Senator Welch introduces bill to reduce barriers to organic agriculture
Published: May 27, 2023
Category: Organic News
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has supported a new senate bill reducing challenges to switching to organic agriculture. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Opportunities in Organic Act of 2023 to help farmers embrace organic through easy-to-access tools, expert technical assistance, and flexible funding for underserved farmers and ranchers. The legislation will likely be followed by a companion bill from Congressman Jimmy Panetta.
“Organic production has huge benefits for our rural economies and our environment—but farmers can’t make the switch to organic practices without help,” said Senator Welch.
Allison Johnson, senior attorney at NRDC, sees the Act as a clear signal to drafters of the Farm Bill that “organic stands as a time-tested choice with sweeping economic, environmental, and health benefits.” The National Organic Coalition’s Abby Youngblood sees it as an investment in building resiliency, healthier soil, and a solution to growing organic demand in the marketplace.
“Milk is one of the foods that drives consumers to first try organic, but small organic dairies are struggling,” said Kate Patenaude of Green Valley Organic. Kate Mendenhall, executive director of Organic Farmers Association and owner of Okoboji Organics farm in Northwest Iowa, added, “The pandemic showed us that supporting a vibrant and nimble local food system is crucial for homeland security. Investing in healthy organic local food systems is a win-win for our nation.”
Many organic producer organizations support the Act, including Georgia Organics, National Young Farmers Coalition, Oregon Tilth, and the Environmental Working Group.
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
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