September 18, 2012
Today, House Organic Caucus co-chairs and House Agriculture Committee Members sent a bipartisan letter to the House leadership regarding the core organic programs that expire on September 30 unless Congress takes action to reauthorize and fund these programs. A number of beginning farmer, rural development, and marketing programs are in the same situation.
In the letter, the caucus co-chairs — Representatives DeFazio (D-OR), Farr (D-CA), Kind (D-WI), and Hanna (R-NY) — and House Agriculture Committee Members — Ribble (R-WI), Gibson (R-NY), Welch (D-VT), and Costa (D-CA) — urge the House leadership to provide on-going mandatory funding for organic programs in the now-certain event that the programs will expire on September 30. The letter calls specific attention to the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), and the Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives (ODI). (Other organic-specific programs, such as the National Organic Program, are funded through agriculture appropriations.)
It is now clear that Congress will not pass a farm bill extension before current law expires on September 30. Stay tuned for other posts detailing what this unprecedented situation means for sustainable agriculture programs, farm policy, and the prospects for a 2012 Farm Bill.