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Organic Farming Research Foundation Applauds Farm Bill Victories for Organic Farmers and Ranchers
Date:5/27/2008

of Farmers

Organic family farmers played a direct role in advocating for changes in federal farm policy thanks to OFRF's Organic Farmers Action Network (OFAN). According to Scowcroft, "The direct relationships that organic farmers established with their legislators played a key role in achieving these gains. Both at home in the districts and during visits to Washington, D.C., the growers made a strong case for the benefits of supporting organic agriculture, family farmers and local food systems."

OFRF expects organic growers to continue to play an important role in monitoring and advising the implementation of the bill, and OFAN will help them to do so. "Passing the 2008 Farm Bill is only the first step of delivering organic systems knowledge to both organic producers and conventional producers who want to farm more sustainably. Organic farmers will be working with each USDA agency as they integrate organic food and farming into their programs," said Mark Lipson, OFRF's Senior Policy Analyst.

Other Organic Wins

In addition to the increased research, education and extension funding, the 2008 Farm Bill addresses other factors that are limiting organic production in the U.S., including:
-- providing $5 million for collection of economic data about organic

production and markets;

-- providing $22 million to offset part of farmers' organic certification

costs;

-- taking steps to eliminate bias against organic growers in crop

insurance programs;

-- establishing financial and technical support for conversion to organic

production.

"All of the parts of the organic policy package are important," said Lipson, "and we want to thank the Agriculture Committees' leaders and all our supporters in Congress for making progress on many of them with this Farm Bill."

Ela expressed the sense of purpose that he and many other organic growers feel: "It's not just about supporting or
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SOURCE Organic Farming Research Foundation
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