December Policy Update

By, Patty Lovera, Policy Director

As we move towards the end of the year, we are starting to get a better sense of what we will be dealing with in Washington DC next year.

U.S. House of Representatives

The House will remain in Democratic control. But because Representative Peterson from Minnesota did not get re-elected, there will be a new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative David Scott from Georgia. The ranking member, which is the top Republican on the committee, will be Representative G.T. Thompson from Pennsylvania. We don’t know yet who else will be on the committee, and there may be some new faces next year because some current members did not win re-election.

美国参议院

我们仍然不知道哪一方将于明年控制参议院(这取决于1月5日在格鲁吉亚的两位参议院席位的径流选举th。但我们确实知道参议院农业委员会的关键球员 - 顶级民主党将是来自密歇根州的参议员稳定性,而最高共和党将成为阿肯色州的参议员Boozman。哪一个成为参议院农业委员会的主席依赖于哪一方于参议院的大多数人。

USDA

谁将作为主席拜登的农业秘书已成为一个皮带里的热门话题。有很多名字被抛出,没有太多的候击者谁可能被拜登队选择了谁。最多猜测的重点是参议员Heidi Heitkamp(D-ND)与当前代表玛西亚芯(D-OH)之间的种族在众议院农业委员会。但其他名称不断突出,包括前农业秘书(和爱荷华州州长)汤姆维斯拉克,前副秘书Kathleen Merrigan以及少数其他人。Biden团队没有设定截止日期,以宣布他们的被提名人,而且传统的农业在此过程中相当迟到。一旦被提名秘书宣布(并最终由参议院确认),还有许多其他USDA工作,也需要填补包括副秘书,多名助理秘书,秘书多数多年,以及许多管理员,包括农业营销服务,是国家有机计划的家。

Just before Thanksgiving,提交一个信的Biden transition’sUSDAagency review team. This team is tasked with reviewing current staffing, workplans, budgets and other conditions at the USDA and making recommendations to the incoming Secretary of Agriculture about priorities. In the letter, we outlined steps the agency should take as soon as possible to protect organic integrity:

  • 最终确定加强有机执法规则
  • Finalize the Origin of Livestock rule
  • 恢复有机牲畜和家禽实践规则
  • 恢复有机认证成本份额计划报销水平至75%
  • Improve pandemic response programs to better serve organic producers.

In addition to these immediate needs, we also suggested things the USDA needs to improve in its coordination with the National Organic Standards Board, oversight of organic certifiers, ways to include organic in discussions about climate change, and educating other USDA departments and federal agencies about organic.

现在申请CFAP 2

美国农业部的冠状病毒粮食援助计划(CFAP 2)的第二轮结束于12月11日th. The program gives direct payments to farms, using three different methods for calculating payment rates based on the type of crops or livestock. Even if you were not eligible for the first round of CFAP (which was the case for many organic farms), it may be worth checking again because the USDA has changed some of the eligibility requirements and the methods for calculating payments,which may work better for some organic farms.Applications must be in by December 11th.You can apply through USDA’s Farm Services Agency.

采取行动来修复有机认证成本份额!

我们仍在推动国会来解决有机认证成本份额计划。8月10日th, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that due to an unexpected shortfall in funding, they were lowering the reimbursement rate to 50 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope. This is reduced from a rate of 75 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $750 per scope in previous years (and the level that was specified for this program in the last Farm Bill.)

国会在下周需要通过新的支出法案(或者可能是一周之后,如果他们给自己短期延期。)现在就采取行动to urge your members of Congress to restore the reimbursement levels to 75 percent in the next spending bill.它确实有助于国会成员听取有机农民关于为什么成本股计划很重要。

UPCOMING EVENTS: Mark Your Calendars!

OFA WEBINAR:选举评论:对有机影响

What does the election mean for protecting organic standards and growing organic? Join Organic Farmers Association Policy Director, Patty Lovera for a review of election results, how agriculture committees will shape up, and what to look for in the months ahead.
Tuesday, December 15 at 2pm ET

“虚拟”的大堂天

In 2021, instead of traveling to Washington, DC for an OFA lobby day, we will be coordinating a week of virtual lobby visits instead. Mark your calendars for the week of March 22nd当OFA成员将在一起与其国会成员一起在线或电话会议。您现在可以注册,我们会让您在循环中获取即将到来的培训以及如何参加!仅对OFA成员打开。