Public influence and participation is a critical part in advocating for a sustainable food system that serves people and planet. We’ve seen firsthand how public support for smart policies that protect our environment, create economic opportunities for farmers and make our food production more sustainable makes a difference. Learn more about how you can support our work and make your voice be heard on big issues.
+ 2014 Organic Farming Survey
To learn more about the trends of organic agriculture in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is now conducting the 2014 Organic Survey.
This survey is critical to organic farmers and the organic industry as a whole, because it will provide important trend data on the growth, trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the organic industry within the United States. This information not only helps the organic industry identify trends that will inform planting and other decisions, but it also helps researchers and organizations representing organic producers identify where additional resources and research are needed. Without this important data, organic producers are at a disadvantage compared with their conventional counterparts. Learn more about the importance of data at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website.
Federal law (Title 7, U.S. Code) requires all producers who receive a form to respond and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential. Recipients are required to respond by mail by February 13, 2015 or online by April 3, 2015. NASS will publish the results in August 2015. For more information about the Organic Survey, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 851-1127.Complete the survey >>
+ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Public Comments
The interim proposed rules for EQIP have been released for public comment. When Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill, it extended NRCS’ authority to run the program under existing rules until November 4, 2014. Now that the new rule has been published, NRCS can start obligating funds to new contracts under the new farm bill authority. This is a tremendous opportunity to weigh in on the rules that will influence how the largest federal conservation programs for working lands function for farmers. Comments are due by Februrary 10, 2015.
+ Expand Public Funding for Sustainable Agriculture
The USDA depends on public volunteer participation to serve on different panels that help prioritize projects up for public funds. As a grant reviewer – relevant subject expertise is necessary to be considered for service – you can help ensure sustainable agriculture projects that yield high-impact results help support change in our food system. In addition, reviewers with expertise on organic and sustainable food production draw attention to the importance our collective work on these issues.
+ Protection for Pollinators from Harmful Neonic Pesticides
The Center for Food Safety is leading efforts to follow up on a Presidential Memorandum from the summer of 2014 that outlined a plan to “promote the health of honey bees and othe pollinators” with a federal task force. More than 100 agricultural crops in the United States are dependent on pollinators for successful growth and harvest. Organic agriculture continues to lead the way on creating safe habitats for pollinator species, but more needs to be done to protect these incredible creatures and our food system.