Eight northeast organic farming organizations have come together to identify our region’s greatest farming and food system needs and policies to address them.
We are calling on Congress to:
Expand Opportunities in Organic
The Opportunities in Organic Act, ( H.R.3650, S.1582) offers a suite of flexible, easy-to-access tools to reduce barriers to organic agriculture, including for Black farmers, Indigenous farmers, farmers of color and producers historically excluded from organic certification. It will modernize reimbursements for organic certification, increase technical expertise and support within public institutions and NGOs and expand support for producers transitioning to organic.
Demand Climate Action
The Agriculture Resilience Act (H.R.1840, S.1016) will harness the power of agriculture to confront our climate and biological crises. With urgent action now, including the investments and policy reforms in the ARA, we can meet our climate goals and dramatically improve our food system while engaging farmers in making the critical changes necessary for our future.
The ARA includes a provision to provide states and Tribal governments with funding to support state soil health programs. NY is uniquely poised to utilize federal funding to expand on-farm soil health and climate resilience projects through the soil health programming authorized through the Soil and Health and Climate Resiliency Act and the soil health strategies outlined in the NY Climate Scoping Plan.
Support Organic Dairy
Immediate support to address dramatically increased organic input costs for organic dairy farms is urgently needed to reverse the alarming decline in family organic dairy farms in the northeast. The O DAIRY (S.3097) and the Organic Dairy Data Collection Act (H.R. 6937) will increase organic milk market transparency by requiring AMS to publish organic-specific data. The O DAIRY bill also includes key investments in local infrastructure and creates a safety net that supports the specific needs of organic dairy farms. Systemic reforms such as those detailed in the Milk from Family Dairies Act are also needed to ensure farm viability and market opportunities for all family dairies.
Secure Equitable Access to Land and Credit
USDA has a demonstrated history of discriminating against Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color in lending and credit practices and program implementation. Our nation must act now to facilitate secure, affordable access to land and credit for young farmers and farmers of color—there is no time to wait. The reforms in the Justice for Black Farmers Act (H.R.1167, S.96) and the Fair Credit for Farmers Act (S. 2668) are a first step in addressing and correcting discrimination against Black farmers in farm assistance and lending programs and ensuring representation on county FSA committees.
Protect Farms from PFAS
Farmland that is contaminated with PFAS (aka “forever chemicals”) is a threat to public health and farm viability and must be addressed to ensure a safe and prosperous future. As PFAS-contaminated soil, milk, and even produce and crops are detected, farm families and farmworkers are most vulnerable and need immediate support to protect themselves, their business, and their communities against continued exposure. The Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act (H.R.1517, S.747) would authorize funding for states to assist affected farmers, expand monitoring and testing, and fund PFAS research.
Reject False Solutions
We join with our allies across the many sectors of the food system in opposing legislation that will increase consolidation and corporate power through mechanisms that prioritize short-term profit over long-term sustainability, such as carbon markets and biogas markets. These false solutions focus too narrowly on carbon or methane at the detriment of biodiversity, ecosystem health, and function, and allow bad actors to continue to pollute while further entrenching farmers in systems of chemically-intensive agriculture. (To learn more about what we mean by “false solutions”, check out this explainer from our allies at IATP.)
Calls to Action from Our Allies
📣Show your support for organic agriculture in the Farm Bill! Organic hasn’t received a fair share of Farm Bill investments – tell your leaders that consumers want organic and it’s time to level the playing field.
📣The Agriculture Resilience Act offers a roadmap to achieve net-zero emissions in agriculture by 2040 by investing in and empowering farmers. Take action today by asking your Members of Congress to cosponsor the bill!
📣Support Crucial Farm Bill Improvements for Organic Dairy! The Organic Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Reporting Yields Act (O DAIRY ACT) will provide improved data collection, support to help cover dramatically increased input costs, and key investments in infrastructure.
📣Tell Congress to support land access for young and BIPOC farmers!
📣Support Fair Access to Credit for Farmers. The Fair Credit for Farmers Act seeks a fundamental shift in the dynamic between farmers and FSA, to a relationship where farmers have protections and can be co-equal partners with FSA staff in seeking farm success.
📣 Message your Members of Congress supporting farmer-to-farmer learning.
NY State Farm Bill Policy Platform
NOFA-NY is also proud to support the NY State Farm Bill Policy Platform developed by Black Farmers United NYS, Equity Advocates, and Food for the Spirit with input from over 300 New Yorkers including BIPOC farmers, growers, producers, practitioners, and advocates. The platform centers around 4 key recommendations for racial justice in the Farm Bill:
- Support Land Stewardship & Farmer Training
- Invest in Community Food Infrastructure
- Improve Accessibility of USDA Programs
- Increase Access to Food Assistance
These principles and priorities came together with input gathered during spring and summer 2022 farm bill listening sessions hosted by NOFA chapters and through careful evaluation of campaigns being developed by organizations that share our values and priorities.
We want a farm bill that…
Partners and Allies
Our campaign has been influenced and informed by the work of many others including:
- American Farmland Trust | 2023 Farm Bill Policy Platform
- Climate Justice Alliance
- HEAL Food Alliance | Platform for Real Food
- Farm Action | Fair Farm Bill Campaign
- National Family Farm Coalition | 2023 Farm Bill Platform
- National Organic Coalition | Farm Bill Legislation
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition | 2023 Farm Bill Platform
- National Young Farmers Coalition | One Million Acres for the Future Campaign
- Organic Farmers Association | 2023 Farm Bill Priorities
Share feedback on NOFA’s principles and priorities: email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org