveyed are organic.

It makes sense that with growing organic consumer demand, we should be growing future organic farmers, right? 

Weirdly, the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill falls far short on support for critical beginning farmer programs.  

The House draft fails to make an adequate investment in our country’s new farmers by cutting funding...

Faith Grant's picture

The 2012 Farm Bill is Still in Play Within Your District

Washington, DC is slowly coming back to life.  Summer vacation is over.  School is back in session.  Congress reconvenes next week for just eight legislative days of business.  Even Burning Man 2012 has concluded. 

Everyone is predicting a wild ride this coming season, but no one really knows the final destination.

Maureen Wilmot's picture

Reaching Organic Milestones

For most of us, Labor Day weekend marks the conclusion to summertime bliss –warm days at the beach, picnics by the lake, long hikes lasting well into warm glowing evenings.  This Labor Day marked a beginning for me. We sent our eldest son off to his freshman year of college.  An exciting milestone for our family.  (He wants to be a writer-- and now, my writer friends are insisting on an intervention.)

As he drove away in a car packed to the gills with computer, bean bag, books, recycled solo cups, and clothes, I could not help but reflect on how this scene was playing out all over the country.

Jane Sooby's picture

Surviving the Drought with Organic Practices

Despite the drought that has been withering his neighbors' fields, organic farmer Klaas Martens, is anticipating a year of good crop yields and way above average crop income.

The reason?

Klaas isn't locked into the typical corn/soybean rotations that his neighbors are. The diversity of crops that he grows allows him to be more flexible in dealing with what the weather hands him. Because spring came early and hot this year, Klaas was able to harvest spring grains early and then plant a second crop into his fields. He chose drought and heat-tolerant forage crops like buckwheat, sorghum, and forage soybeans as his “double crops,” all of which are doing well. An added benefit is that the forages will be in great demand because the drought has reduced availability of feed grains and pasture.

Udi Lazimy's picture

They're Listening... REALLY!

With Congress in your districts on recess during August and some of September, it's the perfect time for you to meet with your Representative and staff.  We've been telling our Representative how important organic agriculture is for our region, economy and families for the past several days.

Local organic engagement is most important NOW.  Your words carry tremendous impact with legislators, especially leading up to a big election. Farmers and advocates  are rocking organic across the country. In New York State, organic farmers held an event with Congressman Chris Gibson to talk about the farm bill and celebrate organic agriculture. 

Faith Grant's picture

How 'Bout We Give Farmers 'Recess'?

While it's sleepy on the Hill, there is always action within your district.  Farmers markets are hoppin'.  Kids are getting ready to go back to school.

There are only eight days on the legislative calendar before Congress breaks again for a big campaign push.  On recess, your Senators and Representatives are making the rounds in their home states and districts.  Many of them are getting an earful about the drought and it's impact on farmers and farmland across the country.  So far, Congress has failed to provide farmers with any relief.  It being campaign season, no one wants to take “tough votes” on the Farm Bill or even a short-term disaster measure that would make a difference.


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