Organic Regulatory Update and Policy Primer 

Politics and Policy

Friday, February 3


Federal policy plays a critical role in supporting organic production systems, and with one year to go until the next farm bill, now is the time to focus in on how to defend and strengthen key programs and policies that benefit organic producers. Additionally, transitioning to organic production remains a key barrier to meet the expanded organic demand, and now is the time to identify policy opportunities to address this gap.

This round table discussion will provide an update from Washington, DC and dig into policies ranging from working lands conservation and crop insurance to research and certification cost share. Policy experts from the National Organic Coalition (NOC), the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) will provide an overview of the political challenges and opportunities that we expect to encounter moving into the next farm bill. NOC, OFRF, and NSAC will also share key strategies and opportunities for grassroots outreach to engage and mobilize around critical organic wins in the next farm bill.

In addition to digging into the specific programs that matter for organic producers, we will also preview the marker bills to be introduced in 2017. These marker bills will set the stage for the upcoming farm bill campaign, containing the major changes and improvements that we hope to see included in the farm bill. Finally, the 115th Congress will be elected in early 2017, so this round table will also focus in on the new and returning members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, with an eye to members of the Organic Caucus who we will be to instrumental for championing our wins within the next farm bill.

This workshop will also involve feedback from the audience regarding policy needs and options.

Speakers: Chris Schreiner, Executive Director, Oregon Tilth; Laura Batcha, CEO/Executive Director, Organic Trade Association; Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program; Scott Rice, Accreditation and Quality Manager, Washington State Dept. of Agriculture/National Organic Standards Board Member