The Senate’s passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 clears the way for the bill to proceed to President Obama for final sign-off into law. The legislation, adopted by the House of Representatives on Jan. 29, includes numerous priorities the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has been seeking for more than two years.
Federal crop insurance provides the risk management tools necessary for American farmers to protect themselves against unexpected difficult years. To better support the growing organic agriculture sector, USDA's Risk Management Agency has taken steps to offer more options for organic producers under the Federal crop insurance program for the 2014 crop year:
On February 1st, USDA sent a survey and welcome letter from Administrator Alonzo to the approximately 12,000 self-identified organic producers in 3 categories: certified organic, farmers and ranchers exempt from certification, and transitioning farmers. Deadline for submission: March 15.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce final guidance for handling unpackaged organic products. This guidance implements a recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and responds to findings from the Office of Inspector General. We also updated an instruction for certifiers on reinstating suspended organic operations. Additionally, you can now access a variety of conservation guides and webinars tailored for organic operations.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published additional information on the streamlined sunset review and renewal process and sent the NOSB a memo regarding the sunset review timeline.
FarmsNext is a full season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers. Through an innovative and cooperative model, FarmsNext combines up to 1500 hours of field training with a mentor farmer, 75 hours of classroom learning with agricultural professionals and expert farmers, 15 tours of local farms, and opportunities for farm-based independent study on a diverse network of commercial family farms in Oregon’s scenic Rogue and South Willamette Valleys.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce final guidance for handling unpackaged organic products. This guidance implements a recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and responds to findings from the Office of Inspector General.
AMS has asked the NOSB to review substances currently on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances per the timeline linked below.
A newly released publication, Cover Crop in Organic Systems: Western State Implementation Guide, provides an overview of how cover crops can be used on organic operations, different purposes for the use of this conservation practice, design considerations, and related National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Part of a five-guide series, this resource will enable the Federal Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) Program, especially the EQIP Organic Initiative, to be more responsive to and valuable for organic farmers.
In partnership with Oregon Tilth, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's East and West National Technology Support Centers are pleased to present "Understanding Organic and Sustainable Agriculture" webinars in 2014.
Working hard to put together your comments on how agricultural coexistence can be strengthened? USDA is extending the comment deadline until March 4, 2014.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce the December 2013 issue of the Organic Integrity Quarterly newsletter.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to share new fact sheets to support organic trade. We'd also like to highlight upcoming training opportunities (including one in Spanish!).
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce a new one-stop shop for organics at usda.gov! We are also pleased to highlight grants to support organic-focused research, education and extension programs.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) wanted to share several updates to the National Organic Program Handbook. Additionally, nominate yourself or a colleague to the fruit and vegetable industry advisory committee and mark your calendars for an upcoming produce webinar!
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has sent two memos to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) related to substances in organic production and handling. Additionally, USDA is currently requesting feedback on ways to foster communication and collaboration among those involved in diverse agricultural production systems in order to further agricultural coexistence.
This past week, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and 12 of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to Korean Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young expressing concern that the Korean market may close to organic exports on Jan. 1, 2014.
On December 7, Oregon Tilth held its Annual Membership Meeting at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner, OR. Despite sub-freezing temps and icy roads, Tilth members and staff showed up to mingle, celebrate and cultivate Tilth culture.
Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) wants to clarify that an online directory of organic operations, www.usdaorganicfarms.com, is not affiliated with USDA.