The Organic Farmers Association recently announced their 2019 policy platform, which will serve as an outline of the advocacy the organization will conduct in Washington, D.C., representing organic farmers on a national level. Policy priorities approved by OFA farmer members in 2019 include:
- Increased support for beginning farmer and market development.
- Streamlined crop insurance requirements.
- Dedicated funding for organic public seeds and breeds research.
- The publication and immediate implementation of a Final Origin of Livestock Rule, governing the transitioning of a non-organic dairy herd to organic, incorporating changes to eligibility, strengthening organic accountability for dairy animals, and outlining prohibited activities.
- Implementation of policies that encompass the vision of a Green New Deal that recognize the role of organic agriculture in mitigating climate change and provide Organic Farmers Association a seat at the table.
- Requiring that the farmer-seat on the National Organic Standards Board be filled by a farm operator (as defined by the USDA-ERS). The Organic Farmers Association has endorsed numerous qualified NOSB farmer applicants and urges the choosing of a real farmer for the vacancy.
- Immigration reform that provides just options for organic farmers and farm workers that legalizes the existing farm labor force, retains the current H-2A program, and introduces an agricultural work visa program.
“Our policies come straight up from the grassroots of the U.S. organic farmer community across this nation. These are the policies they are most concerned with in 2019 and OFA will be there advocating on their behalf,” said Kate Mendenhall, Director of Organic Farmers Association. To develop the annual policy platform, the OFA solicits input from all U.S. certified organic farmers and organic farm organizations. Adoption of an OFA policy priority requires 60 percent of the popular national vote and 60 percent popular support in at least two-thirds of the six OFA regions.