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.
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. Organic Farmers Association’s priorities for organic dairy will increase organic milk market transparency by requiring AMS to publish organic-specific data, invest in local infrastructure and create 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 take action now to facilitate secure, affordable access to land and access to 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 to ensure 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.)
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
Because the farm bill is such a huge piece of legislation with many, many programs and policies included, marker bills are used to signal specific policy proposals for parts of the larger farm bill but are typically not passed as stand-alone bills. Introducing marker bills allows members of Congress and advocates to build support for policy asks that may then be included in the larger farm bill package.
The following is a list of introduced marker bills that align with our principles and policy priorities.
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 email@example.com