Organic Transition and Certification Cost Share, Budget Reconciliation, Leahy Retirement, and More in This Week’s News from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
$20 Million Now Available for Organic Transition and Certification Cost-Share
Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will provide $20 million in pandemic assistance to cover certification, education, and other expenses for agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic. The organic transition and certification cost share funding, which provides additional cost-share assistance to that already provided through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share (NOCCSP) program, will be administered through the agency’s new Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP).
Funding will help producers recoup a portion of their expenses for fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022. The deadline to apply is January 7, 2022, through a local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. One-on-one support is available by calling 877-508-8364.
COMMENT: NSAC Responds as House of Representatives Advances Historic Budget Reconciliation Package
“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) applauds the House of Representatives for recognizing the importance of this long-awaited climate and social spending package which addresses some of the most pressing issues facing farming and food systems today. Overall, this package includes more than $90 billion in agriculture, forestry, rural development and nutrition investments. In the face of a changing climate, extreme weather events impacting farmers and ranchers, and significant supply chain disruptions impacting the food system nationwide, these investments are long overdue. We urge swift action by the Senate to get this crucial legislation passed with agricultural spending intact, to help build back a resilient food and farming system and confront the climate crisis.”
Comment: NSAC Responds to the Retirement Announcement of Senator Leahy
“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) congratulates Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on his upcoming retirement and thanks the Senator for his many years of service and commitment to advancing sustainable agriculture and local food systems. We are grateful to Senator Leahy for his dedication to improving the sustainability of our farms, ranches, and forests and his tireless efforts to improve the health of our rural communities.”
What We’re Reading
In this space we share suggested readings that NSAC staff find relevant to the Coalition’s mission and work. The opinions expressed in these readings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect an official NSAC policy or position.
Industrial farms and abandoned ones are both bad for butterflies. Researchers in Spain are trying to combat the trend, one “micro-reserve” at a time.
Indigenous communities of the Southwest are working to rematriate the Four Corners Potato.