OTA’s Government Affairs team develops relationships with Members of Congress and encourages the passage of laws that benefit the organic sector. Learn more about how you can advocate on behalf of yourself, your business and the organic sector on the Hill.
Organic Foods Production Act
The Organic Foods Production Act was passed as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. It authorized the creation of the National Organic Program (NOP) within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The NOP would be based on federal regulations that would define standard organic farming practices, as well as processing and handling standards. OFPA also called for the establishment of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to assist in the development of standards for substances to be used in organic production, and to provide recommendations to the Secretary regarding implementation of the Act.
The Farm Bill is our federal agriculture policy, and is passed roughly every five years. It includes titles covering nutrition, commodities, conservation, trade, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture and organic agriculture, livestock, crop insurance, and more. It is the mechanism by which most agriculture policies are legislated, and some mandatory and authorized funds are provided. OTA is currently preparing to advocate for organic in the 2018 Farm Bill. Take our survey to help shape our legislative priorities.
“The 2014 Farm Bill demonstrates that the consumer-driven, farmer-powered organic sector—the fourth-largest food and feed commodity—is an important part of the U.S. agricultural community. It is a victory for organic farmers, businesses and consumers.”
– Laura Batcha, OTA CEO and Executive Director
Congress funds the federal government through an appropriations process every year. Typically, the President releases a proposed budget in the winter, and the Appropriations Committees pass funding bills in the spring and summer, in advance of the October 1 start of the fiscal year.
Child Nutrition Act
The Child Nutrition Act authorizes all of the federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs, and the Women, Infants and Children’s Program (WIC). These programs provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious food. This Act is reauthorized every five years, and will be up for reauthorization in 2015. It will go through the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.
Coming Soon: Organic’s Footprint in the 114th Congress
With many new faces bound for Congress in January, OTA is gearing up to share our messages about organic agriculture and the importance it plays in our country’s agricultural and economic landscape. Check back soon for some interesting information on the existing organic footprint on the Hill, such as:
- Members of Congress who are also certified organic farmers
- Members of Congress who represent the districts with the largest organic footprints
- Members of Congress have joined the Organic Caucus
- Members of Congress who are on the Agriculture Committees