The Farm Bill is an omnibus bill (i.e. a package of legislation combined into one bill) passed roughly once every five years. This bill includes the bulk of the federal legislation that relates to agriculture, food, and the food system. As such, it has a massive impact on how food is grown, sold, distributed, and bought in this country.
The last farm bill was passed in 2018 and some of its programs began to expire in September. Congress likely will need to pass an extension of the current farm bill before the end of 2023 to avoid the expiration of many major farm bill programs.
Organic farming organizations across the northeast have come together to identify our region's greatest farming and food system needs and the policies that can address them.
At this moment of multiple crises in our world—climate, insurgent white supremacy, inequality, pandemics, conflicts both military and political—we believe that there is an urgent need for a farm bill that is transformative, that will set in motion the transition away from a system of farming and food that is guided by profit and competition and exploits land, people, and livestock.
National Organic Program & Organic Integrity
NOFA-VT has served as the voice of Vermont's organic producers since well before the creation of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) that now governs organic certification at the federal level. Since the NOP was created in 2002, NOFA-VT has continuously advocated for organic standards that require organic crops to be grown in the soil, organic livestock raised on pasture, and other production practices that support the health of people and the planet.
We advocate for organic integrity by regularly participating in the twice-annual meetings of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), and by directly advocating to Congress and USDA for strong organic regulations that create a level playing field for our producers.
Our friends at the National Organic Coalition have provided a helpful overview of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), and the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) here.