NOFA-NY Urges Members of Congress to Take Action on Organic Priorities

Advocates representing farming organizations, food co-ops, consumer and environmental organizations, and organic companies will be Zooming in this week to urge Congress to act on organic priorities in the lead-up to the 2023 Farm Bill.

With Farm Bill negotiations already underway, National Organic Coalition (NOC) fly-in participants are asking Congress to increase technical assistance and transition support in the farm bill for farmers who want to shift acreage to organic production.

Numerous organic, regenerative, and rural organizations already provide technical assistance, transition support, and other services to producers. These organizations are poised to assist more farmers in transitioning to organic systems of production, which will help the U.S. agricultural sector achieve net-zero emissions. Thirty years of peer-reviewed research demonstrate that organic farms sequester carbon, build resiliency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Organic agriculture is a systems-based approach to transforming the food system that has scientifically proven climate and soil health benefits,” said Abby Youngblood, Executive Director at NOC. “As we seek to drastically reduce the climate footprint of U.S. agriculture, organic systems are a critical link. Now is the time to ramp up support to help farmers transition to organic systems, and to reduce the cost of getting certified, which is a real barrier for small and underserved farmers.”

Increasing the number of farms that grow crops organically also provides additional economic, public health, environmental, and biodiversity benefits (PDF).

NOC is also asking Congress to increase organic research in the 2023 Farm Bill through a boost in funding for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) to address production, marketing, and environmental challenges and to keep pace with tremendous growth in the organic sector over the past several decades.

Additionally, a fair and competitive marketplace is essential for the viability of small and mid-size organic family farms. NOC is asking Congress to urge USDA to take immediate action to finalize the Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule to crack down on fraud in organic supply chains.

NOFA-NY staff and members will be meeting with Senator Gillibrand and Senator Schumer’s offices as well as Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Jacobs’ offices to discuss organic priorities.

Follow NOC on social media (Facebook @NationalOrganicCoalition and Twitter @NationalOrganic) for live updates on Congressional meetings. Follow NOFA-NY on Facebook @NOFANewYork, Twitter @nofaNY, and Instagram @nofanewyork.

For more information please contact:

Abby Youngblood, National Organic Coalition | | 646-525-7165

Katie Baildon, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York | | 315-988-4000 ext. 507

About the National Organic Coalition: The National Organic Coalition (NOC) is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a “Washington voice” for farmers, ranchers, conservationists, consumers, and industry members involved in organic agriculture. NOC seeks to advance organic food and agriculture and ensure a united voice for organic integrity, which means strong, enforceable, and continuously improved standards to maximize the multiple health, environmental, and economic benefits that organic agriculture provides. The coalition works to assure that policies are fair, equitable, and encourage diversity of participation and access. NOC has been instrumental in training the next generation of leaders for the organic movement by pairing new leaders with veterans of the organic movement.

About the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY): NOFA-NY is a nonprofit organization of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working together to create a sustainable regional food system that is ecologically sound and economically viable. We are also the leading USDA-accredited organic certification agency in the state, certifying over 1,100 organic farms and businesses, which provide quality organic products to thousands of New York consumers.