Congress Needs to Buckle Down, Too!

Udi Lazimy's picture

Ron Meyer of Strawberry Hill Farm near Coshocton, Ohio knows all to well about the impact that a loss of funding for organic programs would have on farmers.  The draught has destroyed nearly 30% of his crops this year.  Ron has had to re-adjust his business planning and buckle down for the fall. Thankfully, the cost of his organic certification didn’t add to his troubles; he participated in the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helped a lot with the cost of his certification. If this program is not funded in 2013, (as is possible under a “clean” extension of the 2008 Farm Bill), Ron, and over 6,000 other farmers, could lose support for certification.

“Certification cost-share helps us with a good chunk of our certification costs. Without the program, it would be difficult to certify,” says Meyer. “As one of the few certified organic farms in our county, our customers rely on us for organic food they can trust.”

Another program that could lose funding is the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Part of the 2008 Farm Bill, OREI has funded an average of 21 organic research projects per year at agriculture research institutions, at an average of over $765,000 per research project. If OREI loses funding in 2013, millions of dollars per year in ground-breaking organic production research would be foregone.

Come on, Congress... work with us, PLEASE!

 

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