Mark Keating's picture

Action Alert - Farm Bill: Organic Victories Tempered by More of the Same Industrial Ag

By Mark Keating, OFRF Policy Advisor

UPDATE 1/29/14 : Victory for Organic Farmers:  House passes new Farm Bill; Senate vote expected within days.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed upon on a new five year Farm Bill which significantly increases support for key organic initiatives including the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and the Organic Data Initiative (ODI).  The bill, which must still pass the House and Senate, also contains $5 million to modernize the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) and increases funding for local, beginning and sustainable agriculture programs including $150 million over five years for the Farmers Market Promotion Program.  The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to consider the establishment of a dedicated Organic Research and Promotion Program, should the community elect to pursue one.  These groundbreaking victories, however, must be weighed against the billions of dollars which this proposal commits to the failed industrial agriculture model.

Meg Moynihan's picture

Leadership

OFRF Board Member, Transition Committee Chair

Several months ago, we announced a leadership transition at OFRF and I have to say that it’s really pretty exhilarating to be at the launch. 

Since November, we've been working with a professional transition consultant, and our six person transition committee (which includes both a former AND an incoming board member) has invested an enormous amount of time engaging every one of OFRF’s 15 board members and conducting hour-long interviews with an array of more than 30 people and organizations that we think of as allies in some way, shape, or form.

You will see their ideas reflected in every part of the job announcement for our new executive director – from experience and credibility in the organic community, to authentic commitment to understanding and promoting the interests and needs of organic farmers, to skill and affinity for collaborations and partnerships, to effective and inspirational management and engagement of staff, to strategic thinking, solid fundraising, and financial management skills.

Karen Adler's picture

The ABCs of GMOs

By Karen Adler, OFRF Research Consultant

The writing is on the wall—and in newspapers, magazines, and all over the internet. Most Americans want GMO labeling—93 percent, according to this New York Times survey. Even Family Circle magazine weighed in citing their poll showing that 99 percent of their readers want labeling. It’s already heating up for 2014, with Maine becoming the second state to require GMO labels, and more than half of U.S. states with pending labeling legislation. And how about industrial food giant General Mills ringing in the New Year by announcing that they will soon take their iconic Cheerios GMO-free? (Never mind that Cheerios, being made mostly from oats, are almost GMO-free already, since there are no genetically modified oats.) What really makes this big news is that General Mills identified a consumer desire of a magnitude that is driving them to jumpstart this bandwagon on a grand scale.

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